Matt Staples: PartyPoker Team Online & Future World #1 Twitch Streamer

Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 013

Photo supplied.

Matt Staples on social media:

Welcome back to the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast. This is your host, Brad Wilson, and today I’m sitting down for a conversation with Twitch superstar and mid-stakes tournament grinder Matt Staples.

Spending nearly all of his time playing in online tournaments, Matt is currently a member of Team PartyPoker. By his own estimation, about 99.9% of his tournament poker career has been streamed live online as he’s played. 

Matt generally streams mid-stakes but has been known to test his skills in events with buy-ins as high as $500 and $1000 as well. This past May he took down the biggest cash of his career when he finished third in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $92,812.18

Matt is the rare breed of player who started out online with a miniscule bankroll and reached his current lofty status by simply grinding, learning, winning, and growing without adding any outside money. 

After getting his start a few years ago with about $20, his bankroll today is estimated to be around $160,000.

At the fresh young age of 24, Matt is a perfect example of what it means to dive in, work hard, and chase poker greatness. 

He’s living proof that if you want to start making a living through playing this card game even it is still very possible even in today’s day and age.

During the course of our conversation he talks about how he got started with the game, where he began to make the transition to a professional player, and what changed the way he thinks about the game (allowing him to go farther than he ever thought he would). 

You’ll hear what he likes the most about playing cards, what he’d change if he could, and the key advice he’d give to any new player just entering the game.

So, once again, thank you for joining me on Chasing Poker Greatness.

Click any of the icons below to listen to my conversation with stream and lamp lover extraordinaire Matt Staples

Click any of the icons below to find the CPG pod on the platform of your choice. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Matt Staples on the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast.

If this is your first time on the Chasing Poker Greatness website, be sure to check out our groundbreaking poker courses to help sharpen your strategy and profitably implement solid, data-proven solutions to your game today:

Transcription of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 013: Matt Staples

For hearing impaired fans of CPG, or for those who simply want a good read instead of a listen, we're taking steps to transcribe as many episodes of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast as we can. Watch this space for a transcription, and by all means, contact us using the form at the bottom of the page to make a request for an episode transcription and we will do our best to push it to the front of the queue.

Brad: Welcome back my friend to the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast. This is your host Brad Wilson, the founder of, and today I’m sitting down for a conversation with twitch superstar and mid-stakes tournament grinder, Matt Staples. Spending nearly all of his time playing in online tournaments, Matt is currently a member of Team Party Poker. By his own estimation, about 99.9% of his tournament poker career has been streamed live online as he’s played. Matt generally plays mid stakes, but has been known to test his skills in tournaments with buy-ins as high as $501,000. This past May, he took down the biggest cash of his career when he finished third and the PokerStars Sunday million for $92,812.18 approximately. That’s the rare breed of player who started out online with a miniscule bankroll and reached his current lofty status by simply grinding, learning, winning and growing without adding any outside money. After getting a start a few years ago with about $20, his bankroll today is estimated to be around 160,000. At the fresh young age of 24, Matt’s a perfect example of what it means to dive in, work hard, and chase poker greatness. He’s living proof that if you want to start making a living through playing this card game, even in today’s day and age, it’s still possible. During the course of our conversation, he’s going to talk about how he got started in the game, where he began to make the transition to a professional player, and what changed the way he thinks about the game allowing him to go farther than he ever thought he would. You’ll hear what he likes the most, what he had change if he could, and the key advice he’d give to any new player. So once again, thank you for joining me on Chasing Poker Greatness. Here is my conversation with stream and lamp lover extraordinaire, Matt Staples.

Brad: Matt, welcome to the show. How you doing, sir? 

Matt: Good. I’m doing really well. Thanks for having me on the show.

Brad: Yeah. It’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. To start things off, let’s start at the beginning. I think that’s a good place to start things.

Matt: Always.

Brad: Let’s start out with a story of how you got into playing cards in the first place.

Matt: Right. Yes, so my, my brother was a full-time professional player already. So, he was already a full-time poker player and he started streaming on Twitch as like kind of a side job and he started off that and I would, I had no interest in poker at this time. I just, I thought it was cool that he was streaming on Twitch so I started watching him and then realize the poker was also pretty interesting. And I started to learn some things about how the game works or whatever and then, you know, eventually I said like, it’s going to be fun to try. So, I got into it for fun. Just started playing, you know, super, super micros like as low as you can find on any site. I was playing like, like two cents sit and goes and 10 cents sit and goes like at the very beginning. And then I don’t know I had some success and just kept moving up in stakes. And then I’ve been playing ever since but it was really my brother that got me into the game.

Brad: Where is the first place you went to learn to dive in as far as expanding your knowledge?

Matt: It was Twitch, its Twitch. Yeah, just watching, watching my brother play and seeing, you know what kind of hands he would open from where and you know what his strategies were and you know, that’s where I learned like what a C-bet was and stuff like that. So, all my super beginner knowledge came from just Twitch, watching them play.

Brad: Any other streamers besides your brother?

Matt: I used to watch Jason Sommerville. I mean at that time, like way back when it was really only those two that were streaming. Just Jamie and Jason, like there was not even close to as many streamers back then, so it was really those two and Jason was obviously super fun to watch. He was, he was the biggest by far at that point. So

Brad: Yeah. I used to stream myself a few years ago and I would get like 50, sometimes a little over 100 people to my cash games and then coming back after like two or three years away. It’s, the market is, were very different than it was.

Matt: Oh yeah. It’s crazy. Yeah. There’s so many more streamer. Everyone’s like way better at the game, stakes are higher, there’s way more streamers, its super competitive. It’s really grown a lot. Yeah.

Brad: So basically, your brother, and your brother is Jamie Staples by the way. For those of you that didn’t make the Matthew Staples connection

Matt: I guess I should have got into that. Yeah.

Brad: No, it’s fine. But yeah, he picked a good time to start for sure. And Somerville picked a great time to start as well. Basically, they had the whole market to themselves. When you were moving out playing two cents sit and goes, I mean, you didn’t, you did add some money to your bankroll, right? Like to switch decks you literally

Matt: Zero. Zero,

Brad: Zero money.

Matt: Zero money. I got a, I got like a $20 transfer from Jamie. And I played like the Sunday storm, I think, like three months before actually started grinding. So, I had like, $8 leftover. And then

Brad: What year was this?

Matt: 2015.

Brad: Wow.

Matt: 2015 Yeah. 2015. And then yeah, because I didn’t get into it for money. It wasn’t trying to like, play bigger stakes. I just thought it was fun to play cards. So, I didn’t really care what I was playing. So, $8 was fine. And I liked the idea of like following bankroll management, because, you know, he had talked so much about it. So, it’s like, yeah, I’m going to follow bankroll management. I’m going to run it up. And so, I did.

Brad: And you get the brand name of the Somerville in there, too, right? Get a run it up.

Matt: Yes, that’s true.

Brad: That’s awesome. And I think that’s a great testimony for folks out there who are starting today that yes, it can be done in today’s day and age. You can run it up, you know. You can grind it up from very small if you put in the effort. And speaking of the effort, so like, obviously, it was a lot of effort to run it up. It had to be. There’s no, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Did you have any breakthroughs? And early on? And if so what were they?

Matt: Breakthroughs in terms of like

Brad: Knowledge

Matt: Big, big scores.

Brad: More, more like knowledge and growth.

