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Matt Matros Wins Third WSOP Bracelet In Three Years

Defeats Mark Radoja Heads-Up To Win $1,500 NLH Six-Max

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Matt Matros Matt Matros has won the 2012 World Series of Poker $1,500 no-limit hold’em six-max event to capture his third gold bracelet in as many years. The New York-based professional and Card Player columnist has incredibly obtained one gold bracelet each summer in 2010, 2011 and now in 2012.

Matros topped a 1,604-player field to capture the bracelet, the $454,835 first-place prize and 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points, moving him into 59th place in the overall standings. Despite his consistent success in recent years, Matros still seemed genuinely astounded by his most recent win.

“It doesn’t even occur to me that I might win a bracelet when I come out here. I mean everyone hopes they do, but even winning two in the last two years, you never expect to run that good again. I just can’t even fathom how lucky I’ve been the past three years at the Rio.”

Matros topped a tough final few tables that featured fellow Card Player columnist Matt Glantz (7th – $40,059) and Mike Matusow (8th -$40,059). As a result, he has now joined the elite 25-member club of three-time bracelet winners that includes names like Chip Reese, Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang and a host of other legends of the game.

Matros and Radoja heads-up “Two years ago when I won my first one it felt like the vindication of a career, the validation of a career. I have played so many years with so many deep runs here, and then I finally won one. And then last year kind of felt the like icing on the cake, and was like, ‘Wow I can’t believe I won another one, I just got too lucky.’ And this? I don’t even know what to think about this. This is ridiculous. I have to be the luckiest person in the world.”

Despite his insistence that he ran amazing throughout the tournament, Matros definitely faced adversity in this event. Late on day two, he lost a gigantic pot to Mark Darner that could have put him in control of the tournament heading into its final stages.

Mark Radoja “He and I were probably the two biggest stacks in the entire tournament when that hand went down. I seven-bet with two kings and he called with ace-king. The ace of spades hit the river. If I had won the hand I would have had more than a million, with second place having 300,000. Instead I had about 180,000 and was below average… the pot was about four times the average stack, which is just unheard of.”

Despite this setback, Matros was able to rebuild his stack and make the final day, although as one of the shorter stacks. He eventually ran his chips up, completing the comeback by defeating Mark Radoja heads-up for the title. Radoja earned $281,502 and 900 POY points for his deep run.

After being asked about his three bracelet wins all coming in hold’em variants, Matros eventually admitted that he did feel as if he played well in this event, especially on day one.

“I pulled off a really big bluff early in the tournament, and maybe the whole run doesn’t happen if I hadn’t pulled it off. Day two and day three I just have to thank the poker gods. I mean, I lost that really big one on day two, but I won all the other ones just about.”

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Matt Matros $454,835 1080
2 Mark Radoja $281,502 900
3 Ramey Shaio $182,521 720
4 Gordon Vayo $121,262 540
5 Robert Muzzatti $81,202 450
6 Mark Darner $56,300 360