About Matt Matros

Matt Matros
Name Matt Matros
Current Residence Brooklyn N.Y.

Matt Matros enjoyed an introduction to poker early in life. "I started playing poker as a kid. My dad was and is really into the game, and he introduced me to it back in the day," he says. "I started playing the game seriously in the fall of 1998, my senior year of college."

And it was definitely an unusual route to becoming a professional poker player, by Matros' account. "It was a very gradual process. I decided to leave my job to pursue a graduate degree in fiction writing. This was a tough decision on me financially, and I pretty much had to play poker regularly while in grad school to do things like pay my credit card bill. After a year of grad school, I decided to play poker full-time during the summer before my second year of grad school. At the same time, I was writing.

"The summer of 2003 was an all-poker all-the-time experience. I made a lot more than I thought I would that summer, and I continued to run good during my second year of grad school," he continues.

"By February 2004, I had pretty much decided that when I got my degree in May, I would make the bulk of my income by playing poker, and try to supplement that income with my writing. This became a whole lot easier in April when I won $706,903 at the Bellagio. My parents are very supportive of what I do. They just want me to be happy. Their only concern is that poker is a very emotional game, and it can really get to a player sometimes. The best part about the poker lifestyle is that I'm my own boss and I make my own hours."

Matros' graduate degree in writing is from Sara Lawrence College. Before that, he majored in Mathematics at Yale University. As can be seen in the following quote, he brings a lot of his experience as a mathematician to the green felt table.

"There's a lot of math in poker. Everyone knows about pot odds, or most good players know about pot odds and calculating probabilities of hands improving. There's more math to poker than that. There's a field called game theory, which really gives insight to what kind of strategy you should use at the table. It's not just about calculating your chances of winning, it's about calculating the correct play based on what my opponent's range of hands is, what he will do with those range of hands, how can I maximize the amount of chips I will make based on how he's gonna play. And it's very complicated."

Matros' passion for the life of the mind fuels his passion for poker. "I love the logic aspect of it," he says. "I love thinking through life from a logical standpoint, ruling out a certain hand because of this or that reason, and coming to the correct strategy. I love reading into how other people are thinking, trying to figure out why they're doing what they're doing and how to respond to that.

"There are just so many unique situations, there are just no two hands in poker that are ever the same, and to have that challenge. It's very immediate. You're gonna play a hand you're gonna get a result right away. There's an adrenaline rush and there's an incredible amount of intellect involved in trying to figure out the best way to play a hand."

Matros' book, "The Making Of A Poker Player: How An Ivy League Math Geek Learned To Play Championship Poker" has been lauded by many top professionals for the entertaining vignettes it offers of life on the pro poker tournament circuit.

Trivia


  • Holds a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Yale University
  • Holds a Master's in Fine Arts from Sara Lawrence College
  • Author of a highly praised book about tournament play

Matt Matros recent tournament placings

Place Winnings Tournament
51 $5,707 WSOP 2013, Event 42: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
27 $15,317 WSOP 2013, Event 17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
79 $11,715 WSOP 2012, Event #50: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em
25 $3,088 WSOP 2012, Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout
1 $454,835 WSOP 2012, Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed
1 $303,501 WSOP 2011, Event 52 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)
12 $11,291 WSOP 2011, Event 19 - $2,500 Six-Max Limit Hold'em
133 $4,998 WSOP 2011, Event 13 - $1,500 No-Limit Shootout
11 $11,910 WSOP 2011, Event 6 - $1,500 Limit Hold'em
32 $10,500 2011 Special, NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event
539 $24,079 WSOP 2010, Event 57 - $10,000 Main Event Championship
9 $16,174 WSOP 2010, Event 18 - $2,000 Limit Hold'em
12 $19,672 2009 WSOP, Event 47 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)
250 $2,890 2009 WSOP, Event 39 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
12 $13,874 WSOPC Season 5, Harrah's Atlantic City
7 $109,362 WPT Season 7, North American Poker Championship
78 $77,200 2008 WSOP, Event 54, Main Event No-Limit Hold'em
6 $148,875 2008 WSOP, Event 52, No-Limit Hold'em
30 $13,727 2008 WSOP, Event 49, No-Limit Hold'em
43 $4,893 2008 WSOP, Event 9, No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed
43 $4,893 2008 WSOP, Event 10, Omaha Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Eight-or-Better
67 $15,000 2008 Special, Aussie Millions
61 $6,634 2007 WSOP, Event 53, Limit Hold'em Shootout
14 $6,842 2007 WSOP, Event 51, S.H.O.E
37 $4,010 2007 WSOP, Event 23, Pot Limit Omaha
34 $4,524 2006 WSOP, Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em
35 $3,765 2006 WSOP, Event 23, Limit Hold'em
9 $22,410 2005 WSOP, Event 36, $3,000 Limit Hold'em
83 $3,225 2005 WSOP, Event 9, $2,000 No-limit Hold'em
3 $706,903 WPT Season 2, WPT Championship

Matt Matros photos