The 28-year-old accounting student Tommy Nguyen became the 9th millionaire at the 2018 WSOP, after taking down Event #48: $1,500 NLH MONSTER STACK to win his first WSOP bracelet and an impressive $1,037,451 in top prize money. He defeated a massive field of 6,260 entries and a tough final table. This was the largest live poker tournament score for the accounting student from Oakville, Ontario. His previous highest cash came less than 2 months ago when he finished 8th in the PartyPoker LIVE! MILLIONS North America $5,300 CAD main event for $167,700 USD.
Post his victory, Nguyen was almost at a loss for words when asked how he felt after winning $1,500 NLH MONSTER STACK. “I dreamed of this and I always believed I could make it. I never doubted that I was going to win. I was just focusing on winning a bracelet. That was my goal when I came here.”
Nguyen entered the final day as 22nd in chips among the 29 remaining players. He ran well but when the field came down to final seven players, he became the shortest stack after losing an all-in against a short stacked Michael Benko. However, after a few hands, he came back into the game and knocked out Indian-origin Canadian player Shyam Srinivasan who began the final day as 14th in chips and ended up finishing 7th in for an impressive $154,463 in prize money. Nguyen scored his next double up when he called Chris Chong’s all-in with Ac-Ks and found himself up against As-5d.
Moving into the three-handed play, Frank Rusnak found himself all-in with Kc-7c against Nguyen’s pocket deuces. The board ran out 10c-8d-5c-Ah-Jh. Rusnak was eliminated in third place, earning $475,212 and Nguyen took roughly a 5-to-4 lead into heads-up play with James Carroll
In the end, Nguyen raised to 2,500,000 and Carroll holding Kd – 2c raised all in for 14,625,000, which Nguyen called with Ad-Kc. The board ran Jc 8d 4d Js Qh and Nguyen’s hand held up to win the title.
It was a big event from India’s perspective as several Indians showed up with their dream to win the gold bracelet, including Adda52 Team Pro Nikita Luther, former Adda52 Team Pro Muskan Sethi, Raghav Bansal, and Aditya Agarwal along with Indian origin Shyam Srinivasan and Nipun Java. While Luther, Sethi, and Bansal made it to Day 2, unfortunately, they could not progress beyond.
The two-time WSOP gold bracelet holder Nipun Java made it to Day 3 but unfortunately exited the tournament on the same day cashing in 126th in the tournament for $6,794 in prize money.
Only Aditya Agarwal and Shyam Srinivasan made it to Day 4. Aditya ran well to keep India’s bracelet hopes alive but unfortunately could not go all the way. He finished 27th for his highest WSOP score $35,819. Srinivasan ran deeper finishing 7th for a hefty $154,463. It was the second highest live tournament score for Srinivasan. His highest score came back in 2014 when he finished 6th in the EPT $ 10,000 + 300 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event at Paradise Island Resort.
Agarwal has been one of India’s top contenders when it comes to winning a bracelet at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP). He is going great and has already notched up 6 cashes over the last one month. As mentioned, this was his highest WSOP score so far. He now holds over $52k in combined winnings in WSOP 2018 and is only behind India’s Paawan Bansal, who holds around $57k.
It was a great run by Agarwal to reach so deep in the Monster Stack, and all eyes will be on him when he registers for the next 2018 WSOP tournament, especially the $10,000 Main Event. The cash prize received by him in this event is the highest for an Indian this year, beating Paawan Bansal’s $35,087, which he earned in the Colossus Event for his 13th place finish a few days ago.
Final Table Payouts:
1st: Tommy Nguyen – $1,037,451
2nd: James Carroll – $640,916
3rd: Frank Rusnak – $475,212
4th: Chris Chong – $354,903
5th: Daniel Corbett – $266,987
6th: Michael Benko – $202,327
7th: Shyam Srinivasan – $154,463
8th: Harald Sammer – $118,802
9th: Rittie Chuaprasert – $92,061