The past WSOP Circuit winner and WPT runner-up-er was eventually blinded out in 20th place ($16,212) as family and friends frantically tried to locate him, but to no avail. Now pros and online poker forums are speculating that Vinh may have succumbed to drug usage, possibly the gak or crystal meth.
Shane “Shaniac” Schleger, who was just one table over from Vinh on the first day of the event, had this to say on a 2+2 thread:
“I actually think there’s a good chance that the reason VV didnt show up today was because of some kind of incapacitation (whether it be death, hospitalization or whatever). When I saw him yesterday, I couldn’t believe how he looked–he was emaciated and appeared like he had aged years in the course of a month. I’m assuming it’s the result of some kind of hard-drug problem, but I have no real insight.
Vinnie played one table over from me all day yesterday, seeming to hold onto chips the whole day and not missing any opportunities to refer to himself in the third person (“Don’t they know how Vinny Vinh plays?”). It’s almost inconceivable to me that he missed day 2 with the chip lead unless something drastic happened. Also, fwiw, his stack outlasted over 60 players.”
While we thought all poker playing Asians referred to themselves in the third person, Shaniac’s observations of Vinh’s possible drug-induced mental state are backed by comments made by
“I saw Vinny Vinh around the tables yesterday and he looked like he was on a different planet from hard drug abuse. I very much dislike playing with Vinny because of the way he treats other players and dealers, but I really hope that he is found to be in ok shape. It, indeed, must’ve been very serious for a player like Vinh to miss this kind of shot at a bracelet.”
Hop over to 2+2 for running commentary on the Vinnie Vinh disappearance or get the NWP perspective with their “Vinny Vinh Prop Bet” thread.