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Matros wins WSOP title for third straight year, claims $454,853

14 June 2012

At the rate Matt Matros is winning gold bracelets these days, he may very well become the all-time World Series of Poker victory leader by 2022.

Matros won a WSOP gold bracelet for the third consecutive year, which places him into an ultra-elite club of champions. Only six players in history have achieved that milestone. Following previous wins posted in both 2010 and 2011, Matros' golden trifecta was completed on Saturday night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event.

"It doesn’t even occur to me that I might win a bracelet," said Matros. "Everyone hopes they do, but even winning two the last two years, you never expect to run that good again. Man, I just caught so many cards and came back from some a couple of big hands that I lost, too. I just can’t fathom how lucky I’ve been the last three years here at the Rio."

The calm and quiet New Yorker known for his intense focus and scholarly demeanor at the table collected $454,835 in prize money, which attractively garnished a delicious third gold bracelet victory. He topped a formidable starting field totaling 1,604 players and ended up as the last man standing – make that sitting – at the final table which was played on the ESPN Main Stage and broadcast live over the Internet on

Matros, a 35-year-old professional poker player with interests that go way beyond the game, won his second career WSOP gold bracelet late at last year's series in the $2,500 buy-in, Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No Limit) championship. The year before, Matros won his first gold bracelet when he beat out 624 opponents in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event.

"Two years ago when I won the first one, I really felt the vindication of my career," said Matros. "I’ve played so many events so many deep runs that to have finally won one two years ago and then last year was the icing on the cake, I couldn’t believe I won another one. And this, I don’t even know what to think about this. It’s ridiculous. This is beyond ... I thought I was lucky last year. I felt kind of guilty about that. I don’t even know what to think this year. I have to be the
luckiest person alive."

Matros grew up on Long Island. He earned a degree in mathematics at Yale University. He also received a Masters degree in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence University. Over the years, he has applied his considerable talents to many things -- including computer science, writing, and teaching. Matros is the author of The Making of a Poker Player, which chronicles his early years transitioning from student/employee into a full-time poker pro.

Matros previously cashed in several major tournaments held elsewhere, including the New England Poker Classic (NEPC), World Poker Tour (WPT), and the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). He also final tabled the second year of the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in 2001.

Matros has also done quite well at the WSOP, finishing in-the-money 23 times. In 2008, Matros cashed in the WSOP Main Event championship, finishing 78th out of 6,844 players. Two years ago, he cashed in the Main Event again, taking 539th place out of 7,319 entries.

Matros’ triumph today pushes him across the million dollar mark in career WSOP earnings, which currently stands at $1,350,031.

Since Matros is now in the midst of a consecutive yearly win streak, perhaps WSOP schedule makers should starting cutting the number of events by one each year. It might be easier just to ship him a gold bracelet and save everyone else the time and trouble of having to compete in what is becoming the "Matt Matros Benefit Tournament."

A 2011 WSOP gold bracelet winner, Mark Radoja, from Guelph, Ont., was the runner-up to claim $281,502. Radoja had the chip lead late during heads-up play but took a few beats and finished second.

Ramey Shaio of London was third to win $182,521, while San Francisco's Gordon Vayo finished fourth for $121,262. Robert Muzzatti of Toronto was fifth and Mark Darner was sixth.

Matt Glantz just missed making the final table, finishing seventh for $40,059, moving his career WSOP earnings to more than $2 million, though he still has no bracelets.

Mike Matusow placed eighth, and has now cashed at the WSOP every years since 1998.

The top-162 players in the event cashed. Other notable players who made the money included: 2010 “WSOP Player of the Year” Frank Kassela (15th), Robert Williamson III (41st), Chino Rheem (59th), Kathy Liebert (70th), Andy Frankenberger (79th), Tony Dunst (125th), James Akenhead (141st), Victor Bloom, a.k.a. online pro "Isildur1” (151st), and Ashton Griffin (159th).

Modified from tournament notes provided by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla.

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