Matt: The you know, the from, for the micro stakes to the low stakes was all a pretty like slow grind. There wasn’t any, like huge scores that allowed me to play bigger. There wasn’t any, like crazy strategies that I learned that really helped out. It was a very slow process of like trial and error. And just like continuing to get these small scores of small scores. Once I got to the mid stakes, that’s kind of where my poker career changed a lot. That’s where I, I went on a huge downswing once I hit the mid stakes. I just did not have the skill level, or the intuition, without studying to beat those games. And I went on a huge downswing. And I knew I had to, you know, make a change, whatever. So, I started studying seriously, you know, like training sites and using programs and stuff like this. And it allowed me to become a winning player at the mid stakes. And then that’s where, you know, that’s where I started to have some legitimate scores, you know. I remember my first big score was like, my first big, big score of 16,000. That was like, a game changer for me was like, whoa, you know, I can actually make money playing this game. And like, maybe I’m actually a decent player, like, I just won a high stakes tournament. I’m having decent results like this, I’m going to take this seriously. So that’s what I started to take it seriously, is around the mid stakes and, and then I’ve had a much different outlook ever since.

Brad: What is mid stakes related to tournaments?

Matt: Okay, so mistakes for me would be I mean, everyone has a slightly different definition. But for me, mistakes would be around from $22 to, like, let’s say $82. And buy it online.

Brad: And above that as high stakes?

Matt: Yeah, say, one or $9, one or nine plus is high stakes for me.

Brad: Gotcha. And when you say that, you know, you buckled down, you started taking it seriously. Did you hire a coach? What did that look like?

Matt: Well, I signed up to a training site.

Brad: Which one?

Matt: Razor edge.

Brad: Okay.

Matt: Razor edge is the training set that I used. And, I didn’t do any private coaching. I do some private coaching now. But I didn’t do any private coaching. I just, I went through this course, you know, which covered all the different areas. And it was it was the outside information I needed. Like my brain couldn’t think of these outside strategies. I needed somebody who had figured it out to tell me. So, it opened my eyes up to all these new, all these new concepts that I wasn’t even thinking about while I was playing. And I’m glad I did that. Because, you know, a lot of these things I would have never thought about if I didn’t get somebody to help me out with it, you know?

Brad: Yeah. And that reminds me of a quote that I love that pioneers end up face down in the dirt with arrows in their back. You know, you can always find somebody that’s blazed a trail before you and that just, you know, completely expedites the process and makes everything so much easier. Like maybe you could have come up with these concepts on your own, right? You just couldn’t have come up with them that fast. It would have taken you years. So, what took you years took you a much shorter time.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: At this point in your career, what would you think is your biggest poker success?

Matt: I think managing to be consistently moving up in stakes. I mean, I’ve had some big scores. I don’t know, I think most people would consider those my biggest successes, like I’ve had a few, you know, I had a score for 93000 a few months ago.

Brad: This isn’t about most people, this is you, sir. What do you consider?

Matt: I’d say just the consistency, like not going on too many huge down swings, continuing to follow bankroll management, not spewing it off and just staying, you know, staying dedicated to it. Instead of kind of, you know, losing my mind along the way, I think. Which, because I think it happens to a lot of people, right? I think a lot of people, you know, blow their bankroll a few times, or they take too many shots, or they are there go through a lot of mental struggles, which I think is fairly normal. But I think I’ve managed to remain pretty consistent on the on the uptick through the stakes. So

Brad: Yeah, and I’m with you there. Like, I think that there are a lot of folks that can make a tournament for 100k, or whatever it is, but consistency rules all. Like if you want to be successful in poker, you have to be consistent.

Matt: And I think, you know, I think the fact that I’ve streamed like I’ve streamed 99.9% of my sessions, which adds its own challenges, right, like almost every single hand I have played in my career has been live on Twitch, you know. All the all the down swings, all the decision making, it’s been live. So, I’m happy to have been met, I’ve been able to stream the entire process as well without struggling too much.

Brad: Any infamous points in your stream where you just couldn’t handle it because of annoyance.

Matt: I mean, it happens all the time. Yeah, like the, you know, the swings like stream to stream, there’s so many streams where I you know, I don’t lose my mind in terms of like tilting and like okay, I’m going to rage quit. But generally, like, if I’m having a bad session, I might like three hours in instead of reading for like, six hours, I might just be like, alright, guys, I’m going to shut it down. Like, I’m going to finish these tables off stream and just call it a day. That happens pretty often. Because you know, it is it is very stressful. And sometimes the, sometimes the day can become sped. So

Brad: Yeah, and you know, with people watching, you know, watching your meltdown happen in real time, is another extra element of pressure. But maybe it’s a good thing, right? Because maybe, you know, it forces you to kind of hold it together. Whereas if you weren’t on stream, you could kind of go nuts.

Matt: For sure. There’s a lot there’s a ton of accountability, a ton of accountability when it comes to streaming. I mean, you can’t can spew hands, you got to make sure you’re playing your best or else people will definitely call you out. You can’t tilt too hard or else people will leave. There’s a lot of accountability for sure.

Brad: And this stream of yours was, did you have any idea that you would get traction when you first started out? Like was it was that a goal in the back of your mind or just something that kind of organically happen?

Matt: I never planned to go full time, be a full time streamer or poker pro or anything like that. But I did you know, I started streaming because I thought that people would watch and I might be able to grow to a point where it could be, it could be a decent amount of fun. So yeah, it was in the back of my head but I didn’t have like a blueprint of okay stream, grow the stream, you know, get attention from poker sites, get sponsored. And that had no blueprint like that.

Brad: It just sort of happened.

Matt: Yeah, got into it for fun.

Brad: You’re I can see your little patch there, party poker team online. How did that happen? How did that come about?

Matt: Party poker just approached me after I had been streaming for a long time. I had been unsigned for a few years when I was getting really good numbers on Twitch. So, I had a few sites had reached out. But they were I don’t know, there was like a long process and nothing was super solid. But then party poker came out and they’re like, listen, we’re creating this team. We’re looking to expand on Twitch and get our own team going. Like do you want to you want to be a part of this. So, they were they were really good about reaching out to me and I was pretty pumped up to join so

Brad: Nice. I think, how beneficial was it to you to have your brother as you know, one of the bigger streamers? Like was he hosting you? Did he help jumpstart your finish?

Matt: Huge. Yeah, huge. It was a huge part of the growth I mean, my first streams ever I developed a name for myself through his channel already. Like I was in there every day and people knew me. And I was typing and obviously, the family name recognition and stuff like that. So, when I started it was a lot easier for me than a lot of other people if they’re starting out right now. Because you know, people knew who I was already, you know, it’s like being a professional poker player almost in coming out of the site. You notice like, like Phil Gelfand started streaming a few weeks ago, and he’s already getting like 1000 viewers or more, because of you know, people know who he is so, so yeah, it was pretty huge in the beginning, and obviously he was supporting my channel, always dropping a host here telling people to check me out. And yeah, yeah, really important.

Brad: The stuff that the big brother does.

Matt: Of course. Yeah.

Brad: I mean, the thing is, though, you did have, it sounds like you did have a natural interest I mean to watch all the streams to be in there recognizable, commenting all the time, like it feels like you loved it.

Matt: Yeah, I’ve been a huge fan of Twitch, since like way back, way back before Jamie was streaming or anything like that. I was a huge gamer before I got into poker. I play all the popular games, I used to watch Twitch streams and, and eSports and all that. So, I was a huge fan of Twitch and I had actually tried the stream way back in the day, tried to stream video games just got no viewers and didn’t really take it seriously. So, so I’d always had an interest in Twitch.

Brad: Yeah, what is your current stream schedule look like? Like, how many hours are you streaming a week now?

Matt: Five days a week. And I’d say average stream is about six hours. Usually a few shorter streams and then a few streams like closer to 11 hours, 10 hours a week. But you know, it always varies. It really depends on how my tournament sessions go. I might have a week where I’m streaming, you know, 11 hours, 11 hours, five hours, five hours. It’s just all over the place. But yeah, I tried to do five days.

