James '' Mackey

Posted by Bill "zimba" Seibert at 12 May 2011 00:11
James Corwin "" Mackey is a former StarCraft player who has excelled in poker at a very young age. He won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2007 for $730k his first year of legal age. He took second in a mixed games WSOP event in 2008. He has had considerable online tournament success as well, the highlight being winning a $1k World Championship of Online Poker event for $580k in 2007. He won one WPT NLHE evetn at the 2008 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic with a third as the 2009 WPT LA Poker Classic. Mackey has total live and online winnings of over $4.9 million, $1.6 million of which come from live play. Mackey was born in February 1986 in Columbia, Missouri.

Things you might not know:
  • Mackey was an avid StarCraft player in his teens. He was active on TeamLiquid and from prompting from Victor "Nazgul" Goossens, pursued his poker interest more quickly in 2005.
  • Mackey attended the University for Missouri for two years before dropping out to pursue a career in poker.
  • Macked started playing poker in $5 home games in the college dorms with his friends.
  • Mackey lost his initial $50 deposit in 10 minutes of playing, then lost another $50 deposit before he settled down, played safer and started building his bankroll.
  • Mackey initially played cash games but switched to tournaments in 2006 which showed immediate success.
  • Mackey made $150k in the summer after he dropped out further cementing his decision to go pro.
  • Mackey chose "" from the Russian fighter jet and added the .com because mig was already taken.
  • Mackey's best online tournament streak was winning four tournaments in 2 days, 3 of them on one day. His worst streak was playing 37 straight tournaments without a cash.
  • Mackey's WCOOP win took over 19 hours to play.
  • Mackey bought a Corvette from some of his WCOOP winnings.
  • Mackey was only 21 years and four months old when he won his 2007 WSOP bracelet.
  • Mackey doesn't feel he's one of the best players, but rather is skilled at putting pressure on people forcing them into bad decisions and changing gears when necessary.
  • Mackey admires Phil Ivey for his insane skill and work ethic and Phil Galfond for his intelligence and calm and analytical approach to the game.

Mackey shares some thoughts on qualities needed to excel and how to improve...
Discipline, intelligence and emotional stability. I think these are by far the 3 most important qualities a pro needs in order for them to survive in the long run, and I don't believe it's the same whether they are online or live pros.

Discussing poker with friends and watching instructional videos can help both new and intermediate players advance quicker than they normally would. However, there is no quick way to improve and by far the most important thing any player can do to improve is to just practice. To become good you will have to put countless hours into actually playing to really improve.

Mackey videos include an interview after his WCOOP win, some strategy talk and an interview after his WSOP win:

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