WSOP: Mickey Craft Winning Hearts and Minds of Fans Watching Live


Mickey Craft has spent a good chunk of Day 4 and 5 at the 2017 WSOP Main Event in the ESPN/PokerGO spotlight.

Ever year at the World Series of Poker Main Event, some unknown player bursts onto the scene and grabs the attention of poker fans around the world. Sometimes it’s for “speech play”. Sometimes it’s for antics at the table. And sometimes it’s for a playing style that combines fun with the a real disregard for whatever GTO is.

This year that player is clearly Mickey Craft. The Wilmington, North Carolina native has caught the attention of fans watching on ESPN and PokerGO, including Danielle Andersen, whom he played with earlier in the tournament.

Craft has gladly shown bluffs, overbet big pots and kept his opponents wondering exactly what the hell is going on. Craft isn’t quite sure what to make of all the attention he’s getting.

“I don’t even know how that would even happen,” said Craft, who had his table moved to one of the featured tables after the last break.

Despite not understanding what all the fuss is about, Craft knows his style of play probably flies in th face of what the young pros would consider an optimal approach – especially this deep in the Main Event – but he thinks others should follow his example.

“It’s definitely a loose aggressive style, everybody should play that way, a lot of people worry too much about making the money or advancing and everything, when you should just worry about having fun, play your cards, play the people and just make a time of it,” said Craft.

He’s already seen his chip stack fluctuate in way that might remind some of his younger opponents of their crypto-currency investments and he’s got no designs on tightening up any time soon.

“Not right now. I think I went from two million up to almost five, now I’m down to three. Might be down to two, might be up to seven,” joked Craft.

Even though he’s playing a lot of hands, Craft would still like to make the final table, if only to say he sat in the same seats as some of his poker heroes.

“I just hope to be able to continue it for sure. I would love to be able to be at the final table,” said Craft. “I grew up watching it the last 10-15 years, some of the people that I have looked up to; Daniel Negreanu, the Magician, Phil Hellmuth, even though people don’t like him, those people are just having fun.”

Even though he doesn’t understand why he would have fans at this point, Craft hopes that maybe his devil-may-care approach inspires a few other players to play the Main Event next year and has advice ready for those able to play.

“Don’t go in nervous – first of all, don’t spend $10,000 that you don’t have – and don’t worry about leveling up and things of that nature. You’re playing to win and the only way to win is to stop caring about stuff like that and start playing the game for fun,” said Craft. “Of course play smart and play the people. Once they think you’re loose aggressive and you finally do have something, they’re going to call you.”

At the midway point of Level 30, Craft had 4.6 million, good enough for a top 10 stack.