High profile poker pro Scotty Nguyen issued a long and rather rambling apology this week when his provocative and discourteous conduct at the World Series of Poker resurfaced on ESPN television, and subsequently video clip sharing site YouTube, triggering a storm of public criticism and complaints.
Dubbed "The Prince of Poker," by his fans, Nguyen's televised antics were apparently less than princely.
The incident occurred some months back when Nguyen faced off against Michael DeMichele and Erik Lindgren in the closing stages of the Chip Reese Memorial $50 000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the World Series of Poker. The less said about Nguyen's allegedly drink and frustration fuelled foul language and conduct, the better. Although it went unpunished by the tournament organisers at the time, it was sufficiently bad to anger viewers, many of whom apparently communicated their disappointment to him directly, motivating his widely emailed apology.
The email came from Nguyen's personal email address and repeatedly apologised, asking for understanding of the circumstances surrounding the event.
"Keep in mind this was a five day event, with an almost fourteen hour final table that was reduced to two hours of air time including all the commercial breaks. With that being said, as you can imagine, more took place than what made the final cut for t.v.," Nguyen wrote.
"Last year's Main Event I made the mistake of letting someone get under my skin, of which overtook my mental focus of the game, and cost me my tournament along with a lot of disappointment amongst my fans and peers. This year, I needed redemption of my own 2007 Main Event demons to prove to myself that no one would get to me again.
"This tournament was too important for me, the trophy, the fifth bracelet, and history, my head was zoned in for this event, and for that time, I forgot the fans were watching me. I said things I shouldn't have said that have disappointed you, and I apologize for my actions.
"Bottom line, I only ask for you to please understand and remember that I, Scotty Nguyen, the Prince of Poker is still a human being, just like all of you. I too have good times, bad times, sad times and angry times, just like everyone else in this world, and I hope you can understand that. I do promise to all the fans that no matter what, from now, I would never disappoint you again any which way. I forgot about the fans, and only focused on me. I am sorry."