Amateur Poker Player Took Multi-Million Dollar Shot in Las Vegas

Amateur Poker Player Took Multi-Million Dollar Shot in Las Vegas

It’s safe to say we all love a good rags-to-riches story. But although this article, where a lorry driver from Yorkshire played in the $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas after winning his entry via a national league, didn’t end with a massive win for the amateur poker player, we all admire his courage and tenacity.

Read on to learn more about this amazing story that started at an online casino and ended on the pro poker circuit in Las Vegas.

Meet Mathew Huby

After winning the online league of Let’s Play Poker Live (LPPL), lorry driver Mathew Huby qualified for the $10k Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

It’s the biggest poker tournament of the year, with thousands of hopefuls brushing up on the best poker strategy before taking their seats for a shot at millions of dollars.

The Morley truck driver stated that he would not be focused on the $10 million main prize but rather on the social aspects of the game, as he does with friends back in Yorkshire, where he plays regularly.

Rubbing shoulders with the stars

In addition, at the Las Vegas tournament, he met Hollywood star Vince Vaughn, most famous for films such as Dodgeball, Hacksaw Ridge and The Break-Up, who donned a roman emperor costume and arrived dressed as Caesar.

Vaughn, 38, also got to hold one of the brand-new WSOP bracelets that he helped debut at the event.

And Mathew started well enough against the tournament’s second-largest field in its history. On Day 3 of the competition, just under 3,000 competitors remained from an initial field of 8,663, and he was still involved.

Because of the large field, the prize pool exceeded $80 million, with the winner receiving $10 million and the runner-up receiving $6 million. Even finishing in 1,300th place would earn you $20,000 in prize money.

Amateur Poker Player Took Multi-Million Dollar Shot in Las Vegas vince

Mathew Huby with Hollywood star Vince Vaughn at the World Series of Poker (image courtesy of Let’s Play Poker Live)

But sadly, Mathew fell just short of that on Saturday 9th July, crashing out of the tournament shortly before the end of the day.

After being eliminated, he stated that he had enjoyed competing against the world’s best poker players and would work to requalify for the event the following year.

His chips dropped from 60,000 to 20,000 on the first day before he decided to go all-in on Day 3 with more than 80,000 chips. “To be honest, I was just hoping to make it through the first day,” Mathew admitted.

Mathew, a father of two, emphasised how difficult playing the game was and found the ten hours of play on the first day emotionally draining and challenging. He said that he just wanted to get the first day done and under his belt and that his primary goal was to keep competing.

Mathew is a Leeds United fan and coaches his son’s neighbourhood football team when he is not driving his truck across the UK or playing poker.

Is there something in the water in Yorkshire?

Yorkshire not only boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, history and landmarks, but it also seems to be the place that breeds fine amateur poker players. Perhaps there is something in the water because Mathew isn’t the only Yorkshireman who has made it to Las Vegas on the Poker Circuit.

In 2017, Bridlington caravan salesman John Hesp, who wasn’t your stereotypical poker player, known for his bright and colourful jackets and shirts and relaxed attitude towards the game, won $2.6 million in the WSOP Main Event, finishing fourth out of 7,221 players.

Before his trip to Vegas, the 69-year-old John admitted to being a regular £10 no-limit Sunday re-buy gambler at Hull’s Napoleon Casino.


It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a seasoned poker professional to be able to compete in one of the world’s biggest poker championships, and if Mathew Huby and John Hesp are anything to go by, it is more than possible that a complete amateur could, one day, walk away with millions of pounds.

Mathew played poker online before jetting off to Vegas, and John Hesp played a couple of times a month at his local casino, so it really is anyone’s game, and with a little bit of know-how and a lot of luck, anything is possible.


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