Number of Entries: 640
Total Prize Money: $3,012,700
Date of Tournament: June 13-15, 2007
WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNER
EVENT # 22 – JAMES MACKEY
The winner of the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship was James Mackey. He is a 21-year-old (aspiring) poker professional from Columbia, MO. Mackey is originally from Kansas City. He attended the University of Missouri for two years.
Mackey studied medicine at UM. He took a leave of absence between his sophomore and senior year to play poker. He has supported himself for about a year since then, and will no doubt have a much bigger bankroll now after winning this event. First place in this tournament paid $730,740.
Mackey stated he intends to return to school at some point in the future. However, he has found poker to be so lucrative that he wants to concentrate on improving as a player for a time before deciding what to pursue in terms of an education. He plans to keep calling Columbia, MO his home.
Mackey was supported by a core group of poker players who met online. He is well-known in the online community. He is the third-youngest WSOP winner in history. At 21 years and 4 months, Mackey is a bit older than Jeff Madsen and Steve Billirakis (21 years, 11 days).
The final table included two finalists from each of the last two $10,000 buy-in main events and two former gold bracelet winners. But it was the youngest, least-experienced player who seized the third-highest payout at this year’s World Series, amounting to nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
Mackey made it look almost too easy. This was the fastest final table of the year and the quickest WSOP finale since May 2003. The finale table was played in a lightening-fast 2 hours, 35 minutes. His winning hand, 10-2 offsuit on the final hand is legendary for its significance. It is the hand associated most with two-time world champion Doyle Brunson, who won both of his titles with the identical hand. Time will tell if Mackey is another Brunson in the making.