EPT8 Madrid: Familiar story for McDonald

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Mike McDonald started the day having already amassed an impressive list of EPT results. This is McDonald's eighth cash on the Tour, which is impressive enough. But a closer look reveals that, when McDonald cashes in an EPT, he cashes deep. So far only one of his eight cashes has not come in the last two days of play (the top 24), and even that came close: a 27th in Prague in December.

"I was actually looking at my EPT results this morning," said McDonald at the first break. "A good part of it is run good, a good part of it is that some have been not huge fields - I've never cashed in the PCA where 200 people cash. Also I've had several EPTs where I have a big stack on the bubble and go broke."

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Mike McDonald

"In season 4 at EPT Dublin I actually had almost the final table average and didn't cash. So there are spots where that could have easily been a random min cash. But I tend to try big pots, play fairly aggressive throughout. But honestly, a good chunk of it just sort of running good. It's not like I have some magic secret," he said.

As a best guess McDonald reckons he's cashed in more than a third of the EPTs he has played so far.

"As far as majors, probably half the major tournaments I've played are EPTs," said McDonald. "I've played a lot of 1k WSOPs and random small events, but as far as big 10k events, with good structures; I would say outside of the EPT I probably have maybe eight cashes in big tournaments and only got final table of two of them. It's not the same as these EPTs where any time I cash I seem to at least make a run at it.

Now though it's not about statistics, it's about reaching the final, what would be his fourth. The plan is simple. "End with 6 million chips!"

"Hopefully make the final 16, get a good table draw and hopefully put on the aggression until we get down to the final table."

If and when that happens it will just be the latest chapter of a familiar story.