Over the course of the 2011 World Series of Poker, CanadaPoker.com was fortunate enough to catch up with our Canadian bracelet winners and share the winner’s thoughts on achieving what many consider the ultimate achievement success in the game of poker; winning a gold bracelet.
Of course we had been missing one interview, for the very reasons that have always impressed us about Matt Jarvis; maintaining a balance between life, friends, family and the fast based game of competitive poker. Now that things have settled down a little, we caught up with Matt, which brings us to Bracelet #5 and one of the most recognized faces when it comes to top Canadian players on the scene today and perhaps one the players CanadaPoker.com has had the pleasure of getting to know, having caught up with him and kept track as he tore up the felts of WSOP, COPC and BCPC in 2010, then again at the November Nine reunion at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Even If you haven’t been following Matt’s amazing “break-out” year, if you play poker live or online it’s very likely you may have seen his face on the cover of a few different poker magazines and all over poker web reports across the internet. Of course by now, most people will remember that while the rising star had huge support going into November, it was Jonathan Duhamel who got the spot-light with his Main Event win, while Matt took a nasty river to be eliminated by Michael Mizrachi’s full boat in eighth place.
Ironically, late in Day 1 of the 2011 WSOP Event #40, a $5,000 buy-in 6 handed No Limit Hold’em, Jarvis would send “The Grinder” to the rail with his own full house on the river and never look back. Mizrachi had a little fun with reference to the “November Nine” final table, tweeting; “So it happens again! WSOP 2011 no good for me!! Last hand against @mattjarvispoker’s (I have) 10, 10 versus (Matt’s) 66. River 6 ball corner pocket! Guess we are even now!”
While we’re pretty sure Javis felt a hint of satisfaction somewhere deep down inside, his “poker mantra” has always been “No Ego. No Emotion. Just Poker!”, a motto he clearly stuck to in this one. Carving his way through the pack of 732 entrants, Jarvis eventually whittled down to just one player between him and WSOP validation; Justin Filtz.
The two fought extremely hard heads up, at one point Filtz backing Matt into a corner and forcing him to play the much shorter stack. Matt would recover, but none the less a winner couldn’t be determined after a full ten levels of play for the day and the two were forced to return to finish on a fourth day. Jarvis had the chip advantage, but it’s never over until it’s over in poker. A few hands in, Filtz turned up the heat, moving all in on Matt to put him to the test. Far from a stranger to heads up play and sizing up his opponents, Jarvis snap called and tabled Ace, Eight off-suit to Justin’s suited King, Nine.
It was good enough and after the five cards were dealt, “Ace High” finally brought Matt home some of the championship jewelry he has fought hard for on several final tables over the past year; now the owner of the best kind at that! The over $808,000 pay-day also put Jarvis over the $2,000,000 mark in live tournament winnings in just the last calendar year alone, catapulting him into the Top Twenty of the Canadian “All Time” list.
Matt took some time to answer our questions about the epic score and his success over the past 12 months:
CP: You of all people have had plenty of opportunity to dream of owning a WSOP bracelet. With having to wait out for last year’s November Nine and fall just short, how bad did you want this, once it was within reach on Day 3?
Matt Jarvis: First of all, thank you for your kind words. This year’s WSOP, despite going only 1 for 15, was unbelievable! I felt like I did everything I could to prepare for it and I’m just so glad that it went the way that it did. I wanted it so bad and I’d have to say it felt like I had a lot of pressure on me late on day 3, mostly self-inflicted, to get the job done and prove to the poker world that I did deserve to have a gold bracelet on my wrist even if it wasn’t the one for the Main event’s.
CP: Even though you entered Day 4 a significant favorite, your heads up battle with Justin was no cake walk to that point. Did you get any sleep?
Matt Jarvis: Barely any sleep! After playing only 5 hands the morning of day 4, it sure wasn’t a good representation of how the heads up battle went between Justin and I.
CP: Was it difficult having to wait for the match to restart?
Matt Jarvis: It was!! I felt I had a lot of momentum on my side just winning a big flip against him and I was ready and willing to keep the foot pressed firmly on the gas to end it. Also I had a lot of my close friends, Ash, MD, Pascal, Jonathan Duhamel, etc.. They were getting pretty loud, along with my girlfriend and lucky charm Juliana!
