Matt Matros does it again

New York pro wins a bracelet for the third year in a row

Updated: June 14, 2012, 3:29 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

It's not easy to win a WSOP bracelet. Thousands of players compete day in and day out in Las Vegas for the hopes of capturing just one, and for the lucky few that earn their way to the winner's circle, they've proven they have what it takes to be among the best in the game. Winning a second bracelet solidifies that last statement. Some may think that owning one bracelet is simply the result of a good run, and it can be, but if you can take home a second piece of gold, there's no doubting your ability. Anything from that point on is truly gravy; you're a proven poker superstar.

[+] EnlargeMatt Matros
WSOP.comFor the third year in a row, Matt Matros has found himself smiling behind a stack of chips and holding a new WSOP bracelet.

Two years ago, Matt Matros earned his way onto the list of bracelet winners. Many often praised Matros' abilities before that point, but until that moment, he was an author and a teacher, but not a poker champion. It was redemption and a relief for Matros, who had a few close calls earlier in his career. Last year, Matros did the unthinkable and won his second bracelet in two years. It's an accomplishment that not many players can boast, and the modest Matros reacted in kind, pleased with his effort but understanding that two bracelets in two years was definitely an anomaly in today's game.

Then he did it again. For the third consecutive year, Matros will leave Las Vegas with a WSOP bracelet after winning the $1,500 six-handed no-limit hold 'em Event 16. He became the seventh player in WSOP history to win a bracelet in three consecutive years and earned $454,835 in the process. If he keeps up this pace, he'll be the all-time bracelet leader by 2022.

Matros understands that he's the outlier, and instead of praising his good reads and strong poker knowledge, he simply called himself lucky.

"It doesn't even occur to me that I might win a bracelet," he said of his thoughts before the 2012 WSOP. "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 can't fathom how lucky I've been the last three years here at the Rio."

The 35-year-old from Brooklyn now has $1.8 million in live tournament winnings and is the 55th player to have three or more WSOP victories.

"I would have said it was impossible to win a third one, so I can't imagine winning a fourth one, a fifth one," said Matros. "I mean, two years ago when I won the first one, I really felt the vindication of my career, the validation. I've played so many events, [had] 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. … I have to be the luckiest person alive."

After the eliminations of Mike Matusow (eighth) and Matt Glantz (seventh), Matros found himself among the chip leaders at the six-handed final table and became the overwhelming favorite after eliminating Robert Muzzatti (fifth) and Mark Darner (sixth). 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Mark Radoja knocked out Gordon Vayo in fourth and entered heads-up play against Matros with basically an identical stack.

Radoja controlled the action for the majority of the match, but one call changed the course of the tournament as Radoja essentially doubled Matros after spending five good minutes debating his decision on the river. After that hand, Matros was the aggressor and the constant pressure led to a final hand where he had Radoja all-in, holding a straight after the turn, to Matros' flush draw. The river brought the heart Matros was looking for; Radoja collected $281,502 for second place.

Can Matros make it four years in a row? You can bet that it will be a story to follow for the 2013 World Series of Poker.

Other notable finishers include Frank Kassela (15th), Todd Terry (31st), Tristan Wade (45th) and Viktor Blom (151st), who made his first career WSOP cash in this event.

Below are the complete results of Event 16 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:

Event 16: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $1,500
Entries: 1,604
Prize pool: $2,165,400
Players in the money: 162

