Kevin MacPhee is a well-known face on the EPT, one of the hard core of American players that has stuck with the tour since certain satellite issues manifested themselves a year ago, but unless you’ve met him in person you’d probably find it easier to spot him by his cap and mirrored shades combo. It’s one of the most photographed on the tour. MacPhee, who won EPT Berlin for €1,000,000 back in March 2010, has long been feted as one of the most likely figures to claim that first historic EPT double – he came close at EPT San Remo where he bust out in 8th for €63,694 – and it’s easy to see why. A successful online player who can also do it in the flesh (so to speak), MacPhee has the practice to back up the theory.
Today wasn’t most glorious of starts for the American who started the day with 45,900, dropped to 35,000 and was moved to Todd Terry’s table where he continued his downward spiral to 22,000. Sensing perhaps the departure of an EPT champ I arrived at his table some 20 minutes before the first break of the day to find that MacPhee had doubled with A♦Q♦ beating top pair all-in on a flushing flop.
Now MacPhee was in the big blind, attentive masseuse rubbing his back, while facing a minimum button-raise to 1,600 from Nikita Nikolaev which had been three-bet to 3,700 by Andre Moreira in the small blind. Macphee flatted out of his 50,000 stack. Moreira looked at MacPhee curiously. Nikolaev looked pretty unexcited with his hand but made the call anyway.
Moreira c-bet 4,800 into the 3♦Q♣A♥ flop and MacPhee, t-shirt moving up and down on his shoulders thanks to the backrub, plucked out a blue 5k chip and made the call. Nikolaev’s story stayed consistent, he mucked his hand.
A second ace, the A♦, appeared on the turn. Both players checked.
The 6♥ seemed a fairly irrelevant river and neither player opted to bet. Moreira showed Q♦10♥ which lost out to MacPhee’s K♥Q♥ to take MacPhee up to 55,000. The dealer stood up to leave and MacPhee threw her a ‘Thank you.’ His mother would be proud. No-one else said a word and – bar Moreira – looked pretty
MacPhee lost a chunk of those winnings the next hand calling a short stack shove, around the same time as across the room Nick Yunis appeared to bust out in a kings versus kings versus queens three-way all-in.
“You know what would be nice,” said MacPhee laconically to his masseuse, “getting my head scratched.”
The cap came off and his hair went up but the hands kept getting played, somewhat more successfully than a sober-faced Todd Terry. Terry, who had started the day with 66,800, opened to from early position and took the blinds, then opened under-the-gun, called a three-bet from Susen Petr and check-called the flop and turn bets on a J♣10♦4♠9♥9♠ board. He was shown kings and mucked.
MacPhee scooped the blinds the next pot before Terry cold four-bet jammed into Andrei Stoenescu’s pocket aces and was sent to the rail.
MacPhee has been a busy boy
“I was in Galway for the UKIPT, then LA for the LAPC – busted in level one – then snap-flew to Canada where I played straight for eight days, went home, came here. It’s been a crazy schedule,” said MacPhee
Those eight days north of the border were well worth the trip as he won eleven online tournaments in little over a week to mark a particularly prolific period in what has already been a very successful poker career.
“It’s one of my best winning sprees. Back in April 2008 I won eight MTTs in a month for $100,000 but this was definitely a good run, but some of the tournaments were smaller. I won the $100r, the $55r, the $55 cubed twice, four EPT seats. It was pretty good, I won like $80k in a week in profit,” said MacPhee, who broke off the conversation briefly to tell McLean Karr that he’d meet him outside.
While this relaxed chilled out version of MacPhee suits him that wasn’t the picture we were treated to throughout much of 2011 where MacPhee went through a torrid run of live tournaments without cashing. Does a flurry of online success make up for when you go cold on the road?
“Online I get 100% of my own action. I sell a lot of my action when I play live so when I go on a downswing live it’s not as bad. When I have a big upswing online like this it’s a big deal because I get all of it. It’s huge.’