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2010 WSOP Best Bets: Matt Stout
Last year, PokerListings picked its best bets to win a World Series of Poker bracelet and revealed them to the public in advance of the series.
Out of five picks, our very own blogger Jason Mercier managed to win his first of what is sure to be many bracelets to come.
However, our other four choices were shut out. This year, after deciding one isn't nearly enough, we have chosen a line-up sure to be bringing home the bling from Las Vegas this summer.
Erica Schoenberg has been working on her game, so we made her our third pick and this Thursday we will reveal our final 2010 WSOP Best Bet before letting Negreanu tell you his picks to win WSOP gold right before the 2010 World Series of Poker kicks off.
But today, considering he's made a WPT and two WSOP Circuit final tables over the past 12 months, were giving another one of our pro bloggers the chance to carry the Best Bets torch into the WSOP this year:
When Matt "Allinat420" Stout began blogging for PokerListings, he was a young poker pro on the rise.
Now, the 25-year-old from Bayonne, New Jersey is a veteran of the tournament circuit coming off the biggest year of his career and is poised for something great.
"Going into the World Series, I'm feeling really relaxed," he said. "I just feel more comfortable now. I understand tournaments better year by year. I feel like it's all building up and something big should happen this year."
Nothing relaxes a poker player more than success and over the past year, Stout has had a ton of it.
He started out 2009 making third at the WSOP Circuit event in Tunica and spent the spring running deep in several Las Vegas and California based events.
Stout had just three cashes at the 2009 WSOP, but the best was yet to come.
The online results continued to pour in and in October, he ran all the way to 13th in the World Poker Tour Festa al Lago main event.
He got over the hump right away in November, making the final table at WPT Foxwoods and although he finished third there, his big year was hardly finished.
Stout finished off 2009 with a deep run in the WPT Five Diamond, then opened 2010 with a repeat final table performance at WSOPC Tunica and another deep run in the WPT Championship.
He doubled his career earnings in 2009 alone and having pushed over the $1 million mark at the beginning of this year, Stout feels like this WSOP will be his time to shine.
"I'll likely play 20 to 25 events," he explained. "I'll keep a pretty busy schedule. There are times I'll bust out of one event and play another the same day and I'm planning on playing pretty much every No-Limit event out there."
Stout says he'll likely play Pot-Limit Omaha events at the $2,500 buy-in level and under and those who think he's a one or two trick pony should be in for a shock this year.
"I've actually been working on my 8-Game skills a bit, so you will see me in the mixed tournaments," he said. "Probably up to $2,500 - Maybe even $5k."
Attempting to win a WSOP bracelet means committing yourself to the grind and Stout seems to understand that as much as anyone.
"Right before the series I'll be playing FTOPS and SCOOP so I'll be playing a lot online," he said. "But at the same time I'm trying to rest up as much as I can before the series so I can be prepared for the grind."
And once the series kicks off, he will be all business.
"There are not that many special things that I do during the day," he said. "I just worry about going in, getting chips and doing my job.
"I've always been more of homebody who spends his time with smaller groups of friends, so partying too much was never really an issue for me.
"I won't alter anything really. I'll have my girlfriend Amy in town the whole time to take care of everything at home for me - roll everything up for me for the day and whatnot - She's great girl."
But preparation and experience aside, what might give Stout an even bigger edge heading into the 2010 WSOP, is just how much he wants to win.
"I would consider giving up a testical," he laughed. "I'd have to think a little more if it was somehow offered to me, but I think I might do it."