Brad: Yeah, the life of tournament poker players.

Matt: Like who knows on a Sunday. It’s just turned into madness. Yeah.

Brad: Yeah. This is why I’ve always preferred cash games personally, because I can just quit whenever I want.

Matt: So much, so much freedom.

Brad: Yeah.

Matt: I wonder what it’s like. I almost never played cash games.

Brad: It’s nice. I mean

Matt: I’d rather remain ignorant to the fact that I can’t take breaks when I want.

Brad: Yeah, like that’s, a it’s, a blessing and a curse though, right? Because with the flexibility, you also have to have some sense of accountability to yourself. You can’t, you have to put the hours and you have to put the volume in. And if you’re in a poker tournament, you’re like, locked in, like, you don’t have a choice at that point. I mean, you could punt, but you if you’re punting, you know, one day a week, it’s probably not going to work out too well.

Matt: No.

Brad: But it’s a different experience. I personally love it because of the freedom and I’ve, you know, if I were 21 years old, or when I was 21 years old playing cards. And by the way, speaking of bankroll management, like, I hit a tournament on part as actually party poker. It’s been a long time since I’ve played or seen party poker in the States. But I had one for 15k. I had $750 in my account, and I just bought straight into a 200.

Matt: That’s amazing.

Brad: They had the 200 nightly, like every night, it was like 50k guaranteed, 200 I think 200 plus 15, like seven days a week.

Matt: Wow. You just fired.

Brad: Yeah, screw it.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: What’s the worst that happens? You by bust, I bust by 750. And then I was playing live at the same time too. So, I just have to reload. But these beings early on in the career. I’ve talked to a lot of poker players. And that’s a commonality between a lot of folks, making money, and then kind of figuring things out after making a bunch of money.

Matt: Yeah, that’s a big one. You know, they have the huge score and they don’t really know how to handle the huge scores. So be you know, they go too high right away, or they don’t know how to manage the bankroll. It’s pretty standard.

Brad: Yeah, my whole philosophy on bankroll management always, I believe it came from Mike Keroh. And again, I’m dating myself in the poker world, I think. But my it was Mike Keroh. And he was saying that like, basically, if you have a small bankroll, if you have 1000 bucks, you can be you, can take more risks, because you can make that money back. It’s when your bankroll gets bigger, that you really need to practice great bankroll management and protect yourself.

Matt: Right. And do you think that’s just because more money is more relevant to real life, real life situations? 

Brad: So, here’s, my thoughts on it. Like, I’ve always hated the micros. I’ve never understood the micros. I’ve never understood playing poker at a steak, that’s less than you could just go out and get a job at McDonald’s, and make the money, like to build a bankroll. So, I think that that’s sort of where it is, like, if you could get a job and save up 1000 bucks, in, you know, a few months or whatever, that it’s not that big of a risk to lose that $1,000 right, to take some shots. But you know, you if you got 50k that’s a different story. It’s going to take you a lot longer to rebuild at 50k.

Matt: Yeah, that’s very true.

Brad: So, what’s something you feel that folks who are chasing their poker dreams, that they don’t spend enough time thinking about?

Matt: I think the big one is, I think the big one is study for most people. I think, you know, it’s kind of hard, right? Because a lot of people play part time. And when they work all day, and they only get to play poker at night, so they only get to play a few times a week, it’s really hard to justify spending the time studying or going out and get training when they only get to play a little bit, right? Like they don’t want to, that’s fair. I play poker full time. And I don’t want to study that much. So, I can’t imagine if I only got to play a few times a week. But the thing is like you know if you ever get to take it seriously that you’re going to have to dedicate some time to getting better, and, and finding the time. And then, like putting in the time is just so key for most people. And I think this study ratios are just not there for most players. I think they should up their study ratios by a lot. And

Brad: By study, can we get a little more granular? And tell me

Matt: Sure

Brad: Like, exactly.

Matt: Sure. So, I mean, even free con, let’s hunt content, like when we look at what the free content is, there’s this podcast, there’s YouTube channels, pretty much every popular streamer has a YouTube channel, putting out highlight videos or training material. There’s training sites, you know, there’s multiple training sites out there, of course, and they all put up free content as well on their YouTube channels. Now, they’re all, they’re all pumping out content, right? The amount of study material you can find just on YouTube right now is quite amazing. There’s discord channels, where you can, you can join a group of poker players post hands, get feedback from pro players, and, there’s tons of those channels out there as well. So, you know, whether it’s discussing hands or watching training material, or maybe, you know, spending a little bit of money on a tool where you can, you can download some hands from online and run those hands, what is useful.

Brad: What tools specifically?

Matt: ICMIZER is one of my favorite ones, that’s a spot where you can review Final Table spots, which is always really important, because that’s where all the money is, on is on Final tables. If you play tournaments, that is. I used Power-Equilab, which is great for seeing what kind of equity you have in different situations, like hand versus range, or hand versus hand. That’s super, super important to understand. You know how much equity you have with different holdings against different ranges, just playing around with that tool can be super useful. And then if you want to get more serious, PioSOLVER is a big one that I think a lot of serious poker players use. You know, a lot of this stuff applies to tournaments. As you know, I’m a tournament professional. I’ve never really dealt in cash games. But yeah, those are the big tools that I’ve used in my career, at least.

Brad: Awesome. Awesome.

Matt: Yeah. What do you think about the solvers, the tools, the, the training sites?

Brad: So, when I was coming up, the training site was card runners, that was it. That was pretty much all that was offered. And it was amazing. It was kind of mind blowing. To me, in a lot of ways. I’ve been very blessed in my poker career. I started out playing with a guy that are, was on his path to thinking about the game at a high level, and was obsessed like me. We both had an obsession. I mean, we would down in Florida, we would play on a cruise to nowhere, for four hours, there would be like a four-hour break between cruises, and we would just go to like the Wendy’s parking lot, order some food and talk about poker for four hours straight. Then we would play would play the second session. And like, as we’re leaving the boat, we’re talking about poker all the way, all the way the drive home. And that was just every day. So, having him in my life was very, very important as far as expediting my growth, you know, like iron sharpens iron. And you know, me being in his life was very beneficial as well. I don’t think that I would have made the gains that I made early on without him. As far as Pio goes, I am hesitant. I’m hesitant with Pio for a number of reasons. GTO can be a dangerous game, especially if you’re node locking and making some assumptions that may be incorrect.

Matt: Sure.

Brad: I, you know, it’s one of those things where like, you don’t want to get bad feedback, and then implement that into your game because it can be more harmful than even having no feedback.

Matt: Sure.

Brad: I spoke with Matt Berkey, had a show with Matt Berkey. I think it was about a week ago. And he was talking about just using logic, right? Like a lot of poker is logic. And for most every situation, the exploitative strategy is going to be the best strategy. So, then there’s also this concept of like, you know, if you’re if you want to play GTO, it’s typically not going to be the highest earning strategy that you can implement at any given time, you know, because everybody has weaknesses, human beings are not very random. So, Pio is good to get some base baseline strategies, but just, I hesitate to tell people to treat it like the gospel. Right, like, you know.

Matt: Yeah, I’d agree with that. I think that makes sense. Yeah. Just go a little bit on your point about like your friends that, that friend that you had that you talked about poker, you’re obsessed with poker with, like that, that’s kind of, you know, I think when it comes to twitch communities, I think there’s a lot there’s a lot of twitch communities that end up being like that, like people, you know, end up being friends. When they watch the stream together, they add each other on discord, they’ll end up talking about hands, posting hands, and I think, I think that’s like a more of a modern age story, especially for online players like, that’s what’s kind of cool about these Twitch streams is that, you know, there’s a lot of people that end up talking a lot about poker through these Twitch streams, which is, which is nice. So that’s another way to do it, make some friends, make some friends through the twitch community and add them in and talk a lot of poker.

