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Meet the Final Table of the WPT Choctaw Championship

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Certain venues seem to carry a little extra magic for some players, and when it comes to Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, there aren’t many players who’ve enjoyed as much success as James Mackey.

On Monday night, the 38-year-old Mackey, who cut his teeth in the game in the early days of the Online Poker boom, locked up his third career WPT Choctaw final table in dominant fashion, ending Day 2 with the chip lead and closing out Day 3 in the exact same spot. But as he chases his second career WPT Choctaw title, he’ll have to do so against one of, if not the, most decorated final table in WPT history.

Mackey will have to contend with three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat, who hopes to tie Darren Elias‘ all-time record of four WPT titles; WPT Season I Player of the Year and two-time WPT champion Erick Lindgren; and high roller regular and two-time WPT final tablist Adam Hendrix. Between them, they have 21 collective WPT final table appearances.

The other two players have had their own success on other major stages. Sebastien Aube won a World Series of Poker bracelet back in 2022, and Danny Marx has enjoyed some serious home cooking in Choctaw as well, winning the 2022 WSOP Circuit Main Event at the property followed by a second final table in that same event in 2023.

These six players will meet in Vegas on May 30 to play out the final table in front of WPT cameras at HyperX Arena at the Luxor.

Here’s what they’ll be playing for:

Ahead of one of the most anticipated WPT final tables in recent memory, let’s get to know a little bit more about each of the final six players at WPT Choctaw.

James Mackey – 10,550,000 (84 BB)

Age: 38
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $4,548,836
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $730,740, 1st, 2007 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold’em
Other Prominent Scores: 1st, 2016 WPT Choctaw for $666,758; 3rd, 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $441,128; 6th, 2022 WPT Choctaw for $101,000

Before he ever made a splash in the world of live poker, James Mackey became one of the early breakout stars of the Online Poker era as “”. He racked up over $4 million in lifetime earnings, including a $1,000 PokerStars WCOOP title for $580,213 as part of a breakout year in 2007 at the age of just 21.

That same year, Mackey became one of the youngest WSOP bracelet winners in history when he won what’s still a career-best $730,740 in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas. He has four career Wsop final table appearances, all of which resulted in top-three finishes.

In recent years Mackey has stayed closer to home in Missouri, but he’s made WPT Choctaw a regular stop on his calendar, and for good reason. He won the 2016 edition of WPT Choctaw, and then came back in 2022 and made the final table for a second time. Mackey will be at his fourth career WPT final table, and he’ll have a chance to take over the No. 1 spot on the all-time Choctaw money list with a victory.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 171,500 (68/190)
Day 2: 2,635,000 (1/35)

Adam Hendrix – 8,775,000 (70 BB)

Age: 31
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Currently Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $6,204,492
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $570,671, 5th, 2023 Wsop $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller
Other Prominent Scores: 2nd, 2019 EPT Barcelona €1,100 No Limit Hold’em for $384,231; 1st, 2022 Wynn Summer Classic $1,600 No Limit Hold’em for $257,885; 6th, 2022 WPT Legends of Poker for $119,000

Adam Hendrix is the junior member of the WPT Choctaw final table at 31 years old, but he may well be the most dangerous player of the bunch. He’s a regular fixture inside of the PokerGO Studios and their high roller events, winning four titles along the way.

Hendrix has knocked on the door in major events before, with WPT Choctaw representing his second career WPT final table appearance following a 6th-place finish at Legends of Poker in 2022. He’s also made five Wsop bracelet event final tables, including fifth in last year’s $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller.

Hendrix shot up the chip counts at the very end of the day, eliminating Vladyslav Shovkoyvi in 7th place on the final hand of the night on Day 3, in the biggest pot of the tournament thus far.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 115,000 (T-115/190)
Day 2: 1,250,000 (6/35)

Sebastien Aube – 3,600,000 (29 BB)

Age: 39
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $550,930
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $499,636, 1st, 2022 WSOP $2,500 No Limit Hold’em

It might be easy to overlook Sebastien Aube among this decorated final table, but you’d do so at your own risk. The Canadian pro racked up the bulk of his career live tournament earnings with a 2022 WSOP bracelet victory, and he’ll look to join an elite class of players with both a WPT title and a WSOP bracelet when play resumes in late May.

