Men Nguyen was born in 1954 in Vietnam. At the age of 13 he became a bus driver in order to support his family. However, because of his strong anti-communist views, living in Vietnam was difficult for Nguyen, so in 1978 he left the country and sailed to Pulau Besar in Malaysia. The same year he received political asylum from the United States and went to live in Los Angeles. 8 years later Men Nguyen became the U.S. citizen.
He got first introduced to poker in 1984 in Las Vegas and although the first years of playing were not very successful, Nguyen eventually mastered the game and in 1987 won his first tournament. From the “Money Machine”, a nickname he got during his early poker years for loosing lots and lots of money, he became “Men the Master” – a respected poker pro and tutor who trained a number of tournament winners. As a teacher he receives a part of his students' winnings. Among Nguyen's apprentices were his cousins David Pham and Minh Nguyen.
The most successful for Men was the time between 2000 and 2004 when he won over 75 tournaments and had more than 120 money finishes. In 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2005 he was named the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year. As of 2010 Nguyen's total lifetime winnings exceed to $9,700,000 which makes him one of the best tournament players in the world.
For many years “The Master” was accused of unethical behavior and cheating like chip dumping and card marking, however none of this was ever proved and Nguyen himself has constantly denied any allegations. The winner of 7 WSOP bracelets says that cheating goes against his religion and that God punishes people who cheat.
In the late 80s Nguyen invested his poker winnings into the dry cleaning business and a furniture store. However, they required to much of his time and didn't bring enough money, so in 1990 Nguyen had to sell them. Still, the businesses allowed Men to meet a lot of Vietnamese people and help them settle in the United States.
Men Nguyen is known to support various charities in his home country Vietnam and donate part of his tournament winnings to those in need. He used the money earned at the 1996 WSOP final table to build a kindergarten in Vietnam.