Catching Up with Mike McDonald
It's been a year since we did an interview with Mike McDonald, the Canadian poker sensation who has racked up over $2.5 million in lifetime earnings despite still being too young to play in the United States. Mike has gotten off to a great start in 2010. He is currently in 3rd place on the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year standings. We caught up with him this week to hear how things have been going for him since we last spoke.
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PokerTips.org: Since we last talked, it appears poker has continued to treat you well. You've gotten off to a great start in 2010 by chopping a $1,500 event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $147,000 and finishing 3rd at EPT Deauville for €295,000. First, let's talk about the PCA event. What was your experience in that tournament and why did you decide to chop with Jeffrey Forrest?
McDonald: I actually almost didn't get to play it. I had made day 2 of the $1k buyin there and finished 19th at like 2:10PM. I then asked if they had closed off late registration for the $1.5k and they said the guy next to me was the last person to get in, but I convinced them to let me late-register (so did 2-3 others, so I wasn't the *last* guy, but close to it). The tournament started out pretty slow and I was short for a while. As we neared the bubble, I started running pretty good (including knocking a guy out who had 1/2 as many chips as me with A2s v AA) and won a lot of other pots to end the day about average with 30 left or so. I came back the next day and right from the start it was going pretty well, and I managed to pick up a lot of blinds as well as win my share of allins to get to the final table maybe 3rd/9 or so. It didn't go so well for a while and soon I was 5th/5. I doubled up 44 v AJ and then eliminated a player A7s v QJ, then another player AK v A7, then another A9 v 66 to be HU with a big chiplead. Jeff was a 2+2er and we had a bunch of the same friends and he was playing really well. He had mentioned chopping earlier and I figured just chipchopping would make losing a lot more tolerable after having a 3.5:1 chiplead.
PokerTips.org: Not even two weeks after that you went to EPT Deauville and finished 3rd in a field of 768. Tell us how close you were to becoming the first ever two-time EPT champion.
McDonald: I was pretty damn close. 4-5 handed I had 10 million chips when there were 23 million in play. I doubled up the eventual winner JJ