1. Matt Matros ($454,835)
2. Mark Radoja ($281,502)
3. Ramey Shaio ($182,521)
4. Gordon Vayo ($121,262)
5. Robert Muzzatti ($81,202)
6. Mark Darner ($56,300)
7. Matt Glantz ($40,059)
8. Mike Matusow ($40,059)
9. Jonathan Currle ($29,665)
10. Elio Cohen ($29,665)
11. Thijmar Stockton ($22,585)
12. Gulyy Yury ($22,585)
13. Randy Christing ($17,323)
14. Manig Loeser ($17,323)
15. Frank Kassela ($17,323)
16. Mark Stiles ($17,323)
17. Austen Johnson ($17,323)
18. Asad Goodarzy ($17,323)
19. Keith Ferrera ($13,533)
20. Stepan Dzhigarkhanyan ($13,533)
21. Matty Levine ($13,533)
22. Justin Conley ($13,533)
23. Andrew St. Hilaire ($13,533)
24. Torrey Reily ($13,533)
25. Thiago Nishijima ($10,827)
26. Jeff Hurley ($10,827)
27. Vojtech Ruzicka ($10,827)
28. Jack Schanbacher ($10,827)
29. Kyle Julius ($10,827)
30. Hyunbong Jang ($10,827)
31. Todd Terry ($8,878)
32. Robert Brown ($8,878)
33. Cyriel Dohmen ($8,878)
34. Kevin Mccullough ($8,878)
35. Cherish Andrews ($8,878)
36. Mohammad Abedi-Arani ($8,878)
37. Kathryn Dougherty ($7,578)
38. Dmitry Savelyev ($7,578)
39. David Zeitlin ($7,578)
40. Samantha Cohen ($7,578)
41. Robert Williamson III ($7,578)
42. Michael Katz ($7,578)
43. Joseph Couden ($6,496)
44. Dustin Fox ($6,496)
45. Tristan Wade ($6,496)
46. Christopher Bolek ($6,496)
47. Ivan Tikhov ($6,496)
48. Joe Cappuccio ($6,496)
49. Nick Maimone ($5,781)
50. Mickael Morgousky ($5,781)
51. Bobby Poe ($5,781)
52. Michael Aron ($5,781)
53. Steve Brecher ($5,781)
54. Andreas Olympios ($5,781)
55. Lance Howard ($5,207)
56. Mark Schmid ($5,207)
57. Hafiz Khan ($5,207)
58. Jeffrey Brown ($5,207)
59. David Rheem ($5,207)
60. Ross Myers ($5,207)
61. Mikhail Petrov ($4,720)
62. Samuel Grafton ($4,720)
63. Benjamin Alcober ($4,720)
64. Aharon Shabtay ($4,720)
65. Daniel Heffner ($4,720)
66. Adam Junglen ($4,720)
67. Alexander Beck ($4,287)
68. Clifford Pappas ($4,287)
69. Julian Parmann ($4,287)
70. Kathy Liebert ($4,287)
71. David Gee ($4,287)
72. Erik Cajelais ($4,287)
73. Kevin McColgan ($4,287)
74. Won Lee ($4,287)
75. Andy Seth ($4,287)
76. Jeremiah Vinsant ($4,287)
77. Serkan Kurnaz ($4,287)
78. Mark Burford ($4,287)
79. Andy Frankenberger ($3,897)
80. Joe Rutledge ($3,897)
81. Yochai Konig ($3,897)
82. Joshua Weiss ($3,897)
83. Gnatenko Oleksander ($3,897)
84. Kevin McGuinness ($3,897)
85. Terry Breedlove ($3,897)
86. Jeremy Hansen ($3,897)
87. Michael Misikoff ($3,897)
88. Joshua Bersch ($3,897)
89. William O'Brien ($3,897)
90. Martin Jolicoeur ($3,897)
91. Natale Kuey ($3,259)
92. Ajay Gnanasambanthan ($3,259)
93. Kevin Cochran ($3,259)
94. Christopher MacNeil ($3,259)
95. Patrick Boedeker ($3,259)
96. Raj Vohra ($3,259)
97. Ryan Case ($3,259)
98. Matthew Juttlestad ($3,259)
99. Allan Le ($3,259)
100. Zachary Groseth-Harris ($3,259)
101. Aaron Hintz ($3,259)
102. Dana Krohn ($3,259)
103. Jacob Arguello ($3,259)
104. Roy Thung ($3,259)
105. Maxwell Greenwood ($3,259)
106. Daniel Hindin ($3,259)
107. Michael Bena ($3,259)
108. Jim McCrink ($3,259)
109. Christopher Komarniski ($3,204)
110. David Schnettler ($3,204)
111. Chris Dombrowski ($3,204)
112. Fred Goldberg ($3,204)
113. Ravi Raghavan ($3,204)
114. Derek Wolters ($3,204)
115. Zach Clark ($3,204)
116. Raul Paez ($3,204)
117. Joseph Opie ($3,204)
118. Jason Lavalle ($3,204)
119. Matt Hawlrilenko ($3,204)
120. Tamer Kamel ($3,204)
121. Nicholas Goedert ($3,204)
122. Richard Liotta ($3,204)
123. Aubin Cazals ($3,204)
124. Matthew Haugen ($3,204)
125. Tony Dunst ($3,204)
126. Patrick Cruse ($3,204)
127. Huy Nguyen ($2,944)
128. Christopher Hunichen ($2,944)
129. Steven Tripp ($2,944)
130. Robert Rann ($2,944)
131. Billy Kopp ($2,944)
132. Joseph Stark ($2,944)
133. Mattwo Taddia ($2,944)
134. Andrew Wayman ($2,944)
135. Sven Oberlander ($2,944)
136. Michael Mixer ($2,944)
137. Robert Tepper ($2,944)
138. Stephen Metzler ($2,944)
139. Mark Epstein ($2,944)
140. Scott Augustine ($2,944)
141. James Akenhead ($2,944)
142. Lawrence Berg ($2,944)
143. Kellan Schneider ($2,944)
144. Lorenzo Sabato ($2,944)
145. Trevor Pope ($2,706)
146. Noah Bronstein ($2,706)
147. Alan Cutler ($2,706)
148. Jesus Abreu ($2,706)
149. Chad Wassmuth ($2,706)
150. Samad Razavi ($2,706)
151. Viktor Blom ($2,706)
152. Ryan Drossel ($2,706)
153. Anil Jivani ($2,706)
154. Lars Bonding ($2,706)
155. Kenna James ($2,706)
156. Rom Mclaughlin ($2,706)
157. Christian Medici ($2,706)
158. Jaime Kaplan ($2,706)
159. Ashton Griffin ($2,706)
160. Fabrizio Gonzalez ($2,706)
161. Jason Lee ($2,706)
162. Jeffrey Manza ($2,706)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

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