Brad: And that was not really available to me back in the day. I just got super fortunate as a 19-year-old kid. And a few things that I want to go back to, you know, you mentioned the tools and people not having a ton of time to just kind of sit down and watch like a YouTube video, or stream. And I’m not plugging podcasts or my podcast specifically. But basically, podcasts are awesome as a secondary activity. You can listen, you can be on the treadmill, you can listen to them while you’re driving. If you have a commute, you have the opportunity to listen to podcasts and learn about poker while you’re doing something else. So, it isn’t necessarily you don’t have to make the time in your day. You know what I mean?

Matt: Yeah. That makes sense.

Brad: Let me kind of separate. And another point to you know, you said you are prominent chatter, watcher of your brother’s stream, and people recognize you. But I don’t think that’s really, I think that’s still a good strategy today. Like, especially if you want to start a poker stream, like most people that watch don’t really engage or talk. And you can, you can stand out by just asking questions and being engaging, and the streamers, at least in my experience as a streamer. I love people talking, because it gives me something to do, like other than

Matt: It makes a huge difference if people are talking in there.

Brad: Right.

Matt: Yeah, it makes a huge difference.

Brad: So, you know, if you have designs on being a streamer yourself this and immersing yourself in community, I think it’s just a good strategy.

Matt: Big time. I think people like super underestimate how much how much attention you can garner on yourself for how big of an impact you can make in the community just by like, being in there, you know. Just like saying hi, saying what’s up, spamming emotes and dropping a dono here, there’s just like, like, after a while people everyone knows who you are. And if they see you in the listing or, or they know you’re going to be streaming it’s yeah, it’s huge, especially on social media, too, like tweeting everyone, engaging with everyone. You see a lot of people doing that these days, maybe even overboard, but it works like for sure.

Brad: Yeah, it’s I think a prerequisite right now, especially to grow real fast as a poker player is you can’t be shy, you have to put yourself out there and try to get some visibility. And I’ve said it many, many times to another way. People are always wondering like; how do I get close to so and so like so and so poker player? How do I develop a relationship? How do I get involved in? It’s always money. Give them money, buy their course buy their thing. And then you naturally get closer because then you’re invested in them, and then they feel they’re invested in you as well.

Matt: Sure.

Brad: What would you say is the most high impact action you’ve taken to improve your game? So, training site training site, raise your edge would be the biggest one for me. That was like, yeah, I just went from base intuition thinking ABC poker to like, okay, now you have high level strategy when it comes to preflop. When it comes to post flop, when it comes to jamming, it was just like so many new concepts that, you know, my game has been like completely different ever since. So, making that initial investment in a training site was what helped me get to high stakes.

Brad: And how much to, two questions, how much was that investment? And also, do you feel like it was a prerequisite for you trying to make the jump up to the mid stakes before like, or investing in that specific training?

Matt: The course see it was the expert masterclasses. So it was around $1,000 for that course, that tournament course. And I’m sorry, I don’t understand the second part of the question.

Brad: Basically, like, if just a complete noob is like, would it be as valuable to them as it was to you?

Matt: Well, you know, I think you know, there’s for that course specifically it’s, it was the expert course, right? So, you need some you need some of the knowledge, you need to know all the poker terms, you need to know what things were like when equities are, you need to know generally what ranges are. So, there’s like an apprentice course that could have gone into as well, but I just decided to go straight to the master class. So, you know, I don’t

Brad: I guess I’m having to take it, The Apprentice course. 

Matt: I haven’t. I’ve not taken the apprentice course. No. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t think it’s something that is completely necessary for people to beat the mid stakes, but it was super impactful. And it definitely sped up the process for me.

Brad: Let’s put a number on it. How much money do you think that’s made you that in that $1,000 investment?

Matt: Just all the money. Just all the money. Just everything since I don’t know.

Brad: So, hundreds of 1000s hundreds of 1000s of times the investment.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Brad: I would say that’s a pretty good investment then.

Matt: Yeah, I mean, it’s a, it’s when you’re when you’re buying training content, assuming, assuming you will put in the work that the content offers, it’s really tough to find a losing investment when it comes to training material. Like unless it’s, for some reason, something you’ve already heard, or something you’ve already done. It’s just like you’re spending some money to, to make better decisions in game. It’s, you know, if you are going to put in the work, then it’s, it’s almost always going to be a profitable investment. That’s how I always look at training sites. When it comes to poker.

Brad: Tell me about your daily process. Let’s talk about, you know, what do you do too, because streaming 30 plus hours a week is tough. At least it’s, it would be super tough on me, like just physically, mentally, very draining. So, what do you do to take care of your yourself to prepare for the stream?

Matt: Well, I live I live generally a pretty balanced life, I think that obviously helps. You know, sometimes I go a little bananas, and I’ll stream like back to back 12 hour days and stuff just because he knew, right off the hype a lot. You know, Twitch is very high, high times sometimes so, but like on a normal week, I wake up, I have a nice breakfast, give myself time to eat and make a coffee. And then I’ll start generally pretty early in the morning, you know, stream my day, and then after the stream will take a few hours off just to cool down. Right? Take some time away from the computer. And then I hit the gym five, six times a week. So usually I’m going to the gym and then yeah, I’m just doing some study, 30 minutes of study a day-ish. It’s a, it’s a very, I just do a little bit of everything. You know, a little bit of socializing, a little bit of study, go to the gym, take some time off.

Brad: What is the gym look like? What do you do there?

Matt: I do weight training. So, I do, I do like a weight training, weightlifting split. It’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years.

Brad: Nice. Do you schedule? Do you create a schedule that you stick to?

Matt: Yep. Yeah, I have a, I have a trainer and he gave me a fitness plan. So, I’ve each day of the week is a specific training program. His name is Mike McCarthy. He helped us with the beds that we had.

Brad: Oh, yeah.

Matt: That’s

Brad: Yeah, let’s talk about that prop bet because I didn’t read about it briefly.

Matt: Sure. Okay. So, a few years ago, I was 134 pounds. And my brother Jamie was 305 pounds.

Brad: Wait, wait. 134 and 305.

Matt: 134 and 305.

Brad: Okay.

Matt: I don’t know what the, I don’t know what the difference is there. That’s, that’s a lot. I think it’s like 170 pounds. Yeah, 171 pounds. And we had gone down to the Virgin Islands to meet Bill Perkins. Because we’re doing a stream boat thing, where we stream for a week down in the Virgin Islands on a boat on Bill Perkins’ boat.

Brad: He paid for you all to come down there?

Matt: Yeah, yeah. Well, we got this. We got the state, his place and everything.

Brad: Nice.

Matt: So yeah, we were down there for that. And we were doing an IRL live stream. And somebody in the chat just wrote some random comment, it was like, because I think they were talking about prop bets and stuff. And somebody wrote in the chat was like, how much for them to be the same weight in one year? And then Bill Perkins said something like, oh, I’d give them 50 to one on that. Right. And then, you know, I was just out of it. I wasn’t even thinking about anything. But Jamie was like, 50 to one. How much can we bet? Jamie, instantly was like 50 to one. Yeah. How much can we put down? Like, I’ll put down the max, whatever I can.

Brad: Yeah.

Matt: And Bill Perkins was like, you can put down 3k. So, then Jamie’s just like, book it. We have to, Matt, we have to do this.

Brad: Yeah.

Matt: And I was just like, out of I didn’t even know what was going on. I was just like, what are you talking about? He’s just like, Matt, shake my hand. We got to take this bet right now. I was like, okay, sure. And then, you know, over the next week, or whatever, I kind of figured out what was happening. So yeah, we put down $3,000 to win $150,000.

