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Stout Said No to Leaving WSOP for Bro's Wedding, Yes to Rangers Game 7
Poker pro Matt Stout said he wouldn't leave the WSOP for his brother's wedding but had no trouble jumping on a plane to watch the Rangers battle for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.
“I told my brother he wasn't allowed to schedule his wedding during the WSOP since I was his best man,” Stout explained.
“Honestly I wouldn't miss it for the world either way, but he made it the day before the opening event. It's true though, I told him I wouldn't come if he did it, as a threat.”
Originally from New Jersey, Stout is a fixture at the WSOP. He's one of the most dedicated tournament grinders in the world and he's also one of the most good-natured.
He grabbed the red-eye the night before Game 7 and got into JFK early morning on game-day.
The next morning he was on a flight out of Newark that got him back to Vegas at 9:40am, meaning he could still play in the WSOP Colossus, what turned out to be the biggest poker tournament in history.
“I had to catch the early flight in the morning of, hung over, and drag myself straight to the Rio,” said Stout.
“It's some sick superfan shit if you realize how important the WSOP is to me and that I'm trying to preserve a streak of four straight years with a WSOP final table.”
A Painful But Inspiring Trip
Stout has racked up over $3.6 million in live tournament earnings in his career, and he's come painfully close to a WSOP bracelet.
He's finished third on two occasions and runner-up once. Aside from his love of poker, he's a die-hard Rangers fan.
“Rangers fans are definitely some of the most dedicated fans in the game,” said Stout.
“We're doing chants as we enter and exit the building and all through every game.
“It's easy to cheer when your team is winning, but Rangers fans will often continue to chant 'LET'S GO RANGERS' when our team is down 2 or 3 goals and things are looking bleak.
"It was obviously heartbreaking to travel all the way there just to be 30 feet behind Henrik to see that first goal, the game winner, trickle in.
"But it was also pretty inspiring to be a part of some surprisingly passionate chants after the buzzer sounded while the Lightning celebrated and "HENRIK! HENRIK! HENRIK!" when we saw Lundqvist's frustration as he slammed his stick on the net, the ice, and the boards.
“New Yorkers often get a bad rap but no one will argue that they tend to be incredibly passionate people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, and it truly shows when we gather at MSG to see the Blueshirts put on their show.
“I've been to a lot of games at dozens of venues in many different sports but I've never found anything that quite compares to the electricity of a Rangers game at the Garden, especially during the playoffs.
“I like to think it's part the reason that they'd never lost a game 7 on home ice and were 10-0 in their previous 10 elimination games at home leading up to Game 7 vs the Lightning.”