Hoa Manh Nguyen, the infamously slippery World Series of Poker 'bubble boy' was finally captured over the weekend in Sunnyvale, California and will be extradited to the €2 million guaranteed Irish Poker Open held in Dublin over Easter Weekend 2007.
Mr. Nguyen will be charged with being the 'unluckiest poker player of 2006' after being the last person eliminated from the WSOP main event before the money.
Under cover of darkness he was whisked away by Paddy Power Poker's crack internal security unit muttering "If it wasn't for those pesky kids... "
His defence is expected to argue that he is guilty of nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. "Actually he got quite lucky by winning a trip to Ireland and free entry into Europe's most historic poker tournament," said his defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran.
Paddy Power, spokesman for the Irish bookmaking and online poker room said, "We called in a lot of favours to solve this mystery and would like to thank Thomas Magnum, Jim Bergerac, Interpol, Inch High Private Eye, the blonde one from Charlie's Angels, Benjamin Matlock, Jim Rockford, Dempsey and Makepeace, TJ Hooker, Charlie Chan, Mr.Moto, Max from Hart to Hart, Piet Van Der Valk, Jake and the Fatman, Theobald Kojak, The Men from U.N.C.L.E, , Dixon of Dock Green, Petrochelli, Randall, Hopkirk (now sadly deceased), Remington Steele and Hong Kong Phooey. We owe you one guys."
However, it was Blue Square's personable private dick Jonathan Rabb (with the help of Harrah's PR team) who saved the day when his Poker Player newspaper column threw up a lead which eventually led to the capture of Mr. Nguyen.
"Posing as a journalist I tricked Hoa into emailing me. He fell straight into my...erm... honeytrap." beamed the slightly unsure sleuth Rabb.
"His email said 'I am Hoa Manh Nguyen, aka the Bubble Boy, and I read your article in Poker Player. Thanks for mentioning me. I was amazed to see that an offer has been made for me to go to the Irish Open and I am pleased to attend.' My ruse worked delightfully and now I'm in line for a deserved promotion and a staggering pay raise."
Sadly for Paddy Power Poker's own inhouse flat foot things didn't end so delightfully. Operations boffin Karl Hutson was dispatched to Las Vegas during the main event, tasked with finding the bubble boy, but failed embarrassingly.
"He's being demoted to a desk job," scowled Paddy Power. "He was worse than useless. ESPN cameras captured him on the wrong side of the room scratching himself inappropriately when the bubble burst (which he later tried to deny)."
"Then he went AWOL altogether. When he got back to Ireland he was borrowing money from everyone for weeks and kept falling asleep at his desk. What a disgrace."
The 26th Irish Open, which will be filmed for TV, will be the biggest in Europe with a €2 million guaranteed prize pool and a capacity for 700 players paying €3,300 (+€200 reg) to play over Easter Weekend 2007 in Dublin's Burlington Hotel against the best players in the world.Back to February 2007 NewsBack to Poker News Index