21-Year-Old Adrian Mateos Wins Second WSOP Bracelet

Mateos Win 7

The Summer Solstice brings the longest day of the year and the aptly-named Summer Solstice event brought one of the longest tournaments of the summer.

With 90 minute levels, it took five days to play down from 1,820 players to a champion. It almost took four days though.

Adrian Mateos and Koray Aldemir were the final two players in the tournament and their heads-up match outlasted all the sunlight the summer solstice had to give.

When the final level of the day ended, players were still embroiled in a hand. The K 7 5 T Q board had a royal flush draw and Koray moved all-in on the river.

Mateos had him covered, but he wasn’t sure if he had him beat.

Late Night, Early Morning

Mateos thought for minutes, rubbed his eyes, leaned back in exasperation and thought some more.

Both rails, who had been cheering in their respective languages, were dead silent.

Mateos Win 5
A frustrated Mateos contemplates the call.

It could’ve ended there, but it didn’t. Mateos folded and the two players came back today at noon.

Koray doubled up early on but he was never able to take over the lead.

Mateos kept hammering away at the Austrian player and eventually got a 11-1 lead over him.

Koray made his final move with ace-deuce and Mateos finished the tournament with a pair of fours.

Mateos, who’ll be celebrating his 22nd birthday in just a few weeks, won his second WSOP bracelet. Mateos won his first before he could legally gamble and drink in the United States.

Back in 2013, a 19-year-old Mateos defeated Fabrice Soulier heads-up to win the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event and $1.3 million.

Koray Aldemir
Summer Solstice runner up, Koray Aldemir 

Even that wasn’t Mateos’s first major victory. Earlier that year he took down the Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event in Madrid and won $137,247 when he was just 18.

The Problem With Poker In Spain

While Mateos started playing poker in Spain, he moved to London because of the limiting Spanish poker scene.

“The problem with Spanish poker is that it’s a two-tiered system,” Mateos said.

“On one hand you have the professionals. We’ve all had to immigrate together and now live together and learn together.

“The skill level for professionals is very good, but at the more recreational level Spain is falling behind.

“It’s a closed market and Spaniards only play against each other in small buy-in tournaments and there isn’t much improvement. I hope they change that."

As of today, Mateos has won about $220,000 for every year he’s been alive. But babies are obviously terrible poker players. Mateos’s $4.7 million in live tournament earnings came in the just the last three years.

That includes the $409,171 Mateos earned today after he won his second WSOP bracelet.

The Secret to Winning

“It’s like a dream come true,” Mateos said.

“And this is my first full WSOP. Last year I only played the Main Event, but I’m here for a full 45 days now. I think the only event I didn’t play was The Colossus.”

Mateos Win 4
A good stare helps too.

Mateos, who only plays no-limit hold’em, didn’t turn 21 in time to play the full summer last year. He still cashed in the Main Event though, he finished 750th and won $15,000.

This year Mateos scored two cashes before his victory.

Mateos finished 12th in the $10,000 NLHE Heads Up Championship and got 24th in a $2,500 NLHE event last week.

Mateos says his secret is simple: imitation.

“I work hard and I always say the best way to get better is to copy the best,” Mateos said. “You gotta study the best players and incorporate it into your game.”

Mateos wouldn’t specify which players he studies, but he says there are a bunch of tournament and cash game players that he looks up to and studies. His goals are simple too.

“I just want to keep playing the best I can at the highest level I can,” Mateos said. “And I want to keep winning a lot of tournaments.”

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