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Poker found Matthew J-B back in 2000 in the form of channel 4’s Late Night Poker, the ground breaking TV show where players’ hole cards were exposed to the viewer for the first time and, in the process, perhaps unbeknown by how much at the time, but in hindsight, they were creating history. TV poker was born, as was the spark that would one day become a fire inside J-B. Phil Hellmuth, graced with an understanding of a No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout way above the field back then, a pre-sight into the opportunity and indeed the profitability of an image coupled with TV exposure, and of course a main event bracelet, deservedly won it that year. J-B watched in awe, understanding next to nothing, and even pausing when they explained the ranking of hands, but knowing with certainty, that this was a very useful way to waste some time.

Rounders was next, the movie starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton & John Malkovich. J-B first heard of Rounders in a book simply titled Gambling. There was a section on poker and a picture of Malkovich as Teddy KGB from the movie. J-B was interested enough to seek out the movie to watch. If Late Night Poker was the spark then Rounders became the flame.

So, a familiar beginning many will relate to, and one which has led to many paths. Here is J-B’s chronological poker progression, a list of significant points in time, and how the flame became the fire inside!:

The progression in summary

  1. Late Night Poker.
  2. Rounders.
  3. Big Deal by Anthony Holden.
  4. Travelling.
  5. Chris Moneymaker.
  6. Home Games: £5 / £10 / £20 SNG’s.
  7. Online Poker @ Holdempoker: Free Play.
  8. Poker History Books.
  9. Poker Study Books (Continual).
  10. Online Poker @ William Hill: 10p-20p / 25p-50p Cash + £5 / £10 / £20 / £30 / £50 SNG’s.
  11. Live Poker @ Westcliff Casino, Southend: £10 Rebuy MTT.
  12. Live Poker @ Speilers Casino, Southend: £20 / £50 SNG’s.
  13. Online Poker @ UKB: £1-£2 / £2-£5 Cash (Short stacked) + £20 / £30 / £50 / £100 SNG’s.
  14. Lose £500 in-one-hand to a one-outer @ UKB… AsAc v JhJd on a (9s 7s 3s) board. All-in on the flop, turn… 2d, river… Jc!
  15. Live Poker @ Grosvenor Victoria Casino, London: 50p-£1 / £1-£2 Cash.
  16. Win 5 SNG’s in-a-row @ Mint Casino (formally Speilers), Southend & pocket £500.
  17. Live Poker @ Mint Casino, Southend: £40 / £60 / £100 MTT’s.
  18. Online Poker @ Full Tilt: $0.5-$1 / $1-$2 / $2-$4 / $3-$6 / $5-$10 Cash (Mainly $1-$2 RUSH once released).
  19. Win first £100 MTT for £1,000+ @ Mint Casino, Southend.
  20. Win second £100 MTT for £1,000+ @ Mint Casino, Southend.
  21. Home Games: 25p-50p Cash (Deep stacked £100, must also carry reload).
  22. Get slowrolled holding 88 on a ( 2 2 4 5 8 ) board playing cash @ Grosvenor Victoria Casino, London. He shows 22 after five minutes of me being all-in and gets thrown out.
  23. Travel to Copenhagen: £5-£10 Cash.
  24. Travel to Egypt: £5-£10 Cash.
  25. Chase Fish around Full Tilt: A combination of bad beats and tilt costs $5,000+.
  26. Travel to Las Vegas!: $1-$2 / $2-$4 / $5-$10 / $10-$20 Cash. Highlight was reading an opponent’s hand blind playing $10-$20 at the Wynn, it caused such a stir that the table broke up!
  27. Travel to Dublin: €1-€2 Cash.
  28. Reach $20,000 Full Tilt account profit target.
  29. Achieved & maintained a profit from ALL games of ALL levels ever played online or live.
  30. Finished work Friday 15th April 2011 to travel and play poker, aka ‘Black Friday’!
  31. Online Poker @ PokerStars: $0.5-$1 / $1-$2 Cash.

J-B’s target from here is to prove to himself he can continue to play +EV poker on PokerStars in the $1-$2 6-Max Cash games; to ultimately aim for Supernova Elite status in the near future; and to also continue to profit from and enjoy local live tournaments and home games.

Good luck at the tables!

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