In what was one of the most epic heads up battles I’ve ever seen play out at ANY major poker tournament, it was Qui Nguyen who came out victorious over poker pro Gordon Vayo to take down the 2016 WSOP Main Event title and over $8,000,000 in winnings!
Heads up play seemed to last an eternity, as coverage on ESPN went well into the late evening. The final hand literally concluded just before 4 am in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nguyen had plenty of chances to take out Vayo throughout the night, but it was Vayo who kept battling back several times before eventually losing out to Nguyen.
Online Poker Legend “JohnnyBax” Eliminated in 3rd
This wasn’t a particularly huge surprise, as the day was seemingly set at a frenetic pace 3-handed when Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy started out by doubling up, only to see it come crashing down just a few hands later. Despite making a small rally, he would be eliminated in 3rd place for just over $3.4 million in winnings.
Josephy was a huge fan favorite and one of the original pioneers of the online poker scene. After scaling back his online play, he would soon become known for staking some of the best tournament players around the world. He was also the only player of the “November Nine” to win a WSOP bracelet and was a strong favorite to win it all this year.
The Final Moments of the 2016 WSOP Main Event
The final hand saw Gordon Vayo come over the top of Nguyen with a 3-bet “All-In” raise holding Jack-Ten suited. Unfortunately for Vayo, Nguyen would snap-call with a dominating King-Ten suited. With the pot at 107 million in chips, the board would eventually brick out for Vayo, with the final 5 cards showing 7d Kd 9c 2s 3h.
I took a few screenshots of the coverage that show the embrace of both Vayo and Nguyen after the river card gave Nguyen the victory and the Main Event bracelet. I also included a picture of Vayo’s fiance consoling him on the rail after his 2nd place effort. It was an amazing event to watch from start to finish, as well as a great showing of sportsmanship by both men after the last cards were dealt out.
2016 WSOP Main Event Final Table Results and Payouts
Each player of the 2016 “November Nine” was guaranteed at least a $1 million payout. Players from the USA were well-represented, as they took down the top 4 spots on the payout roster. There were over 6,700 players that took part in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event this year!
Here is how the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table finished out:
|1||Qui Nguyen||United States||$8,005,310|
|2||Gordon Vayo||United States||$4,661,228|
|3||Cliff Josephy||United States||$3,453,035|
|4||Michael Ruane||United States||$2,576,003|
|5||Vojtech Ruzicka||Czech Republic||$1,935,288|
|8||Jerry Wong||United States||$1,100,076|
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