By Joseph Smith Sr.
Marc McLaughlin began playing professional poker six years ago and has collected more than $670,000 from live tournament play. He can now add at least $733,224 to that total after making the November Nine. Returning to the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in November will place him in seat 6 behind the 3rd largest stack of chips among the nine players at T26,525,000.
Like many of the young poker professionals, Marc McLaughlin begin playing the game a short 7 years ago and quickly realized that he could generally beat his friends and was the top earner in the nickel –dime games in his garage. He assumed that if the cards break even and he could usually win then he should translate that ability to bigger stakes in cash games and tournaments. His play history says that was a great assumption.
Marc McLaughlin comes from Brossard, Quebec in Canada and could become the second French Canadian to win the WSOP Main Event. Jonathan Duhamel became the first French Canadian poker player to take down the coveted gold and diamond bracelet in the 2010 WSOP tournament. McLaughlin’s close friend, Jonathan Duhamel, will be his primary coach for the upcoming event and not only will he provide poker strategies, he will also school the young player in the proper methods of dealing with the November media rush.
Having played the previous four WSOP Main Events and cashed twice, 30th place in 2009 for $254,941 and 86th in 2011 for another $76,146, McLaughlin is no stranger to the payout line at the WSOP cage. In 2011 he also carded a 3rd place finish in Event #10 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed) and was paid $292,634 for his biggest career cash before making this year’s November Nine.
An aggressive style of play is McLaughlin’s poker trademark. The normally quiet and reserved young player is one of the most aggressive and unpredictable players at this year’s final table. The only player that comes close to his ruthlessness with the cards is the man with the most chips, JC Tran. The first of the two days of play in November will see battles between Tran and McLaughlin that no doubt will include the final table’s second largest chip stack, Amir Lehavot. Look for one of the three players to suffer an early elimination from the contest.
Day 5 of the July event saw Marc McLaughlin in the top spot on the chip leader board with T6,075,000 just before the evening dinner break. By the end of the day the French Canadian had T6,695,000 in checks to finish in second place just behind Sami Ruston with T7,050,000. Many players consider not being the Day 5 chip leader a break since previous Day 5 chip leaders are traditionally eliminated on Day 6. Sami Rustom left the card party during the third level of play on Day 6 and received $185,694.
Why does McLaughlin believe this is his year to win it all? He now has developed the patience to vary his aggressive style depending on the particular spot at any given time. He also plays to win, always. Whether he’s playing in a $360 WSOP Circuit event or the $10,000 WSOP world championship he wants to win.
His aggressive play and accompanying cockiness brought undue attention from some of the other players at this year’s WSOP Main Event, particularly the Italian contingent. As McLaughlin proceeded to march up through the chip ranks on Day 7, they coined a nickname for him, “Retardo No Foldo.” Of course they will have to yell the tag from the rail since no Italian player made the 2013 final table.