2007 World Series: His face rings a bell

Gavin Mackay: big hands, right on cue

by Simon Young

As I wound my way around the groaning (as in full, not moaning, although some are a little grumpy) Amazon Room I spotted one face that looked vaguely familiar. A few steps closer and I realised it was telesales boss Gavin Mackay, who knocked me out of a $60 tournament at our hotel three days ago. Gavin, 26, from Manchester in the UK, is here for the second year running, this time after qualifying in a $33 rebuy on PokerStars.

I'd like to say our first encounter in that mini-tournament was a success. Well, until he sat down it had been, as I was doing nicely in chips with 14 or so of the 62 runners surviving. But then he raced into the chip lead after hitting cards like a maniac: A-A, K-K, J-J - in fact, everything bar Q-Q. So when, on the button, he raised my big blind he had, just had, to be on the steal - so I pushed with my A-J. He insta-called, turning over... Q-Q. Typical.

Anyway, as I stood by his table for a while today, he was embarking on another of those sweet runs. With blinds at 100-200, he raised to 1,200 and picked up the pot with no resistance. Next hand he elects to call, three others join in. The flop came 2-K-Q, two diamonds, and after a player bet 700, Gavin raised to 2,700. Called. On the turn of 7 clubs he pushed all in and took down the pot. On the very next hand he was at it again, re-raising all in to the ten-seat's raise to 1,000. Again he took the pot. Next hand, he picked up the loot again after betting into a 10-8-2, all-spade board.

Finally, he folded a hand, allowing me to have a brief word. "I'm glad you showed up," he said. "I've been folding all the time up until now, and then I go on a nice little run when you arrive! I'm up to nearly 30,000 so it is going well. I want to do better than last year when I finished 411th for about $30,000. That was a good summer because I picked up $10,800 at the Bellagio Cup as well."

I left Gavin - "Shooter McGavin" to his pals - to get on with his power game. The folks at the telesales company he runs will know he is good at calling, but boy, can he raise, too.

Meanwhile, just along the aisle, Vicky Coren is being her usual chatty self at the table. You may remember Vicky, wearing PokerStars colors today, won the EPT London last season in her home casino, captivating many with her table banter, and pocketing $940,000. Nothing has changed, as today she is at it with equally-verbal Norwegian pro Age Spets. Vicky puts in a raise...

"Are you raising in the dark?" Age asks.

"I may be mad, but not that mad," Vicky chuckles, before checking her cards to confirm exactly what she was holding.

It worked, and she hauled in another pot, to keep her roughly around her starting stack of 20,000.
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in