Scotty says "It's all about the fans baby!"
From Cardplayer magazine. This shows why Scotty is one of the greats.
Scotty Nguyen is a poker player who understands the importance of giving back to the fans. But while poker players can't necessarily give back by giving 100 percent effort on the felt thanks to the luck factor, they can give back to their fans by taking pictures and signing autographs. Scotty may have done one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen a poker player do at the World Series of Poker
$50,000 H.O.R.S.E. world championship final table. He got up and left the table, walked away from the stage, and then when he was stopped by fans on the rail to take pictures and sign autographs, he happily obliged -- and it wasn't even on a break! With over $9 million in career winnings, a WSOP
main event title, a World Poker Tour
win, and now the H.O.R.S.E. world championship Scotty may prove to be one of the very best when his career is over, but on Sunday night, he showed exactly why he will always be the Prince of Poker Fans.
Even as he was running the media gauntlet that takes place after an ESPN-filmed final table he stopped for the fans while he was on his way out to the cage to cash in for $1,989,120 at 5:30 a.m. Scotty taught me a lesson last night, that no matter how big you become, or how much money you have, you can always take just the smallest amount of time to make another person happy. Scotty showed every one what it means to have true class. So what if he wears just as many gold chains as Mr. T, so what if he refers to himself in the third person and says the word baby more than any other person on the planet, so what if he drinks more beer than any one of his opponents at any poker table and still wins millions (Why is Michelob not sponsoring this man in any capacity?). Nguyen knows how to treat a total stranger with respect and he makes every fans' day that he crosses paths with. He isn't just good for poker, he is great for poker.
Now, on the other side of that generosity fans should know when to say when. Just because Scotty will stop and take pictures with you and sign autographs while he is getting blinded off for half-a-million in one of the biggest tournaments of his life, doesn't mean you should rush the opportunity. The all-American lust for celebrity, which is only amplified by a crowd mentality, has driven many athletes and celebrities (paparazzi that means you) to become recluse shut-ins and nasty individuals. The World Series of Poker
is a great event because it is so accessible for fans. Everyday people walk the aisles of the Amazon room right alongside Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, etc... It is up to the fans and the media to not abuse this privilege, and those players who truly want to give back.
It was Scotty who said it best
on Sunday night. It came when a colleague in the media asked him a question that I would have never thought to ask during the press conference after the final table, "Is there any such thing as too much bling?"
Scotty paused for a second, smiled, and then gave this response, "No [laughs]. You know, it's funny, a couple of weeks ago when I walked in here to play the $2,000 no-limit [hold'em], there were 2,200 or 2,300 players, and when I walked by one of the tables one of the players asked another player, "Have you seen Scotty Nguyen?" And then the other player turned to him and said, "Are you stupid or something, man? Don't you hear bling, bling, bling just walked in? Don't you hear anything? That's Scotty, baby!' [Laughs] That's Scotty, baby! People, they remember what Scotty Nguyen's style is … it's not just because I wear my jewelry, bling bling, it's the way I talk, the way I treat people, the way I treat the fans. More poker players should do something like that for the fans, because most of them don't get that. They fly all the way across the country to come and see you for pictures and autographs…stop, give that to them. Most of them are like, no, I have to play. Most of them are like no, no, no, you have to wait for break time…I never say that, ever. Even when I'm playing 100,000-200,000 blinds, I just want to run to the bathroom and they stop me, and I stop. I lost 500,000 just to take pictures with them, because they don't live here, they fly 10,000 miles just to come and see you. Don't say no to them, enjoy that fact. Without them, they would never have Scotty Nguyen now. You know, so…the game is always here, but the fans, baby, they come and they go, and they might never come back for the next 10 years, so you got to give them what they fly out here for; they fly out here to come see Scotty Nguyen. That's what I do, that's why, wherever I go, baby, I'm the home-team favorite."
Well said, Prince of the Poker Fan.
I wish I had that much class.