Mike McDonald definitely furthered his poker legend more this year, grabbing runner-up finishes in the 2014 PCA Main Event ($1.06m) and 2014 Aussie Millions $100k ($1.34m) while also taking third in the Aussie Millions $250k ($1.7m). This year also saw him cross the $10 million threshold in live tournament winnings. So considering his resume, McDonald is definitely somebody who interests the poker world. And players recently got a chance to chat with the Canadian pro through Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) section.
With this session lasting an hour and plenty of players posing questions, we won’t list everything. But below you can find some of the more-interesting questions and answers from McDonald’s Reddit AMA:
1. When you won that large an amount that early on in life, did you devalue money?
2. Did you ever have a “goddamn, I’m a degen” moment?
McDonald: 1) A little bit- I think I overvalued money a lot as a kid. I used to walk 20 minutes every day to pay $0.25 less for worse pizza at lunch when I was making like $40/hour online, so I think poker made me much much less of a life nit 2) As mentioned in the OP, earlier this year after my big scores in Australia I owed over 2million to my investors and all my debts were written in pencil on a hotel laundry sheet. I have a lot less degen stories than a lot of other poker players, but still some pretty degen ones. I’ll post more as I think of them.
1. How would you react if I told you mid-staredown that it gives me an erection?
2. Do you think any of the oldschool live pros like Esfandiari or dnegs could beat low/mid stakes online?
McDonald: 1) It happens somewhat often. I’ve stared down enough people that I’ve pretty much seen it all. I think I probably laughed the first time someone said they had an erection but am now usually able to stay stone faced 2) Ya I think so, especially with practice.
As a follow up, how chilled are investors in the poker sphere with regard to being paid back?
McDonald: Ridiclously chilled out. The guy who basically backs half of the nosebleed community for super high rollers is about my age and the friendliest guy imaginable.
What got you into poker? Did you start out using real money? If not, what made you switch and when?
McDonald: I played for play money at the very beginning but I quickly moved to playing for very small stakes online. I think poker is effectively only a good game when you can win or lose “something” whether it be money, prestige, points on a ladder etc. I think just playing play money online where people can reload at will has little value.
How does your typical day look like? Do you play any poker nowdays?
McDonald: When at live tournaments I basically play poker 40-60hours a week and fill all my remaining time with lifting and rock climbing.
At home I am similarly busy during SCOOP/WCOOP but other than that I just play ~12 hours every Sunday and then throughout the week I do much of the same, spend a lot of the time with my friends/family/girlfriend, I’m over the top addicted to this video game Prismata that my friends built and basically replace poker time with Prismata time when I’m home.
What is the scummiest thing you’ve been a victim of a) at the poker table (e.g. angleshots)? b) off the table (e.g. scams)?
a)McDonald: Lots of varying degrees of collusion but nothing sticks out too much. I’ll come back to this if I remember anything. I guess one satellite where one table all agreed to pass the blinds around so none could bust was pretty unethical. Generally poker tournaments are reasonably well run so there aren’t too many big scams
b) off the table- probably being on the epic poker league ethics committee. I’m not used to having people lie to my face and found each meeting to be emotionally draining as I felt I was just being lied to non-stop.