Meet Your Canadian November Niner, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin


Marc-McLaughlin-2013-WSOPIt’s been a few years, (Duhamel’s win in 2010), since Canada has been represented at the final table of the World Series Of Poker $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship final table, but thanks to Quebec’ Marc Etienne McLaughlin, that dry spell is over; we will be represented in the 2013 November Nine!

With all this excitement still a few months out, we wanted you to meet our 2013 “November Niner”; for those who may still be strangers to Marc-Etienne “@Go_Irish_Go” McLaughlin; we caught up with the 25 year old player for a quick introduction and some light questions….

CP: “Let’s start off by getting to know a bit about “Marc E.” For starters, your last name, your Facebook cover photo of the Irish flag, your mention of celebratory Guinness and a Twitter handle of @Go_Irish_Go…we are going to go out on a limb here and guess you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”

“Your obviously a proud French Canadian, but we are sensing you might have another strong contingent of a certain nationality in your cheering section?”

Marc E: “This comes from a long time family and friends tradition. Everybody used to make up names with my last name’s ‘MC’ (prefix), which is from my Irish ancestry. My great, great grandfather was a pure Irish and I’ve always liked to keep true to my Irish roots. Also, even since I was really young, I always dreamed of visiting Ireland which I’ve now been able to go to do twice so far.”

“It all stuck, and I continued to mixed things up with my poker nickname, which was ‘Captain Irish’, then turned into ‘General Irish’ and many of my friends just simply started calling me ‘Irish’. Oh and of course, when I turned 18, (or shush, maybe even a little earlier), I discovered Guinness and all its benefits!” (laughs)

CP: “Rowdy Québécois and Irish at the same and time, do you think Vegas can handle this? Will this be a rail safe for TV?

Marc E: “I hope to get a lot of ‘green’ supporters cheering along. It’s already a given that the expectation from Québec’s rail will be very high. We have one of the most craziest reputations and hopefully, it will keep going this way. I will probably make up something, like a contest, to give a prize to the best performance on the rail or costume.”

CP: “In another interview, you mentioned feeling you ’had an edge 7 handed’; Can we assume you are a short-handed poker specialist? Cash games maybe…care to explain further?”

Marc E: “When you have a good feeling on the table and are calling the shots; the fewer the players, the better it can turn out. You can play more hands and since your in total control, the players tighten up, and you just put on the pressure, be aggressive and rack chips up!”

CP: “We’ve noticed cash game players seem to do exceptionally well in the Main Event, most likely because of deeper stacked play, your thoughts?”

Marc E: “It is very true. Pro tournament players have an edge in tournaments that are not as deep as the Main Event; they have the skills and knowledge to play with fewer big blinds. In a structure as deep as the main event, you often have much deeper stacks and it’s more like a cash game. You see more post-flop plays leading up to the river, which is completely comfortable for cash game players.

CP: “Any other major events on the world circuit, or here at home, that are your favorites?”

Marc E: “To be honest, I don’t play many larger circuit events. The only big one I play is the World Series of Poker Main Event and few WSOP side events.”

CP: “Before making this final table, what poker milestone were you most proud of?

Marc E: “Definitely my 3rd place at another WSOP side event, a No Limit 1500$ back in 2011. That was very exciting, because my good friend Gabriel Morin was also on the final table, and all of our friends were there to support both of us. It was very special and also kind of funny at the same time to see our friends not knowing who to root for! (laughs)”

CP: “Everybody will certainly be asking about Jonathan Duhamel and whether he will be mentoring you going into November, as you two are said to be good friends. Obviously you can both talk strategy, but will you look to also seek his advice on becoming an ambassador for the game?”

Marc E: “Jonathan will surely help me in dealing with my final table and the ‘fame’ that comes with it. I need his advice about what will be going on with the media and everything related to it, because I simply have no idea. I am not a person who seeks the spotlight at all, so I will have a little work to do.”

“Unfortunately, I am not looking to take a poker ambassador role, although I know will have some responsibilities that will come along with this. Whatever happens, I will keep working on my business, as it has always been the bigger part of my life. I will still play poker as well, because I like the game a lot, but more as a hobby. Anyway, I think we already have the best ambassador Québec can have, and I will gladly let this role to Jonathan, whatever happens.”

CP: “Is it helpful to you to have a long-time girlfriend, Laurence Grondin, that is also so deeply involved poker? Having both of you on the same page and understanding all aspects of what is involved must have also been an edge in your progress?”

Marc E: “Of course! I could not see myself with a girlfriend that does not understand the game, and especially what is going on with this deep run. We try to talk about other stuff beside poker when we are not on the felt, although sometimes we have no choice.”

“It helps that we can know what the other one is going through, in the good and bad times. We are always there to support each other.”

CP: Any “theme” or catch phrase planned for those coming out to sweat you in the fall; Jerseys, T-Shirts, maybe something we on the virtual rail can practice chanting?

Marc E: “For sure!’RETARDO NO FOLDO!’, as the Italian rail has already told me in a mean way beginning on Day 7. My friends and I have been saying ever since that this should be my new nickname, mostly because we thought it was hilarious! We will of course also come up with a ’theme’ for the rail, surely involving something green/Irish!

     While you don’t see his name everyday on chip count lists and live reporting from events across the globe like some “regs”, when Marc E. does take a seat at the table, he clearly comes to play; this is the third time he has cracked the top 100 of the WSOP Main Event, McLaughlin making deep runs players dream of every year since 2009.

His persistence has now already paid off in a big way and he is guaranteed to at least double his previous career tournament winnings of 3/4’s of a million dollars. Sitting as the 3rd largest stack however, and with a carefree and confident attitude, we love his chances of taking the whole thing down for the more than $8.3 million with the World Champion title and claiming the king of WSOP bracelets still to be won.

We can’t wait, and thank you for your time Marc-Etienne and we’ll be cheering come November; Go Irish Go!

*photo PokerNews
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Jon Harnish
35 year old recreational player, husband and father of three from Calgary, Alberta. Enjoy lower stakes cash games including PLO and limit Omaha 8. Any of the micro-stakes HORSE games will play online MTTS and SNGs. Live, Tournaments and Satellites up to $550. I love the game but am far to social to take it seriously and sometimes give up a little to much information at the table because I enjoy discussing the game, so decided it was safest for my bankroll to take up writing about the game. That way I still get to meet the cool people and opinions on the game, but with a little less risk. Writing wise, currently a regular contributor to Poker Pro Canada, like to write profiles, previews and recaps the most. formally wrote for Canadian Poker Player Canada. My Poker Blogs have been featured on CardPlayer Social and SpadeClub as "Recommended" or in newsletters on several occasions and Pokerweblogs as "Blog of the Month". Past projects included organizing and promoting major events with the Canadian Poker Tour, introducing Big Slick Poker Tour to Southern Alberta and directing events and finals.


  1. Thanks for reading PokerFan and Ty for all the feedback. Things get a little rushed some days. Hope those got caught before print…


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