In a span of just four years Harvey Mathews went from being a short stack to winning the WSOP Main Event.

Harvey Mathews is a poker player who has had a long history of success in the game. He recently won his first WSOP bracelet and became the youngest winner in the history of the tournament. Read more in detail here: wsop bracelet.

It was the sort of decision that can sway a tournament dramatically. With just three players left in the World Series of Poker $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Freezeout on Oct. 8, Harvey Mathews held fourth pair.

His A-5 put another 5 on the board, but Michael Gathy put a lot of pressure on him. On the flip, there was a big check-raise, and on the river, there was a gigantic bet.

Mathews, on the other hand, thought his pair of fives could be excellent — and he was correct. Mathews took the chip lead when Gathy bluffed with K-8 and no pair.

“I knew Michael Gathy would attempt to put me in a bad position because he’s an absolute crusher,” Mathews adds. “I proceeded with my gut instinct and was right. At that point, I began to believe that I could bring the event to a close.”

That is exactly what occurred to the database manager from Mt. Morris, Michigan, who is 38 years old. He took home $371,914 and his first WSOP championship bracelet. This week, Mathews talked with USPoker about his victory.

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Putting up a fight for the WSOP championship

Mathews was a regular at the WSOP prior to Black Friday, and he returned in 2019 and again this year. That turned out to be a smart choice, as shown by the fact that he now has a respectable six-figure score.

However, getting to the winner’s circle required some effort. Mathews started the final table with the small stack, knowing he’d have to sink or swim fast.

He describes the scenario as “essentially the fantasy setting.” “I knew I had to push in the first three to five hands straight immediately.” I got a fast push in and then was very fortunate to pull up pocket Jacks in the big blind when I needed it the most.

“In order to steal my blind, my opponent chose to be aggressive. My J-J holding up provided me some more time and enabled me to make plays I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.”

Mathews flat-called with 4/7 and flipped a 7-high straight shortly after. His chip stack was bolstered even more by an unexpected play.

“I was really surprised when my opponent pushed the river with only Ace-high,” he recalls, “since he hadn’t really gone out of line at all.”

Mathews’ fantasy victory was aided by a fast run of cards. He’s still buzzing with the achievement.

“It’s still strange days later,” he says. “I’ve always desired and dreamt of winning a bracelet, but I never imagined it was possible. This was a fairly star-studded lineup, so winning in such an event feels fantastic.”

Harvey-Mathews-Goes-From-Short-Stack-to-WSOP-ChampHarvey Mathews shows off his championship bracelets after winning the WSOP. (All images courtesy of PokerGO)

Life as an online poker player in Michigan

Mathews has lots of online poker expertise in addition to being a frequent at the live poker table. In his late teens, he started playing on PokerRoom.com.

Moving to Costa Rica and Canada after Black Friday provided a chance to continue playing. Mathews gave up on his goal of being an online poker pro when that didn’t go as planned.

From 2012 to 2019, he sat out of the game for the most part, competing in less than 30 events. However, the legalization of online poker in Michigan drew him back into the game.

Mathews has a normal job and also owns a small company. When you’re not working, though, online poker is a fun way to pass the time. He also enjoys the growing poker community in the industry.

“I prefer to play on Pokerstars and BetMGM when I’m not working my full-time job,” he adds. “I aim to play three evenings a week on average.” So far, it’s exceeded my expectations.

“Despite just playing three evenings a week, I’m one of the best multi-table tournament champions.” I’ve also met a lot of fresh young up and comers, which is fantastic. The websites are fantastic, and there are some excellent series on them.”

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Looking forward and backward

Mathews’ six-figure victory came at the perfect moment. He’d been looking at homes before coming to Las Vegas for the WSOP, and now he had even more money to do it.

“When I go back home on Saturday, I’m going to take a tour of one that I’ve been eyeing,” he adds. “If the tour goes well, I’ll most likely put down a substantial down payment and relocate.”

Other contests consume his time while he is not playing poker. He enjoys football and is a member of eight fantasy football teams this season. His football weekend typically involves at least one teaser wager.

Mathews purchased several boats during the summer because he enjoys camping and being outside. He also loves spending time with his seven-year-old girlfriend.

Mathews comes home for a while this week after a stint at the WSOP. After that, he intends to compete in the $10,000 Main Event.

“I’ve played the Main Event four or five times,” he adds, “but the last time was maybe 10 years ago.” “I’ve never cashed before, so I’m excited about the chance.”

Mathews’ poker career is readily highlighted by his championship bracelet. A significant person in his life comes to mind as he reflects on a poker odyssey that has brought him from Michigan to Costa Rica to Canada to Las Vegas.

When Mathews and Mike Telker started playing the game more seriously approximately 14 years ago, they met. They even lived together in Costa Rica for a while, and Telker had a significant influence on Mathews’ playing as well as his personal life.

“He’s been down in Costa Rica since Black Friday,” Mathews adds, “so I don’t get to talk or see him very frequently.” “He was instrumental in shaping my game into what it is now.” I’m not sure whether he’ll see this, but I adore you and am grateful for all you’ve done for me during my poker career. “Pure life!” says the narrator.

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