Marc McLaughlin arrives at the final table of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event third in chips with 26.525 million (66 big blinds) and hoping to carry even further his third deep WSOP Main Event run in the last five years. The 25-year-old finished 30th in the Main Event in 2009 for $253,941, then made it to 86th in 2011 for a $76,146 cash. His largest career tournament score also came at the 2011 WSOP when he earned $292,634 for finishing third in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event.
McLaughlin's road to the final table began modestly after ending Day 1 with an average stack. But a surge on Day 3 carried him just outside the top 50 with 666 players left, then by the end of Day 5 he had catapulted close to the top of the counts to sit in second position with almost 7 million. A huge hand that day saw McLaughlin grab the lead for a time after using the to best the of Patrick Renkers to win a 5 million-plus chip pot and knock out Renkers in 114th.
After slipping back to below average on Day 6, Day 7 then saw McLaughlin climb up the chip count page once again, along the way claiming significant chips from Sergio Castelluccio (who finished 14th) and one-time chip leader Chris Lindh (who took 16th). A big hand that day saw McLaughlin earn a chunk of Lindh's stack after flopping trip fours with the , a hand on which we later learned from ESPN's broadcast Lindh was holding the .
Hailing from Brossard in Quebec, Canada, McLaughlin hopes to follow the path taken by his friend and fellow Québécois Jonathan Duhamel, winner of the 2010 WSOP Main Event. McLaughlin was on hand at the Penn & Teller Theater then to rail Duhamel, and Duhamel will be returning the favor this time around.
As McLaughlin explained to PokerNews’ Rich Ryan while at the WSOP Europe a couple of weeks ago, Duhamel has offered some general advice to him regarding the long build-up to the November Nine.
“He told me to ‘just enjoy the ride,’” explained McLaughlin. “‘It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You know what you'’e doing.’ It’s good advice.”
McLaughlin's girlfriend, Laurence Grondin, will also be in attendance to support him. She, too, has experienced WSOP success with several cashes including a third-place finish in a $2,000 no-limit hold’em event in 2009. She, Duhamel, and McLaughlin’s other friends will likely together fashion a fun rail for him, as he’s decided to host a costume contest in which the best-dressed among them will be winning a prize.
While McLaughlin has been playing poker for six years, he also considers himself an entrepreneur with business ventures in real estate and the stock market. He lists soccer and ping pong among other interests, as well as designing tattoos for others. That latter pursuit some find curious, as McLaughlin himself sports no tattoos.
“Maybe it’s weird that I don’t want any ink on me, but I want to put it on other people” he told Ryan with a laugh.
When asked, McLaughlin wouldn’t say whether or not he’d be getting a tattoo should he win the Main Event. In any case, McLaughlin definitely hopes to make an indelible mark on WSOP history by becoming the second French Canadian in four years to take the title.
The 2013 WSOP Main Event final table will take place starting Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. Las Vegas time, and you can follow all of the live, hand-for-hand coverage right here on PokerNews.