Brad: Half and half?

Matt: Half and half. Yep. Right down the middle. So then, we spent the entire next year. I was gaining weight the entire year. My brother was losing weight the entire year, just weight training full time, eating everything inside everything I could. I was eating 3k calories plus a day for an entire year.

Brad: And how tall are you?

Matt: I’m 5’7”.

Brad: 5’7”.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: That’s an uphill battle. That’s not fun.

Matt: Yeah. I’m sure. Yeah. So, we had to be the exact same weight within one pound. We had one pound of leeway on the exact date within one weigh in. And so, there was like, no leeway at all, had to be a specific date one year.

Brad: So, if you got there early, if you got there early, you had to maintain.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, we had to maintain. Yeah. So, we managed to get it down to an exact science. On the day, we managed to weigh the exact same 188.8 on the nose. So, we managed to do it, but, but yeah, Jamie lost 117 pounds or something I lost, I gained 53, 54 pounds in a year.

Brad: That’s insane, like five, seven. I mean 5’7” 188. Like because so I’ve been small my whole life, like I’m 5’10”. And I recently gained about 17 pounds, just through like calorie, consuming a ton of calorie and do I want to spew every day. And then weight training and like 50 pounds is just unbelievable to me.

Matt: It was, I mean, I in the beginning, I, had a lot of room to put weight on, you know. I had a lot of beginner gains in terms of like muscle gain in the gym. That came pretty easily and, and I was not tired of eating yet in the first like half of the bet. But the second half of the bet was horrible. It’s horrible. I didn’t, I didn’t want to eat ever. I would eat till I almost, you know, felt like throwing up all the time. I remember the last week, I couldn’t go, I could barely eat. Actually, I couldn’t go a meal without almost throwing up near the end. Like I had no appetite. I would sleep for 11 hours. I’d wake up for breakfast, and I wouldn’t be hungry at all. Like I could almost not eat at that point. My body was so messed up from that bet. 

Brad: Yeah, not a very fun time. I mean, did you look in the mirror and just like, what the fuck that I do to myself? 

Matt: No, but now I look back and I say holy shit. Like that was, that was, I was, I was really unhealthy at the end of the bed. But like in it when you’re in it, like you get so used to seeing yourself look a certain way. And like I get so used to it that I didn’t really think about it. But looking back now like what I look like now compared to then is pretty insane.

Brad: Yeah, well, what were you eating? Like, I mean, you said you’re a super unhealthy. Were you just like, did the calories even matter as far as the nutrition?

Matt: I, well, I did have certain macros that I was trying to hit. I don’t remember them now. But I mean, it was very obviously very high protein.

Brad: Yeah.

Matt: Numbers and high protein, high carb. The fat numbers we tried to still keep like, reasonably low, but they were never low. But yeah, high protein, high carb. I would just eat as much meat and rice or meat and pass the and you know, never say no to any kind of meal. So, if there’s a pizza, if there was pizza, try to eat the whole pizza basically. The word no is not in my vocabulary for food that year.

Brad: Was it worth, was it worth the 75k?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, for what my net worth was. And my bankroll at that time is life changing for sure. I would do it again. It was it was a huge deal so

Brad: What about your brother?

Matt: What about his

Brad: How is his, see, it feels like it losing weight would be easier. But that’s just my perspective as a small human.

Matt: Yeah, a lot of people have taken both sides on which side would be easier, I think. Yeah, I think it was harder for him because I think, you know, he had, he had two-sided battle, right. He had a mental battle, but then also a physical battle, right? He had it, a food addiction. He had all these habits that he’d formed over 20, 24 years of eating poorly. So, he had to turn that on a dime mentally, and battle that whole year. Whereas for me, it wasn’t a mental battle to start eating and weight training. That was fine. And I was okay with that. So, I really do think the process for him was much tougher. And you know, he talks a lot about these days like still, you know, still feeling some mental effects from how insane that bet was for him. So yeah, I think he had a hard time with it. But you know, he got it done so

Brad: Did it stick? I’m sure you lost your weight. A lot of it probably fairly quickly, right?

Matt: Yeah, I spent the entire year after losing weight and dieting.

Brad: Yeah, that’s a new experience. Especially.

Matt: I lost all of it. I lost every pound I gained. Yeah, kept the muscle or most of it at least so.

Brad: Nice, I’m sure dieting is like it’s a foreign, it’s a foreign concept to me, especially like being small my whole life, right? Because I’ve never like had to do it. But in that case, like I can imagine like just a relief to not be stuffing my face full of shit all the time.

Matt: But for the, for the last week before the first bet ended. I was just like, I cannot wait to eat salad and just not stuff my face like, this is going to be so amazing. I’m going to eat vegetables, whatever. The day after, after I’d give myself a break, the day after, I wanted a cheeseburger like I really wanted to eat bad. Like I had developed that habit. And I was so disappointed in myself. I’m like, man, you just ate like shit for 365 days. And not even 12 hours later you still want fries and you still want burgers. I was like man, this sucks. I couldn’t believe it.

Brad: Yeah, your body, your body was like hey man, what are you doing? Like

Matt: I thought I would never want junk food again. I really thought I would be done with it but it’s not the case.

What is up you future star of poker, you. Coach Brad here and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re sitting there wondering to yourself, why? Why is coach Brad promoting this PKC poker app thing? Allow me a moment to explain my why. Battling in cash games has been my livelihood for the past 15 years. It’s how I survive and put food on the table for my family, which makes it imperative that I either test out or seek qualified opinions on all the poker platforms on the market. One juicy fine can mean the difference between a meh year and an amazing family vacation and why kind of year. With that said I’ve tried almost all of the major poker apps on the market to date and despite the hype about amazingly juicy games, I’ve come away from the experience unsatisfied. I was just never able to find amazing success against seemingly weak competition. And in one specific case was getting outright destroyed by passive villains playing more than 50% of their hands. What on earth was going on, right? After many evenings sitting in the bathtub, wondering if I had lost it, I finally dug into the data and learn something that shouldn’t have been too surprising to you. These dudes were colluding and super using their pants off. So, I swore off those free money, decentralized devil apps and decided to go back to my more familiar streets of ignition. It was then that I was contacted by a good friend of mine who turned out to be the Vice President of Worldwide Operations at PKC. Him and I had a long in-depth conversation about security, the ecosystem and the future direction of PKC, and he managed to convince me to give it a shot. That shot turned into an incredible six months with an hourly rate that’s about five times what it would have been playing on any other US platform. As it turns out, I didn’t forget how to play, I just needed to be on a level playing field to return to my crushing ways. I have no doubt that you, my community, my audience is going to play online poker somewhere. And I want to be damn sure that you don’t go through the pain and frustration I felt by messing around with any poker app besides PKC. This is why promoting PKC is a no brainer for me. I love you, I love my community. And I want to put you in the best position to succeed at this game that we both love so much. So, if you’d like to join me in the streets of PKC, simply head to and get your invite code to play. You must have an invite code to play and you must be 21 years of age or older. One more time, that’s to get your invite code. Best of luck, and now on with the show.

Brad: Going back to that kid that’s grinding the micros, just starting out, doing a stream to you know not many people, if you could give that kid and wisdom and I guess it’s only been about four years ago, what wisdom would you, would you give him?

Matt: I would tell him to start studying earlier, on to start studying earlier. And I would tell him to keep his head down, keep his head down and grind. There was a few times throughout my grind. Let’s just call it that. I was just like, man, am I going to do this full time, like am I really is this fun? Am I enjoying this? Is this worth it? So, there’s a few periods of that and

Brad: Did you almost quit?

Matt: I didn’t almost quit. But I had, I had hit a point where I’m like, am I going to do this? Like, is this going to work for me? Right? I like kind of doubts. Let’s just put it that way. I doubt. So, I’m really glad now that I stuck out with it. Right? It’s huge that I stuck with it. So, I would give myself the advice to just keep your head down. And keep grinding. Because

Brad: How’d you get through those doubts while you’re having them? Just love the game? Just wanted to play?

Matt: Yeah. Twitch is just so much fun. It’s just, it was the, this is really all I had going on in my life. Right, twitch, twitch and poker. That’s what I had done. So, what I like doing this, that’s where my you know, that’s where my self-worth was. It was just my whole life. So, I didn’t want to quit.

Brad: Yeah, that’s a good motivator. I mean, that’s a good emotional goal that keeps you going moving in the right direction. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about poker tournaments, what would it be?

Matt: Change poker tournaments. Can I make them shorter? Make them shorter. They are so long. It’s such a sick grind tournament. I’d make

Brad: How would you make them shorter?

Matt: I don’t know. I see, it means so dumb. I just want them to not last. Just eliminate late Ridge, just make everyone show up on time. Everyone has to be there right on time. All 1000 people.

Brad: You’re okay with smaller, smaller prize pools as long as they are ending earlier?

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, that’s fine with me.

Brad: I mean, so for the online world. I think that you know, maybe it’s tough. Like for me, for instance, one major reason, I talked about the freedom and the flexibility but stalling and online tournaments is something that just wants to make me put my fist through a wall.

Matt: You mean close to the bubble?

Brad: Yeah, I want to just punt everyone who starts stalling. Especially from like a cash game background. I’m like, let’s get in hands guys, let’s play. Let’s get in hands. What are we doing, in a live setting? Oh my god, like because you can see them. And you know, right? Like, you know that three-minute tank and inconsequential spot like you know what’s happening. It’s, it drives me crazy. I mean, this is why

Matt: Yeah. Tanking. That’s the big story. That’s the big story, tanking and tournaments. Like, people hate watching it. It’s all over Twitter. People hate tanking, which is I mean, it’s fair.

Brad: Yeah. I mean, I just, I feel like there should be a way to structure it to disincentivize tanking. Because I mean, as it is, like, there is it is incentivized near the bubble for people to eat their way into the money. So, if you could find a way to disincentivize it, that’d be great for me, that would make tournament’s way more playable and enjoyable, and probably make them a little shorter, too. 

Matt: Yeah, I mean, you really do need something, though, because the incentive is too good. That’s just too good. I mean, you’re playing poker tournaments to make money. If you can just sit there and wait and sit on your time bank for a little bit to make money, you should, right.

Brad: Right. I mean.

Matt: I mean I don’t do it, but you should

Brad: But yeah, I don’t know. I personally like, I don’t do it. And I, I wouldn’t do it just because I hate it so much. It’s like, I don’t know. It’s just, it’s like manipulating the system.

Matt: What if you needed the cash for rent? Like, what if it’s super crucial that you’re making money?

Brad: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, that I guess I would tank. You know, if I need it for rent, if I need it to pay for my family, then, I guess that’s what I would do.

Matt: Yeah, extreme example. But

Brad: It’s true. There’s a lot of guys apparently out there that need to make the money for their rent. And every poker tournament that goes on with all the tanking.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: What’s your current big goal, related to poker? What’s next?

Matt: Big goal is the same as it’s always been, I want to be number one on Twitch poker. Number one on Twitch poker.

Brad: What is number one mean?

Matt: Number one, that means I have the most viewers even if everyone’s online. I want to be what Lex spelled host is right now. Leading in viewers on a Sunday. Anytime I go online, I am at the top of the listing essentially. So that you know this time is right now where I will be the top of the listing depending on who’s on. But, you know, no matter who’s on I want to be the biggest community, biggest, biggest stream on Twitch. So, you know, that’s what the goal has always been. When it comes to my career, poker wise, I would like to reach as big as steaks I can online. You know, I’m up to a point now where I can play one case, one case in below, you know, a fire few one case a week and a lot of five hundreds during the week. So, I’m really happy with the fact that I’m playing that high stakes. And I mean, I guess the next step now is just to try to increase my win rate at those stakes and maybe even be able to bump it up a little bit more during series. You know, play 2k, play 5k, just be able to put on that show for Twitch. But there’s an insane amount of work that comes with trying to even go up those levels, you know.

Brad: Oh, I’m sure your competition level goes way up with each rung on the ladder.

Matt: It is super debatable whether I’m winning at the five hundreds in 1ks anyway. So that’s, that’s, that’s where I need to be at the moment.

Brad: So, the, by super debatable, you mean, maybe you’ve had good results, but you’re unsure overall, like.

Matt: Correct. Accurate. I mean, it’s just my assumption, I just know that I know, the fields in 501 1k tournaments are filled with regulars that are putting in a lot of work. And I know I’m streaming and I’m not putting in an insane amount of work on my game. So, I’m just making the assumption that my edges is not going to be huge, if there is any.

Brad: Well, so I spoke with Jungleman a few episodes ago, I guess we’ll call it. And we were talking about progression and growth as a poker player and how, when he started, he did like a counterintuitive approach to growth. And he basically did like reverse game selection, where he just played the badass is that every steak, heads up and

Matt: That’s amazing.

Brad: Yeah. So, which basically, and then we had we talked about it, and you know, when you push yourself and you find your limit, you know, that’s a lot of motivation to become better at cards. So, I would say that, even if you’re not a favorite at the 500 or 1000 tournaments. Number one, you’re probably not giving away that much of an edge. You’re not that big of a dog. And number two, this is motivation to improve your game to realize your full potential, right?

Matt: Yeah, no, exactly. And I mean, I’m not playing poker. You know, I’m a poker streamer, right? So, you know, I’m a sponsored player. I have revenue coming from a bunch of different places, poker when I play poker tournaments, I’m not, you know, I’m trying to make money, but I’m not, you know, sweating my ROI super hard, and stuff like that. I want to put on a good show. And I want to see how high I can get, essentially. So, I don’t mind playing these fields, you know, if people like to watch it on Twitch, and I like to test myself, so I’m definitely down to play the high stakes. And I’m hopefully going to find some more success there.

Brad: And speaking of these other revenue streams, how important do you think they are as far as your career?

Matt: I don’t, they’re huge in terms of just security, it means that I don’t have to think about poker, in a sense of needing to make a certain amount of money, which is really good peace of mind. You know, do I think I could support myself from poker alone? I do. So, in that sense, I, you know, they, they’re important, just so I don’t have to think like that. But I do think I could support myself through poker, just be a little bit tougher. And I’d have to think and be a little bit more careful about things.

Brad: And this is another giant difference between cash games and tournaments. Nobody’s going to sponsor me, like in a cash game, there’s no reason right? Like poker, in my case has always been kind of life or death, before creating different revenue streams. It’s like I have to perform, I have to win, to provide for the folks that I need to provide for. And that’s a lot of pressure. And I think that that can sap a lot of joy from the game, if that’s always on your mind, or in the back of your mind. And I preach on this show, specifically from cash game players that I’ve talked to, it’s a big deal to create different revenue streams, and the earlier you can go about doing it. Just do it like, you know, 1000 bucks a month, it doesn’t sound like a ton. But when you’re the middle of a downswing and you’re struggling, and you need the help, it’s huge. Like, if you’re, if it doesn’t matter to you a month, because you’re crushing, well, then okay, like that’s, that’s a good place to be in, right? That’s a first World Poker problem. But yeah, these revenue streams, like if you’re if you’re playing tournaments, I think there’s been a lot of value here in this conversation as far as building a twitch following and creating those revenue streams.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: What else would you do? Like what are like our affiliate links and the panels, what are some other ways that you monetize twitch?

Matt: Yeah, affiliate links, affiliate links is a big one. I mean, you know, with without getting signed by a site, affiliates is the next best way to generate revenue, right? Aside from the actual twitch revenue, which is ads, subscribers, donations, bits, all that stuff generates revenue. But yeah, affiliates. There’s, if you have an audience, poker sites want to work with you, they want to, they want to get their stuff out there. And, and specifically with poker, you can get 50 links if you want to. Like there’s so many different programs and tools and training sites that will give you a link just easy, right? So, if you if you have all of that, all of them down there, and you’re streaming a lot. So that was that was a big one for me was affiliate links. On the come up, I can’t really think of anything else. Just twitch revenue, affiliate links are the two big ones.

Brad: Depending on your skill level, and how you’re doing and these sort of things. I mean, there’s training sites, they can sign you. There’s, you know, other ways to monetize, but I think those are probably the easiest, just grabbing an affiliate link, sticking in the panels and go nuts.

Matt: If you’re good at poker, you can also use your stream to give coaching as well. It’s not something I’ve done. But there’s been, you know, hundreds of people that have reached out to me and asked for private coaching sessions. So, you know, if you generate a stream that has 20 people, and then somebody wants to pay you $50 a week for some coaching, then there you go, you got a revenue stream for an hour out of your week. So that’s something that if you’re good at the game can be of use.

Brad: And yeah, like and again, this, tie it tie this back into what we were talking about earlier, don’t be shy in the poker world, get yourself out there. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. There’s a lot of times that I’ve felt uncomfortable doing the things that I’ve done, but like that, you know, when you reach that level of uncomfortability, that means you know, you’re finding your limit and you’re pushing through, means that you’re growing, right? That’s the sign of growth. I want to circle back real quick to your big goal. How are you going to get there? How are you going to be Lex?

Matt: That is a good question. I mean, there’s, I probably shouldn’t say this, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe I can get the Lex’s level. It’s really kind of insane to me. How far ahead Lexus.

Brad: Gow far ahead is he on average?

Matt: On a Sunday. He like he can get up to 20,000 viewers on a Sunday.

Brad: Holy shit. I didn’t even know.

Matt: I’ve seen him have 20,000 viewers and then second place will be like 1500 viewers, and then they’ll be like 600, 600, 500, 400. So that’s how far ahead he can be sometimes. And like, even if he’s got nothing going on, he’s got 5000 viewers, 6000 viewers, like on a, on a bad day. It’s really quite insane how far he’s gotten. But I mean, it’s motivation, right? It’s, it’s what a poker stream can achieve on Twitch if it’s good enough. So, I just think time, I think time is all I need. I don’t think I need to do any gimmicks to get there. I think, you know, the older I get, the more I play, the more I generate my brand, people will respect the stream more, people will tune in. I’m going to keep getting better at poker, I’m going to keep moving up in stakes. So, I mean, my stream is has grown all the way up until now I don’t see why will stop growing. So, I just think it’s a time thing. And, and maybe some big, big things will happen in my career that can boost me, you know, whether it’s a big score, or what, but

Brad: Yeah, some publicity. Never hurt anybody. I mean, like you said, Phil Galfond started a few weeks ago, and he’s getting like 1000 folks a stream, right?

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: And he is primarily a cash game player, but he’s been around forever, he is a legend of the game. And that’s, that’s beneficial for getting people to show up, having a big name.

Matt: Yeah, yep.

Brad: So basically, you’ll have to, you’ll have to keep forging ahead and building your name and your brand. 

Matt: Absolutely.

Brad: What’s a project you’re working on, and it could not be related to poker, or it could be, that’s near and dear to your heart that you’d like to talk about?

Matt: Project I’m working on? I don’t know, though, you know, I don’t have really any special projects going on my grind, its very one dimensional at the moment. It’s just streaming poker tournaments on Twitch, you know. I’m doing some different content with party poker team online, you know, we have this team of nine members, that is creating content together doing some cash game challenges and, and interacting a little bit. I think two of the players are having a big, like, 1k heads up match or something. So, I’m doing a little bit of interaction within the team. You know, obviously, that comes with being sponsored pro. So that’s kind of cool. I’m also trying to branch out into chess, chess streaming. I don’t know if you’re interested in chess or not. But

Brad: I’m not, but that doesn’t mean that my audience isn’t.

Matt: There’s a, there’s a huge crossover for some reason on Twitch, apparently. The chess, the chest community and the poker community have like a huge crossover. Like people love watching poker streams that play chess and poker players always watch the chess stream. So, I’ve been talking to a lot of the streamers and I’m looking to branch out and collaborate with those guys. Which is fun. I just, a few months ago, I got addicted to the game. I love

Brad: Oh, wow. That’s awesome.

Matt: It’s fun.

Brad: Yeah, I would say chess and probably Magic the Gathering. I know, there are just so many huge so many crossovers between poker and Magic the Gathering. 

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: Do you have anything in you that you, you know that you’ll want to get out eventually, like a book, any sort, of course material training, anything like that?

Matt: You know, I’m just starting to branch out and into more content. I’m doing YouTube now. Funnily enough, I’d really like to do a podcast eventually. You know, have guests and talk I think, I think that’s something I’d really like to do. So, I could see myself having a podcast and you know, in the next year or two years for sure, regularly, which would be really nice.

Brad: Don’t come after me, Matt. No.

Matt: This is good. And I think live. I want to play a lot more live poker in the future. Go to live events. It’s not something I’ve done because I’ve always wanted to like anytime there’s a live event going on. I’m like, okay, everyone’s going into this, I should be streaming. I, this is a good time to grow. And I’ve never found a rationalization for taking time off Twitch, this is never time to take off. It’s just always time to grow. So, you know, in the next few years, once my channel becomes more stable, and I’m happier with where I’m at, I think I want to make a lot more live events and get to experience that because I haven’t really done the live grind ever. So, you know, being able to meet people from my community and in different spots is huge. So

Brad: Yeah, that’s a big deal. And I get the sentiment by the way that like oh, everybody’s in WSOPlan, WSOP, so now is my time to play right? As a cash game player, my whole thing has been WSOP time. I’m in Los Angeles, playing high stakes cash games, because all the pros and everybody’s in Vegas, right? I’m like, you know, these guys live here. Like the businessman, these guys, they can’t go to Vegas for a month. They’re going to be playing cash games. So, I would always use that opportunity to set up shop and play in some really good games in Los Angeles. But the thing is you get on ESPN, you get in front of an audience of millions. This can also do some very great things to your twitch stream.

Matt: Absolutely. Have a big score in Vegas. People love it. And people ask me, they’re like, Matt, you’re not going to Vegas? I’m like, hey, man, I’m streaming for you right now. You don’t like the stream? Like, like, why aren’t you in the main it’s like, what? I’m streaming. So, people want you know, people like when you play live tournaments, they like when you go to these events, but I don’t know. I could in the next few years will definitely, definitely mix in. And I want to have a community meetup. So, I want to meet people like Lex has a tournament series going on right now. It’s called Lex live. It’s going on in London. And it’s a big community gathering. He’s, he’s throwing his own tournament series. Jason Sommerville, has run it up Reno, which has had like eight of them or something. So, I would like to do something like that potentially, in the future.

Brad: It’s a way to turn casual viewers into diehard fans too., talking to people you know, it’s all about relationship. That’s really what life is about, relationships. And we can spend time with people, you can talk to them face to face, shake their hand. It goes a long way. As far as just creating these diehard fans that you need.

Matt: Yeah.

Brad: It’s 5000 people. I mean, you think like okay, Lex has 15,000 people, that’s a shitload of people watching a poker stream. But it’s actually not that many people, if you really think about it, right? How many poker fans exist around the globe? It’s a giant percentage of share, market share on Twitch, obviously. But I think that you know, that could be one of the secret ingredients to his success, like meeting people, talking to people, just creating those fans organically that way.

Matt: For sure.

Brad: Alright, so I think you’ve already answered my second last question about in 15 years. Looking, let’s look in 15 years in the future. What are your poker accomplishments going to be?

Matt: Oh, man, well, I will have been playing the highest stakes online. I would hope. I would have, you know, played the biggest tournaments, there is the offer in the series, you know, 25ks, 10ks whatever it is. I you know, I really try to stay away from setting monetary goals. I don’t actually have any. I would just be making something out.

Brad: It’s good. Yeah.

Matt: There’s just too much swings.

Brad: Monetary goals are, I mean, I’m just going to say monetary goals are kind of stupid in my opinion.

Matt: They don’t make a lot of sense, no.

Brad: Because you need emotional drivers behind your goal, right? Like if you have emotional drivers behind your goals, then the money comes, like if your dethroning Lex as number one, the money is going to come right? Like you’re going to make a ton of money in the process. If you’re playing the highest stakes games, you’re going to make a ton of money, it’s a side effect of the more emotional goals.

Matt: Money is the result of almost every other goal you’re going to set. So, I hope, I hope I’m playing the highest stakes and the best poker I have been. Hopefully I have some, some live scores as well. Like I said, I would like to branch out and, and play in these series. So hopefully, you know, a few final tables, few deep runs and those and I don’t know. I don’t know what my poker life is going to look. I’m hoping I’m still in the industry in 15 years, whether that’s, you know, part of a company or doing commentary or, or all of its all of it at once or from hosting my own poker, something. Hopefully, I’m doing something big in the poker world.

Brad: How old are you, by the way?

Matt: 23

Brad: Oh, God, see, I should have asked this, like, this gives more context to the whole thing, right?

Matt: It’s okay.

Brad: Like, your brains not even fully developed yet. Like as a human being, you got a couple more years. So, such young, such a young age, hopping into the poker world. I would say I, in my experience, take some chances, do some things that you know, instead of streaming WSOP, I think you should give it a shot. And just see the experience, right? Maybe you hate it, maybe it turns out to be awful, and you wish you would have streamed. But in a year, a year from taking that chance. You won’t even think about it. It won’t even matter. It’ll be a blip on the radar. But if you love it, and it’s like grows your stream, and you’re like, holy shit, why did I wait so long to test that out? Then you’ll be upset with yourself for not doing it the last five years or however long?

Matt: Yeah, for sure. Now, I’ll definitely be down there. There’ll be space happening. Live poker is happening at some point.

Brad: Well get it man. Yeah, yeah, you, I’ll be walking around. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll play some poker tournament. I’m actually considering going for it.

Matt: I got to be, I don’t talk to any cash game players. Like, my whole life has been, my whole poker world. And life has been tournament players the whole time. So yeah. And is different for me. It’s weird to talk about cash games.

Brad: There that that forbidden fruit that you don’t want to try?

Matt: It’s a foreign object. Yeah.

Brad: Yeah. I mean, I’ve played both. I’ve had success in tournaments and very limited capacity. I don’t even know how much I’ve won, like maybe over 100k and I don’t play I can tell you played one, two live tournaments in the past, I believe nine years, if that gives any context, but

Matt: Have you ever tried streaming tournaments?

Brad: I think I did one time, like back on ignition, but only like, what I was going deep in their big event, whatever it was, but that again, I can say, with much confidence, there is no chance that I will ever play a $50 tournament.

Matt: No chance.

Brad: No chance that I’m going to be grinding those guys. I mean, it’ll be some of the shot taking in the bigger online tournaments, like the main events if I do so. But I do, I do find that like, I like the atmosphere of playing live. And live tournaments are very, very good. There’s a bit of a culture shock, right, when you’re, you’re used to playing you know, like 24 in a limit, 20k deep and then you buy into even you know, a 2k tournament in live and you’re super deep playing with guys and you’re like, wow, what’s going on right now? Like competition is so soft compared to these higher stakes crushers that it’s like, wow, like I see how guys can make a living playing this tournament, like this is, this is wild. So, I do think they’re good.

Matt: Tournaments are good.

Brad: Yeah, live tournaments are real good. And so, I think there might be some hope and playing some live tournaments, making some deep runs and you know, documenting on Instagram or creating some content based on that, but I would like to get a bracelet. I’ve been thinking for like the last year or two that it’d be, it’d be pretty cool to get a bracelet I guess, just for my resume. I’ve never been a

Matt: Got to play some tournaments to get a bracelet, you’re going to get on the grind for sure.

Brad: You do, you do. I’ve never like, it’s never been about prestige for me. I think that’s one big thing about poker, it’s never been about prestigious, just like I told you before, taking care of the people that I care about. That’s been my driving force and being the best that I can be.

Matt: You know what the best part about that is it’s the almost the complete opposite for me.

Brad: Almost, it’s all about prestige.

Matt: Prestige, the hype, the ego, the stream, all of it. That’s the beautiful thing about poker for me.

Brad: So, you’re young like I said, just give it let’s give it five or 10 years well, you know, we’ll bring you on bring you on the show every few years or so and see how that mentality changes.

Matt: Sounds good.

Brad: But yeah, man Best of luck to you. Where can the chasing poker greatness audience find you on the inter webs?

Matt: Matt Staples on Twitch, that’s where I’m going to be online five days a week. matthew_staples on Instagram, mattstaplespoker on Twitter. And that’s it, but Twitch is the best one. I’m online almost full time so

Brad: Let’s give this man some hype so that he can take down Lex.

Matt: Got to get Lex

Brad: Got to get Lex

Matt: Got to get him out of there.

Brad: Yeah, in 15 years in the future Lex is down. You’ll be the man in Twitch.

Matt: And if you guys hear me on the podcast, and you come to my stream, say hello from the podcast. So, I know. You should.

Brad: Yeah, say the chasing poker because this is great publicity for me too, get in the chat. Talk about the podcast.

Matt: Say what’s up.

Brad: Man. It’s been a pleasure.

Matt: Thanks a lot.

Brad: Yeah, thank you for coming on. And we’ll do a round two for sure. In the future.

Matt: Sounds good. Thanks.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of chasing poker greatness. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please take a moment to do so on Apple podcasts or wherever your favorite place listen to podcasts might be. And once again,I also wanted to let you know about PKC poker. If you’re on the lookout for a new platform where the games are safe and secure and the action is amazing, head to to get your code and jump into the games. You must have a code to play as well as be 21 years of age or older. One final time that’s Thank you so much and I’ll see you next time on Chasing Poker Greatness.

Thanks for reading this transcript of Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast Episode 013: Matt Staples

Click the icon above to be taken to the main hub podcast page to view all episodes of the CPG Pod. If you have a request for a transcript of any other Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast episodes, just use the contact form below to let us know!

nurrle poker course

Join the Chasing Poker Greatness Mailing List and get a FREE poker training course!

Intel in your inbox! Sign up and receive not only CPG updates, poker strategy, and performance insights emailed to you -- but also get access to NURRLE: Neutralize River Leads for FREE 😃!

How can we help you on your chase for poker greatness? Contact us below.

Questions about the courses? Wondering where to start? Looking for advice? Hit us up with anything you want to discuss and we're here to help. Either Brad or one of his staff will get back to you shortly to set you up with anything you need out of CPG. Don't hesitate to ask!

Chasing Poker Greatness often posts about podcast episode releases, poker strategy, poker course offerings, and poker as an industry on social media: