The Berlin Experience: A Confident Kevin MacPhee Leads 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event
As the penultimate day of the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event rolled on in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, and the field was whittled down to just two tables remaining, American Kevin MacPhee continued to build a chip lead and his booming confidence with it.
MacPhee actually has a ton of reasons to feel good playing in this part of the world. While he's been traveling the world playing poker for the better part of the past decade, collecting some $4,281,805 in live tournament earnings, his biggest success came right here in Berlin when he took down the EPT Germany €5,300 Main Event for €1,000,000 back in 2010.
He also had a deep run at the same event in 2012, finishing 19th, and told PokerNews on a break in play that Berlin is just simply a good fit for him.
"It's a city that fits my vibe," he said. "It's a 24-hour city and pretty liberal. So I usually find that good balance between partying and relaxing and also working pretty hard. It seems like the city fits me pretty well."
Feeling at home in a city breeds confidence, and in poker, confidence breeds success. MacPhee came into the WSOP Europe Main Event having already booked two small cashes in WSOP Europe prelims. He also managed to win his first bracelet at the 2015 WSOP in Las Vegas this past summer, adding to his confidence boom.
"Confidence really just comes with proper execution and knowledge," MacPhee explained. "I've just been there and done that before. I've been on tour for the past seven years and it has been a good year this year, so a lot of confidence comes from that. I've had three final tables at the WSOP the past few years, won a bracelet, came second in an EPT last fall, got a fourth in a WPT and just came off a High Roller final table in Barcelona. I've got a lot of experience, and my experience gives me confidence, so it's not false in any way."
With a big stack and a spot among the leaders, MacPhee says he will chase a spot on the final table of six by adjusting to what his table offers.
"It just depends on the game dynamics," he said of his strategy in the playdown to the final. "You shouldn't really have a set game plan, especially when it comes to ICM considerations. You need to be aware that the short stacks are desperate and looking to re-raise all in or re-shove on you when you are opening a lot. So if you just tighten up your ranges when they are on your left, that's a pretty good strategy. But if it's medium stacks on your left, you might want to open up your ranges.
"I'm just trying to play by feel and how the game dynamics are changing. Stack sizes are always changing, so I'm just trying to be aware of it and that's guiding my play."
And although an €883,000 first-place prize and WSOPE Main Event glory awaits the winner here, MacPhee says he's taking it one hand at a time.
"I'm not really focusing on all that," he said. "I'm just trying to make good decisions and execute. You can't really control the way the cards fall sometimes, but you can control your decisions and I'm just focused on that."
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage.