Every home game hero dreams of having a really deep run in the WSOP Main Event. For Scott Mahin that dream came true last year. He’s back for another shot and hoping to have as much fun as he did last year.
This time last year Scott Mahin was one of 6,000 or so recreational players taking their WSOP Main Event seat with nothing but a dream and a pile of nerves. But over the course of the first day of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, Mahin managed to remain cool and did something for the next seven days. He bagged chips.
Mahin, from a telecommunications construction supervisor, came to represent every amateur in the field last year. As the Main Event played down to the eventual November Nine, Mahin was still swinging with the rest of the field until he busted in 18th place. Along the way ESPN took a liking to Mahin and followed him around with their camera crews for the final few days until his elimination.
Mahin was eliminated by eventual November Niner Andoni Larrabe. Mahin had flopped two pair and got his money in good against Larrabe’s nut flush draw. Like a Hollywood script gone wrong, the river was unkind to Mahin and his run at the world championship was over.
However, when he returned home to Elk Point, South Dakota last July he was given a hero’s welcome. It was just like he had won the whole thing.
“They had a big party at one of the local pubs and there was a ton of people there and everybody was coming to congratulate me, it was pretty cool to see all the friends and family,” said Mahin.
Elk City has a population of around 2,000. His WSOP success didn’t go unnoticed back home and we’re not just talking about his friends and family. Media outlets, both of the local variety and the bigger city types, were sure to tell the story of Mahin, a local guy done good.
“Sioux City, Iowa, it’s like 20 miles away, they had the TV station did an interview. They were actually there at the party. So they filmed the whole thing and put it on TV that night. The local papers, Sioux Falls and Sioux City, both did pieces,” said Mahin. “It was pretty cool, especially in a little town like that, stuff like that don’t happen.”
After working all winter long, Mahin is back at the WSOP and has been in Las Vegas since late May when it all started. Thanks to his success last year, and the investors he had last year coming back in 2015, Mahin’s played more events.
“I’m not doing as well as I’d like to be. I cashed in the DraftKings 50/50, I got 53rd, so that got my confidence back for this one,” said Mahin. “I played in one of those deep stack things, and I got 17th in one of them. I did alright. You can’t win em all.”
A year removed from his deep run and with a few other WSOP events under his belt, Mahin recognizes this year is a lot different for him.
“I’m a lot more calm. (Day 1) was kind of calm last year because the TV cameras weren’t there and everything yet. But I’m used to it now, so it’s not that big of a deal,” said Mahin. Being used to having ESPN cameras follow you around the biggest tournament of your year is a problem every amateur – and pro – is dying to have. Having lived through it once before, Mahin thinks the key is to find a way to actually enjoy the game
“Just play your game. Play poker. Let the other stuff happen. It’ll happen and it’ll go away and it’ll come. But just play poker. Use that time as your calming time,” said Mahin. “That’s what got me last year, everything else was crazy, I could calm down when I got to the table.”
Having come within nine eliminations of making the 2014 November Nine and being featured in a good portion of the ESPN broadcasts, Mahin is a little bit of a celebrity, and not just back in Elk Point and it’s something he’s enjoying.
“I love having people come up to me. For the last month and a half it’s been crazy. A guy just walked up to me just now and asked for a picture. It was pretty cool, pretty neat,” said Mahin.
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