Men "the Master" Nguyen was denied his eighth World Series of Poker championship bracelet by a 25-year-old law school student from New York.
Jeffrey Papola was the winner of the $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker over the weekend at the Rio.
It was his first career gold bracelet victory and came three days after he finished second in the $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship.
Papola, a resident of White Plains, N.Y., who is in his third year of law school at Pace University, earned $667,433 for winning the event.
He topped Nguyen in heads-up play. The poker superstar from Bell Gardens, Calif., was shooting for gold bracelet No. 8, which would have put him in a tie with Johnny Moss and Erik Seidel. Nguyen settled $360,906.
Nguyen won his seventh bracelet earlier this month when he took the Seven Card Stud championship.
Papola topped a field of 568 players to win his first title.
Papola earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, with a double major in economics and political science. He began playing poker at the age of 18, when he was a student at Rutgers.
This was the fourth year Papola has attended the World Series of Poker and admitted he had some horrible runs in previous tournaments.
“I was, like, 0 for 50,” he said.
After earning an additional $391,068 for his second-place finish a few days earlier, Papola has won more than $1 million this year and may be reconsidering his career choice.
“I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with it (a law degree),” Papola said. “I have learned a lot of things (in school), but as far as practicing law, I do not see myself being able to do that, because I really do not like the 9 to 5 thing. That’s one reason I was so drawn to poker.”