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The Making of a Poker Player

How An Ivy League Math Geek Learned To Play Championship Poker

Matt Matros

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red bar

Strengths: Entertaining stories.
Weaknesses: Long-winded. Sub-par advice.
Year: 2005
Page Count: 286

Reviewed by Ozone on Aug. 10, 2005.

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In this book, Matt Matros details his rise from a new poker player to a World Poker Tour final table appearance that earned him $700,000. Matt is an Ivy League graduate who paid his way through college with a relatively meager poker income. There are two themes Matros focuses on in this book. There are the tales of his own personal adventures in the poker world, as well as his poker strategy advice. The tales of his poker career are well-written and might be entertaining for those interested in another's poker career. However, because Matros is far from being a poker superstar, his personal stories are unlikely to intrigue most readers.

Poker Advice

Matt seems to have a crush on the mathematical approach to the game of poker and can help a reader with this aspect of poker strategy. However, he does not give enough practical advice about playing poker hands, such as how to play AK when you hit a certain flop. Instead, he spends far too much time dropping names and mentioning who helped him become a good player.

Readers are educated at great length about the world of the messageboard. A lot of the theories and stories in this book tend to be very boring, though his chapter on game theory does hold some value. The author seems like a very bright young man, who probably should have chosen to spend his time in ways other than writing this book.


At 286 pages of small font and often boring dialogue, this book tends to drag on at times. Admittedly, the book is very well-organized. Each chapter is independent of the others and could be read by itself. This gives readers the ability to skip around and only read chapters of interest. For anyone new to the poker world, this book has some value in terms of learning how advanced players think at the table. For seasoned players, expect The Making of a Poker Player to be a great sleep aid.


The Making of a Poker Player can be purchased at Amazon

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