Meet Matt Waxman, Florida poker pro

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By Garrett Roth

The mix of a live and an online poker player is a recipe for profit and success. Just ask Matt Waxman, 26, the most recent winner of the Isle Poker Classic main event in Pompano Beach. He took home the $86K first prize and another title to put on his growing resumé.
Waxman, a poker professional who lives in Parkland, Fla., has had a solid track record of consistent wins throughout his career. He’s on the best tournament tear of his life, having won the 2010 World Series of Poker Circuit’s main event in Atlantic City just days before the Isle victory. He took home $117K and a gold championship ring. Other big live finishes include a sixth-place finish in the 2009 WSOP $5K six-handed event ($138K), a final table at the 2010 Borgata Spring Open ($61K) and numerous cashes at the WSOP, WSOP Europe and PCA.

Though it wasn’t his largest career cash, the Isle Classic victory was a special one for the hometown pro.

“I am really proud of my win at the Isle,” he said.

Waxman added he was able to accumulate chips on some very interesting hands on the second day of the tournament.

“I had {5-Spades}{9-Spades}, opened under the gun and was flatted by everyone! The flop came {4-Spades}{5-Clubs}{10-Spades}, which gave me middle pair with a flush draw. I bet, was immediately raised by Phillip Gurian (second place, $76K) and the other two folded. He had 4-5 offsuit and I hit the spade on the turn and doubled to over 1.2 million in chips.

“I also picked off an enormous bluff of Sami Allen (third place, $40K) at the end of the tournament. I made top pair on a really dry board, checked back the flop, the turn was a brick and I called a bet. On the blank river, he checked to me and I overbet for value and then he shoved all-in. I thought about it for a long time and ended up calling off a huge chunk of my stack. Allen then said ‘You’re good,’ which is the best thing you can hear after making a hero call.”

But, as mentioned earlier, his prowess doesn’t lay merely on the live felt: He is a world-class online champion. Waxman, a.k.a. BigStackBBQ, won the Full Tilt Online Poker Series XIII main event for an astonishing $450,000.

“I was definitely in the zone and lots of things were working out as planned,” Waxman said. “Having such a huge cash was really exciting because I knew that it meant I could stake myself in poker’s most prestigious tournaments without overextending my bankroll.”
Waxman’s investments in himself have been paying off handsomely. He’s proved he has the ability to transition from live to online and back again.

With more than $1 million in combined cashes since beginning his career in high school, Waxman continues to be ambitious.

“A couple of my poker goals are to win a WSOP bracelet, Card Player’s Player of the Year and to produce an original concept for a poker TV show that I have been imagining over the past few years.”

With the way things have been unfolding for this Florida professional, anything is possible.
Matt Waxman’s goal is to win a WSOP bracelet, and given his recent success there, it seems inevitable.