CP: To have had such a great past 12 months is nothing short of amazing, yet you still kind of play for fun as opposed to professionally from what we understand. Does this milestone kind of close the book as far as goals go, or are you still craving the Main Event title?
Matt Jarvis: I still really enjoy the game and would consider myself a poker enthusiast but not a professional. I’m thrilled with my success but realize there’s much more in this world than just poker for me and yes, I do still have goals in poker but my life goals far surpass my poker goals in terms of importance.
CP: We would guess your family was pretty damn proud; they have all been very supportive from what we have seen. How stoked was Dad?
Matt Jarvis: Yeah, my family has all been so, so supportive. I’ve been talking to my parents and my sister over the summer on a fairly regular basis and I called them all immediately after I won! It feels amazing to have such support from them (Big Smile)
CP: You have remained pretty tight with the rest of last year’s “Nine”. Any prop bets on this one? I would imagine they were pretty stoked as well, (even if it did cost them), to see you take this down? Any of them sweat you on the rail?
Matt Jarvis: No real prop bets this series. Seeing Jonathan in that Canucks jersey really was a great site to see! Really glad to see he also came down and supported me in it at my final table. He was also was probably one of the loudest in the crowd too!! ….All the rest of the 9 came up and personally congratulated me too which was really nice as well! We really have all remained pretty close.
CP: It was pretty awesome to see that your lady also made it to Vegas in time to enjoy the moment with you and even un-bag that monster Day 4 stack. Do you think that helped put you in the zone?
Matt Jarvis: Dude, she was instrumental in me winning! I say that with complete seriousness. From the moment she arrived and surprised me at the table, she was there day and night supporting me with Ash and getting me focused.
CP: Having the Heads Up end so quickly must have been a relief, but how long did that last hand feel to you? can you describe the first thought in your mind when that river blanked?
Matt Jarvis: For some reason this hand I had a strong feeling of confidence that it was going to go my way. Not because I’m a slight favorite over K9 with A8 but more just the way I was feeling. I think even if I had lost that all-in, from chipping him down the first 4 hands, he would have only been around where he started the day which was around a 4 to 1 dog… And after the river blanked, I pumped my fist and ran into my crowd of friends and just jumped 🙂
CP: Do you think all the live Heads Up experience, as the Canadian 2010 $5000 HU Champ, and the other Heads Up events you have played over the last year helped make that such a quick snap call for you? It seemed you were pretty confident that you were ahead?
Matt Jarvis: Yes, I think my heads up hand range reading ability is getting better and better. That being said, A8 to a 15 BB ship is normally pretty standard to snap
CP: Rumor has it you are looking, or already well on your way to starting your own business. Does this win both from a personal goal stand point and huge cash help solidify or accelerate those plans?
Matt Jarvis: Yes, it definitely helps. I’m working on really trying to get more well acquainted with the business world and having a few extra shekels to help the process never hurt 😉
CP: We are very curious as to if this huge win has brought more of a feeling of “calm and satisfaction” or if it has stirred cravings to try for even “bigger”?
Matt Jarvis: I’d say a definite mixture of both. If I had to pick one it’d have to be calm and satisfaction though, however the drive inside me never wants to quit.
CP: You had a few “absolute bubbles” early in the series, though that didn’t seem to shake you. You have always seemed grounded emotionally. In all honesty, was the “just keep plugging” your attitude throughout the series so far this year, or did you find yourself frustrated at all and wanting to head home before this epic run?
Matt Jarvis: Truthfully I wasn’t always as positive minded about the bubbles and the way things were going throughout the series. I remember losing heads up in the 1500 NL shootout at my first table and feeling as horrible as could be. That heads up match went even longer than Justin’s and mine. But Juliana and my family really helped me with that and luckily it doesn’t matter how many 0-fors you have in this game, as long as when things go right and you do go deep… You make it count! 🙂
Matt certainly did just that and we are sure that that friends and fans across the country considered it one of the best poker moments of 2011 so far. A big thank-you to Mr. Jarvis for his time here and huge Congratulations from all of us at CanadaPoker.com!