If Doyle Brunson weren't still alive, some might say he's been reincarnated in the latest young gun to hit the 2007 World Series of Poker. James Mackey ran over the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship to win the event with Texas Dolly's legendary hand, 10-2 off-suit.
At 21 years and 4 months, Mackey is just barely legal to play poker in Las Vegas, let alone win a major event. But don’t let his teenage Opie looks fool you, he's got serious game.
Originally from Kansas City, Mackey attended the University of Missouri where he studied medicine until deciding to put off his formal education to make a living playing poker.
Prior to his 21st birthday, Mackey was mainly an online player, known primarily as mig.com, with aliases of mig.net or mig.org, depending on the poker site.
He makes regular cashes in big online tournaments for thousands of dollars and one can only imagine what he must be pulling in from the cash games.
James Mackey got serious game
But it's his WSOP bracelet win that is putting him on the radar in the offline poker world. The win gives him the hardware to prove his talent along with $730,740 to add to his bankroll and keep him going until he's ready to return to college.
Mackey made the win look too easy. The final table of the event only took two hours and 35 minutes - the fastest final table at the 2007 WSOP and the fastest since May 2003. In the end it came down to Mackey versus Stuart Fox, who was severely short stacked in comparison.
With 10-2 versus Fox's K-4, the players ended up all-in. The flop dropped Q-9-6, lending no help to Mackey, but then the turn and river brought tens, giving him a set and the win.
Mackey has previously had the backing of other online friends, such as Ryan Daut, winner of the 2007 WPT PokerStars.com Caribbean Poker Adventure, to help him along in his poker career. Now he's got the cash to back himself up.
His plans for the money? "I think I'm gonna buy a Corvette! And the rest, maybe spend it on poker, or maybe invest some of it," he told PokerListings.com.
Our guess is it may be a long time before James Mackey finishes honing his poker game and gives it up to go back to school. You can be sure you'll see his name popping up all over the tournament circuit now that he’s legal to play in the U.S.