Twenty-one year old James Mackey road through a lightning fast final table at the $5k NLH Event #22. He finished off runner-up Stuart Fox, who remarkably played two hands the entire final table as player after player sprinted out the door.
The large buy-in for the most popular form of poker brought out 640 players. By the end of Day 1, a familiar face was second in chips. Tex Barch finished 3rd in the 2005 WSOP Main Event but his results since have been few and far between. His Final Table appearance brought his first WSOP cash since he took home $2,500,000 in 2004.The chip stacks of the Final Table players:
Karga Holt (1.21m)
James Mackey (1.07m)
Nick Schulman (1.05m)
Stuart Fox (718k)
Tex Barch (709k)
Michael Gracz (534k)
William McMahon (524k)
Jan Sorensen (349k)
Michael Binger (240k)
Binger also had a 3rd place in the 2006 WSOP Main Event for $4,123,310, and this was his third deep cash in 2007. His deliberate style has served him well, but his work was cut out for him on the short stack.
Blinds were 15k/30k with a 4k ante, and players would not be required to put the blinds out very often this afternoon. Sorensen quickly doubled through Barch on Hand #4 and set the stage for the wild final table. Barch held pocket kings but Sorensen spiked a queen with . Mackey won the next two pots then Schulman reraised him pre-flop with and pushed Mackey off his pocket sevens.
On the 10th hand, Binger moved all-in from the cut-off and Schulman called with pocket nines. Binger's pocket aces held up, and he at least had a comfortable stack. Three hands later, Karga Holt raised on the button and Schulman moved all-in from the small blind. He called and was dominated, his up against Holt's . looked to end it, but brought four outs to Schulman. gave Schulman the miracle runner-runner gutshot straight; had this been a 10m dive in the Olympics, it would have had a 3.2 degree of difficulty.
The next hand, Binger raised with only to see Schulman re-raise from the small blind. Binger sniffed out a big hand, and folded to Schulman's aces. Hand #16 brought an all-in from Michael Gracz with pocket nines. Mackey called with pocket queens and had Gracz covered. The irrelevant queen on the river was a final kick in the pants, and Michael Gracz was out in 9th ($43,684).
James Mackey was first to 2m in chips. The chip counts:
James Mackey (2.3m)
Nick Schulman (1.1m)
Jan Sorensen (680k)
Karga Holt (650k)
Stuart Fox (650k)
William McMahon (375k)
Michael Binger (300k)
Tex Barch (225k)
Schulman made a move at the blinds from late position with , but Binger had him outkicked with . He moved all-in from his short stack and Schulman doubled him up with the call. Tex Barch moved all-in with his short stack, and his also had a kicker problem when Stuart Fox called with . Each player hit their kicker on the flop, which was bad news for Barch (8th $60,254). For Fox, it was the only time he called at the Final Table.
On Hand #19, McMahon moved all-in from the cut-off with , and Holt showed after the call. Again, the kicker was good as McMahon doubled up when a nine was dealt on the turn. The dealer dealt the cards for the next hand, and this time Jan Sorensen moved all-in from the cutoff. Binger called on the button with , but Sorensen showed . The door card on the flop was , and the spiked set went right through the gut of Jan Sorensen (7th $81,343).
Mackey then raised from the small blind with , only to see Schulman move all-in from the big blind. Mackey called, and he was ahead of Schulman's . His kicker played, and Nick Schulman left in 6th ($108,457). Schulman's greatest success has been on the WPT, where he's cashed four times including the 205 WPT Foxwoods (1st $2,167,500).
Karga Holt felt claustrophobic in the curtained table used for the webcast, so he decided to leave on the next hand. He moved all-in with and Binger turned over . He called, and the jacks held up. Karga Holt went to the cashier, out in 5th ($140,091).
Twenty-three hands, five players gone. James Mackey had the chip lead (3.12m), with Michael Binger in great shape (1.98m). Stuart Fox held steady in third (785k), and William McMahon was last (585k).
The blinds were at 20k/40k with a 5k ante. McMahon's chips dwindled as hands were played, and he moved all-in from the big blind with when Mackey limped from the small blind with . Mackey decided to roll the dice and called, he flopped a seven that turned into a full house when trip threes fell on the board. William McMahon was eliminated in 4th ($194,319).
The chip counts were:
James Mackey (3.35m)
Michael Binger (1.43m)
Stuart Fox (510k)
On Hand #44, Binger raised on the button, then Mackey made it another 360k from the big blind. Binger thought and decided to move all-in for another million, and Mackey saw the chance to get heads-up. He called and showed , which has been a hand rarely on top for players at WSOP Final Tables this year. Binger showed , and he quickly fell behind with came on the flop. sealed the fate of Michael Binger (3rd $295,245), and remaining two players took a twenty minute break.
James Mackey was down to 495k to James Mackey's 5.9m in chips. He had literally played only one hand, and he quickly folded the first three hands, once with a queen when Mackey moved all-in. Mackey looked at his cards and moved all-in on the button, and Fox threw in his final 350k in with . Mackey showed a beautiful hand, , the Doyle Brunson hand that took Texas Dolly to two WSOP Main Event titles. He missed on the flop but two black tens came to complete the board, and the trip tens gave James Mackey his first WSOP bracelet ($730,740).
"I folded my way to 2nd," said Stuart Fox ($448,892). In the process, he earned an extra $400k, the difference between 9th and 2nd. "I sat back and folded, relaxed, and let them play their crazy games.
The 21-year old started playing poker two years ago. "I put $75 into an online account," said Mackey, "and I turned it into $20,000. I then decided to play full-time last year and started focusing on tournaments. I've been traveling and playing more live events since I turned twenty-one." He's now the hottest redhead in the World Series, and he'll have the bankroll to travel wherever he wants to play more events.