It was quite a comeback for Aube, who bagged the shortest stack on Day 1A and was the third-shortest player to start Day 2. His 31,000 was considerably less than the 50,000 starting stack, but by the time Day 2 came to a close Aube had climbed into the top five, and never looked back.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 31,000 (188/190)
Day 2: 1,550,000 (5/35)

Eric Afriat – 2,875,000 (23 BB)

Age: 54
Hometown: Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
Currently Resides: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $5,346,155
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $1,081,184, 1st, 2014 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Other Prominent Scores: 1st, 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $651,928; 2nd, 2019 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $465,120; 1st, 2020 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $383,539; 1st. 2024 US Poker Open $15,100 No Limit Hold’em for $288,000; 6th, 2010 WPT Bellagio Cup VI for $118,950; 3rd, 2017 WPT Playground for $82,716; 5th, 2017 WPT Montreal for $75,043

Eric Afriat will be chasing history at the WPT Choctaw final table. He’s one of six players currently tied at three career WPT titles, and he’ll look to tie Elias’ all-time record with a fourth win here. Afriat’s already made some more history just by making the final six; he now has eight career WPT final tables, tying him with Scotty Nguyen for third-most WPT final tables all time behind only Elias (13) and Phil Ivey (9). 

Afriat made his first major splash back in 2014, winning a career-best $1,081,184 along with his first career WPT title at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. His second WPT title came at Borgata in 2018, and then his third came closer to home at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in early 2020.

It’s already been a strong start to 2024 for Afriat as well. He won his first ever U.S. Poker Open title back in April, and made his first career EPT final table in Paris in February.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 816,500 (1/190)
Day 2: 835,000 (15/35)

Danny Marx – 2,375,000 (19 BB)

Age: 39
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $462,759
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $246,820, 1st, 2022 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event
Other Prominent Scores: 7th, 2023 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event for $36,990; 218th, 2023 WPT World Championship for $25,500

Danny Marx will, like James Mackey, put to the test whether or not their respective run-good at Choctaw will carry over to the televised final table in Las Vegas. Marx, a 39-year-old Dallas, Texas local to the property, put the first major stamp on his career résumé in 2022 by winning the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Choctaw. Marx then returned the following year and made that final table again, finishing seventh. Marx’s WSOPC results qualified him for the the WSOP Tournament of Champions in 2023, and he finished eighth in that gold bracelet event.

Marx’s list of WPT cashes is shorter, but he did cash in the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in 2023. A win at WPT Choctaw would be a new career-best mark.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 115,000 (T-115/190)
Day 2: 1,125,000 (8/35)

Erick Lindgren – 1,975,000 (16 BB)

Age: 47
Hometown: Burney, California
Currently Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $10,821,521
Biggest Lifetime Cash: $1,000,000, 1st, 2004 WPT PartyPoker Million III
Other Prominent Scores: 1st, 2007 Aussie Millions A$100,500 High Roller for $795,279; 3rd, 2008 WSOP $50,000 HORSE for $781,440; 2nd, 2013 WPT World Championship for $650,275; 1st, 2013 WSOP $5,000 6-Max No Limit Hold’em for $606,317; 2003 WPT UltimateBet Poker Classic for $500,000; 3rd, 2006 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $282,721; 5th, 2005 WPT L.A. Poker Classic; 5th, 2003 WPT Grand Prix de Paris for $61,656

Erick Lindgren enters the final table of WPT Choctaw as the shortest stack, but even among a final six with some true poker killers his list of accomplishments shines brightly. This will be Lindgren’s seventh career WPT final table and first since his runner-up finish at the WPT World Championship back in May 2013.

Lindgren is a two-time winner on the World Poker Tour , with both of those victories contributing to him winning Season I WPT Player of the Year honors 20 years ago. A comeback victory at this final table would represent the longest stretch between WPT titles in the tour’s history.

End of Day Chip Counts:
Day 1: 288,500 (18/190)
Day 2: 470,000 (25/35)

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