Not many in the poker community would recognize the name of Mattew Ashton. One of the reasons for that is because he has not been on the poker circuit during 2012. Ashton decided to put poker behind him at least for awhile and made a decision to travel the world.
Ashton who comes from Liverpool, England grew weary of spending countless hours behind his computer screen playing online poker. The loneliness got to him and he made an important decision of putting his poker aspirations on hold and deciding to pack up and travel the globe.
Matt Ashton who is just 25 years old, visited 30 countries during his break and used the time to recharge himself and get his priorities settled. In a statement, Ashton said
It was something I always wanted to do. It may have held my poker game back if anything. I don’t think it helped it any way. But it helped in other areas of my life so I can concentrate more on poker now.
The break seemed to do him a lot of good for he came back strong in 2013 and made his mark at 3 final tables this year. But, it was early Friday morning at the WSOP in Rio where Ashton really made his mark. He was playing at the $50,000 buy-in tournament and had successfully managed to make himself one of the key contenders at the final table. He faced stiff competition in the form of Don Nguyen, John Hennigan and David Benyamine.
Yet Ashton held his nerve and played extremely well to top the table and win the prestigious 2013 Poker Players Championship along with $1.77 million. This win means that Ashton will now have his name etched into the Chip Reese memorial trophy. and will automatically get the attention of the poker community.
Ashton went on to say that
I was just talking on the break saying I should be avoiding playing big pots in PLO because I’m better at the other games and I want to get heads-up with a better chance. I just made some big hands at PLO and got paid. It was lucky. You keep switching between games, so it’s hard to pick up reads on people. Playing the same game, you get a feel for the flow and how people are playing quicker. When the game keeps changing, that’s less of a factor.
Don Nguyen took the 2nd place and won $1,096,254 and John Hennigan came in 3rd and took $686,568. With this win, Ashton is hot on the heels of Daniel Negreanu and could very wells surpass him and claim the WSOP 2013 Player of the Year.