April 25, 2004 03:56 PM US Eastern Timezone
Grad Student & Author Matt Matros Adds New Chapter to His Book with $706,903 Winnings
CURACAO, Netherlands Antilles--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 25, 2004--
| Sarah Lawrence Student Wins Third Place in World Poker Tour Championship After Entering from a $100 PartyPoker.com Satellite Tournament
Matt Matros is 26-years-old and has already written his first book about poker -- but the final chapter is about to be re-written.
Matros, a graduate student in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, finished third in the World Poker Tour Championship, winning $706,903, after entering a $100 satellite on PartyPoker.com. Matros has already written The Making of a Poker Player, what he calls a "poker narrative," to be published by Citadel Press, but clearly his experience in Las Vegas at the WPT Championships will merit a new ending.
He played consistent and smart poker against a table of top players, only outlasted by poker pros Martin Deknijff of Sweden and Hassan Habib of Downey, CA.
The prepossessing young man from West Hampton has been playing poker for most of his life, tutored by his father, also a faithful PartyPoker.com player. But while at Yale, getting an undergraduate degree in math with honors, he began to seriously brush up on his poker skills, utilizing the game theory and probabilities skills learned in the classroom, practical skills at the poker table, and books by experts.
Since then, he has played "semi-pro" poker, earning enough money online and in tournament poker to finance his entire tuition in his second year of grad school. When not going to classes and playing poker, he is either writing a novel or acting as supervisor to student residence advisers at the college. He will graduate in May, 2004, with a Masters in Fine Arts, and then embark on a writing career financed by poker winnings.
It would seem that superior math and creative writing skills are not often found in the same person, but Matros says: "There's a certain logic to story telling and a certain logic to math. They are more alike than people realize."
However no amount of imagination would have given Matros the wildest notion that he would end up at the final table of the World Poker Tour Championship, knocking out the game's top championships, ultimately to make the final six alongside his best friend and poker mentor Russell Rosenblum of Bethesda MD, who ended up fifth. The student outlasted the teacher.
Matros entered the PartyPoker.com "Trip to Las Vegas" satellite for $100, never having won more than $5,000 in any online or bricks-and-mortar tournament. He was victorious in that tournament, entitling him to play in a super satellite in Las Vegas at the Bellagio, an event that ended up being the largest super satellite in history at a land-based casino. Winning that tournament, he earned a seat in the WPT Championship, along with 342 other players, competing for an $8.3 million prize pool.
After the second day, he started well back in the pack with $33,800 in chips. By the third day, he was 17th, with $239,000. On the fourth day, he had $714,000, but when it came to the final table, he had climbed all the way to second with $3,860,000. Along the way, Matros knocked out "The Professor" -- the legendary world champion Howard Lederer and two-time WPT tournament winner. Ironically, it was Lederer that took him out of the PartyPoker.com Million II in 2003.
A gutsy player willing to courageously challenge the experienced veterans, Matros found himself at the final table with Rosenblum beside him. "It kills us to play against each other," he says, "but we'll never go easy or let up."
"I still can't wrap my head around making it to the final table," he said. "It's just a dream come true. With my best friend and poker mentor sitting in the very seat next to me -- what are the odds of that happening? It's just unbelievable."
Matros believes that players who learn poker online at PartyPoker.com have an advantage of some of the long time veterans who may be set in their ways. "Sometimes the right hand is not the traditional hand. Traditionally, if you have the best hand, you raise or call and then fold if you don't. But if you learn online at sites like PartyPoker.com, you'll soon figure out that it's more about the odds and the range of cards in the hand ... It's really about your equity, not about the best or worst hand."