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Latin Series of Poker Millions: Catching Up With Matthew Weber

Matthew Weber Won the Punta Cana Poker Classic in 2012

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Matthew WeberAmerican Matthew Weber has only played two tournaments in Latin America. He walked away victorious in the 2012 Punta Cana Poker Classic for $135,475 and is hoping for another nice payday from the Latin Series of Poker Millions. Cardplayer caught up with the California native on Day 1B.

Have you played a lot of tournaments down here in Latin America?

This would be my second one, Punta Cana being the first and that was definitely a good start to the Latin career for me.

How is it going for you today (Day 1B)?

Well yesterday for Day 1A I got up to a pretty big stack but then just ran into a couple of bad hands in a row and unfortunately bubbled. Today, I’m actually on my third bullet of the day, so it’s not going very well, but we got this last bullet today and hopefully another chance tomorrow if needed. It definitely would upset me if I didn’t make it to Day 2 after coming down from the states.

What made you decide to make the trip down here? Did you originally win a satellite package?

I didn’t win a satellite but I ended up buying a package from a friend that was selling it and I got a really good deal. The fact that I knew it was gong to be a great value tournament, I love to travel and I’d never been to Panama before, plus that fact that getting here was a great value as far as the hotel and the cost of all my travel expenses, it was a great deal that I couldn’t pass up.

You have used that initial bullet and are on to a few more, the buy-in is slightly less than say maybe a $1,000 that you might find in the States, does that change how many you bullets you are going to fire? Especially given the size of the prize pool?

I mean it definitely does help that it is such a big prize pool. The guarantee is there so we know it’s going to be a massive prize pool and the other thing that really helps is that even though the structure is a little quicker on Day 1, they roll back the blinds really far for Day 2 and that makes it a lot more playable once Day 2 comes along. Because of that I’m more willing to gamble just to ensure I get a chance to play Day 2.

Tell me a little bit about the field here, as this is somewhat of an emerging market.

It definitely seems like there are a lot of new people playing and the buzz and excitement is definitely here. The biggest thing to me is that most people are just generally nicer than most of the people I play with in the U.S. They are having a good time, they are laughing and smiling, which is the way poker should be. I don’t care if you make a living at it or not, if you are playing for fun or just a weekend warrior, even if you are a professional, if you are not having fun playing poker you are doing it wrong. It’s pretty miserable to sit at a table for 10 to 12 hours a day if you are not enjoying yourself.

So matter what happens, are you please you made the trip down here?

Oh definitely. I’m enjoying the tournament, meeting some nice people, local as well as some other friends I met here that came from the U.S. Worst case scenario I get a couple days off and get to travel around Panama for a little while, have some fun and just check out the sights. I’m definitely glad I’m here and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Are you also meeting some new players who you were not aware of before that are surprising you with their skill?

There are definitely some people that are catching my eye, I mean whether it’s live or online or a local place or a casino that you travel too, there is always going to be some people with a lot of skill and if you haven’t played in that same market before, you are not going to recognize them. But it doesn’t take long to have these people stand out with some of their skills and abilities. There are definitely a lot of players that I wasn’t aware of before that I’ve got my eye on now going into the later events.

*Weber was eliminated on Day 1B, but returned for Day 1C.

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