Matt Giannetti Ready to Rock WSOP Main Event Final

Matt Giannetti
After seven years playing poker Matt Giannetti is hitting his stride in tournaments in 2011.

November Niner Matt Giannetti is brimming with confidence from his victory at WPT Malta in August and he’ll be riding that momentum into the biggest final table of his life in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Almost four months ago Giannetti joined the 2011 November Nine by outlasting 6,856 players over the first eight days of the WSOP Main Event.

Making the final table guarantees him at least $782,115, but he’s got his sights set squarely on the title of world champion and the $8.7 million that goes with it.

“I want this more than anything else I’ve ever wanted,” Giannetti told at the WSOPE in Cannes.

“It’s every poker player’s dream and I’ve been doing this for seven years,” he said.

Originally from Austin, Texas and now living in Las Vegas, the 26-year-old Giannetti is a very well-rounded poker player with a solid live tournament record and a successful history playing high-stakes cash games both live and online.

The Texan has been making deep runs on the WPT and WSOP since getting his start on the big buy-in circuit in 2006, but he’s had trouble breaking through into six-figure score territory.

In tournament poker the difference between making the final few tables and winning is enormous and nowhere is that fact more apparent than on Giannetti’s tournament rap sheet.

But even though the roughly three-quarters of a million dollars he’s already got locked up at Sunday’s final table represents his biggest tournament windfall, he understands that a lot more is waiting at the top of the payouts.

“It’s definitely starting to sink in that it’s coming up so quickly so I might be feeling a little anxious,” he said.

“The best way I know to deal with it is to just put in as many hours as I can to prepare for it, so the day of the event if anything I’m over-prepared."

Matt Giannetti
Matt Giannetti will come face to face with the biggest opportunity of his life this weekend.

Giannetti is one of three very talented American poker pros at this final table.

He’ll be joining Ben Lamb and Phil Collins in an attempt to keep the title of world champion in North America for another year.

And although the 2011 November Nine may not be brimming with mainstream poker star power, it’s been called one of the toughest final tables in history.

Giannetti, Lamb and Collins are the main reasons for that assessment.

“All I’m really thinking about is doing as well as I can when the time comes,” said Giannetti.

“Once I’m back in Vegas I’ll be doing some specific things to get ready.”

Giannetti was quick to point out all the ways he’d be able to brush up on his opponents in the weeks leading up to this weekend’s final table.

Instead of being forced to compile video from the ESPN broadcast themselves, the WSOP has furnished each member of the November Nine with every scrap of available footage of the final table players.

“ESPN has sent us all the video that’s available on all the players, so everyone’s on a level playing field,” said Giannetti.

“So there’ll be a ton of video to go through as well as talking in person with friends who have experience with these players.

“I’ll be talking as much strategy as I can with people I know and whose games I respect,” he said.

But even though everyone will be working with the same video footage, there are ways that players might be able to gain an edge in their preparation.

“There might be research as far as finding out who’s working with who, and get a feel for how their games might have changed since the last time I saw them,” said Giannetti.

“But I think it’s so player specific, not only do they have to know the players, they have to know how these other players view me in order to understand how I need to play against them.”

All the preparation and all the research Giannetti has been able to pack into the last four months will be put into action this weekend as the WSOP Main Event plays from nine to three on Sunday.

Giannetti’s goal is to walk into that room armed with everything he can lay his hands on.

“If I can say on the day of the final table that I did everything I could to prepare then I don’t think nerves are going to be a problem,” he said.

Follow the action from the 2011 WSOP Main Event final table live with right here.

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