Matt Matros Wins $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em Championship and $454,853
New Yorker Becomes 55th Player in History to Achieve Three-or-More Gold Bracelet Wins
Former Gold Bracelet Winner Mark Radoja Finishes as Runner Up
Las Vegas, NV (June 10, 2012) – At the rate Matt Matros is winning gold bracelets these days, he may very well become the all-time World Series of Poker victory leader by year 2022.
Matros keeps on repeating himself. Speaking of sounding like a broken record, he won a WSOP gold bracelet for the third consecutive year, which places him into an ultra-elite club of champions. Only six players in history have achieved that milestone. Following previous wins posted in both 2010 and 2011, Matros' golden trifecta was completed on Saturday night at the Rio in Las Vegas, in the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event.
The calm and quiet New Yorker known for his intense focus and scholarly demeanor at the table collected $454,835 in prize money, which attractively garnished a delicious third gold bracelet victory. He topped a formidable starting field totaling 1,604 players and ended up as the last man standing – make that sitting – at the final table which was played on the ESPN Main Stage and broadcast live over the Internet on WSOP.com.
Matros, a 35-year-old professional poker player with interests that go way beyond the game, won his second career WSOP gold bracelet late at last year's series, in the $2,500 buy-in, Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No Limit) championship. The year before, Matros won his first gold bracelet when he beat out 624 opponents in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event.
Matros grew up on Long Island, New York. He earned a degree in mathematics at Yale University. He also received a Masters degree in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence University.
Over the years, he has applied his considerable talents to many things -- including computer science, writing, and teaching. Matros is the author of The Making of a Poker Player, which chronicles his early years transitioning from student/employee into a full-time poker pro.
Matros previously cashed in several major tournaments held elsewhere, including the New England Poker Classic (NEPC), World Poker Tour (WPT), and the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). He also final tabled the second year of the Tournament of Champions (TOC) back in 2001.
Matros has also done quite well at the WSOP, finishing in-the-money 23 times. In 2008, Matros cashed in the WSOP Main Event championship, finishing 78th out of 6,844 players. Two years ago, he cashed in the Main Event again, taking 539th place out of 7,319 entries.
Matros’ triumph today pushes him across the million dollar mark in career WSOP earnings, which currently stands at $1,350,031.
Since Matros is now in the midst of a consecutive yearly win streak, perhaps WSOP schedule makers should starting cutting the number of events by one each year. It might be easier just to ship him a gold bracelet and save everyone else the time and trouble of having to compete in what is becoming the "Matt Matros Benefit Tournament."
MEET THE NEW CHAMPION – MATT MATROS
The 2012 World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em champion is Matt Matros, from Brooklyn, NY.
Matros is 35-years-old. He was born in West Hampton, NY which is located on Long Island.
Matros is married.
Matros graduated from Yale University with a degree in mathematics. He later received an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence University.
Matros is a true renaissance man. He is a writer, teacher, and poker player – with numerous interests and ambitions. Matros wrote a revealing biography called The Making of a Poker Player (published in 2005), which chronicles his early years transitioning from student/employee into a full-time poker pro.
Matros has been working on a novel in recent years. It is not about poker. He says he hopes to finish the book soon.
Matros worked as a software engineer before deciding to pursue a poker career.
Matros was a dedicated poker player long before the poker boom. He final tabled the second year of the Tournament of Champions (2001). He later cashed in several other major tournaments, including the New England Poker Classic (NEPC), World Poker Tour (WPT), and the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).
Matros has been playing poker seriously since 1999 and has relied on poker for the majority of his income since 2002.
Matros has accumulated nearly $3 million in overall career tournament winnings.
Matros has many close supporters who are well-known poker pros. The list includes Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, Andy Bloch, Jerrod Ankenman, Bill Chen, Robert “Action Bob” Hwang, Spencer Sun, Matt Hawrilenko, Terrance Chan, and others.
Matros has regularly attended poker community events including BARGE (Las Vegas), FARGO (Foxwoods), and ATLARGE (Atlantic City). The annual gathering attracts a few hundred of poker’s brightest and most dedicated pros, semi-pros, and aspirants. The BARGE community includes notable poker players such as Andy Bloch, Greg Raymer, Terrance Chan, Bill Chen, Jerrod Ankenman, Steve Brecher, Gavin Smith, and several others.
Matros was a regular player in a private poker tournament played at the home of 2004 WSOP Champion Greg Raymer when he lived in Connecticut. The tournament was known as the "Fossilman Invitational Heads-Up Poker Tournament (FIHUPT)." Matros boasted that he once finished second in Raymer’s tournament -- one of proudest accomplishments.
For this victory, Matros collected $454,835 for first place -- his biggest poker score ever.
According to official records, Matros now has 3 wins, 6 final table appearances, and 24 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
Matros currently has $1,350,031 in career WSOP winnings.
Matros is to be classified as an professional poker player (in WSOP records and statistics).
WINNER QUOTES (POST-TOURNAMENT INTERVIEW)
QUESTION: This is becoming a habit, Matt -- three straight years with a win. How does it feel?
MATROS: It doesn’t even occur to me that I might win a bracelet. Everyone hopes they do, but even winning two the last two years, you never expect to run that good again. Man, I just caught so many cards and came back from some a couple of big hands that I lost, too. I just can’t fathom how lucky I’ve been the last three years here at the Rio.
QUESTION: Maybe it hasn’t really sunk in yet because of the historic ramifications, but with three bracelets, you’re in some seriously elite company now – such as Chip Reese, Barry Greenstein, Sammy Farha, Dewey Tomko and others who each have three wins. How do you feel about that?
MATROS: I would have said it was impossible to win a third one, so I can’t imagine winning a fourth one, a fifth one. I mean, two years ago when I won the first one, I really felt the vindication of my career, the validation. I’ve played so many events so many deep runs that to have finally won one two years ago and then last year was the icing on the cake, I couldn’t believe I won another one. And this, I don’t even know what to think about this. It’s ridiculous. This is beyond…. I thought I was lucky last year. I felt kind of guilty about that. I don’t even know what to think this year. I have to be the luckiest person alive.
QUESTION: What’s your family’s reaction, especially your wife?
MATROS: My wife, Ivy, is not in the poker world. She’s a librarian in New York at the Whitney Museum. She is as stunned as I am when these things happen. Actually, she’s less stunned than I am. She really believes in my abilities and she knows that I’m really good at my job – and this is my job. She trusts that I’m going to come out here and make some money. I don’t. I just assume I’m going to go zero for 25 and lose $250,000 or something. But my wife thinks, ‘oh yeah, Matt’s going out to work and win some money because he’s really good.’ I wish she were here because I miss her when I come out for the summer. We live in New York but, she’s going to be less surprised than I am, but just as happy.
QUESTION: You’re also a writer. Last year when you were interviewed, you mentioned that you were working on a novel. How’s that going?
MATROS: Well, I’m still battling the revision. Last summer, I finished the first draft I got some feedback over the fall and did a bunch of -- I went through the revising -- edited a bunch of stuff and now I’m going back and trying to make it good and it turns out that’s the hardest thing of all -- making it a good work of fiction. Obviously, I don’t get any writing done when I’m out here. I’ve been working long days every day. But, I’m hoping when this is over I can go back and grind it down and actually have a draft that I’m ready to try to sell in a few months. But that may take longer now, but I’m trying not to worry how long it will take I’m just trying to get something that I like.
-- by Nolan Dalla