Van Nguyen “The Masteress” ?

We all know the name Men “The Master” Nguyen. Not only has he been one of the leading poker players in the world for more than two decades, he’s the only 4 time winner of the Card Player “Player of the Year”.

During his illustrious career which includes bracelets from the WSOP and WPO, watches from the Hall of Fame and trophies that fill a room in his house, he has been one of the steadiest players in our great game for over two decades. Playing the game isn’t his only passion, teaching is a big part of what makes Men great for our industry so add to those trophies many wins by his many students, like his younger cousin David “The Dragon” Pham to name just one. Teaching is the reason he got the moniker “The Master”.

Men is no stranger to adversity however, having been a refugee from Viet Nam, he’s known his struggles. One of which was getting his wife Van a Visa to leave Viet Nam and to bring his children to the states so his family can be whole.

When Van first arrived she didn’t speak any English. Not speaking the language wasn’t a problem at first because everyone in her household spoke Vietnamese and when Men would take her with him to the Casinos and Poker Events there was always plenty of Vietnamese there to talk to. She was however shy when talking to an American, and she was reluctant to play poker at higher levels till she learned the game

Van as it turns out may be as driven to win as Men, maybe even more. She didn’t take America lying down. She immediately started English classes and today you can talk to her about anything, but she’d rather talk about poker. Somewhere along the line Men must have taught her the game and as it turns out Van ‘The Masterss” Nguyen may be his brightest student yet.

Van started out playing Limit Hold em in Commerce or wherever Men traveled to. You can usually find her sitting in a Limit ring game. Even in the few tournaments she played she usually entered the Limit events. Today that’s all changed.

She entered into the Commerce Invitational and became the first women to win a WPT event in an open field besting over 400 players. A fluke you ask? I think not. She followed up on that performance by finishing 6th in a Bay 101 Shooting Stars event and now has made the final 6 again in the WPTL Ladies event at Bellagio, to be aired on GSN.

When I spoke to Van she told me about the play and how she came to the final table of 10 short handed. She explained how she followed the strategy that her and Men laid out to get into the top 6. Masteress of Poker and English as well.

Men couldn’t be prouder of her and will once again be in the audience to cheer on his latest student and his wife. Good Luck Van and when you get done will you ask Men to teach me!!

Hope that helps,

Warren Karp

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