Poker has grown in Canada leaps and bounds since the Chris Moneymaker era in poker began. This was proven by Canada winning 10 of the 62 bracelets up for grabs at the 2013 World Series of Poker.
Someone tearing up the live and online poker scene since 2007 is Matt Marafioti.
This 26-year-old grinder was born in Toronto, Ontario but now resides in the United States and has been playing high stakes cash games and tournaments online on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker under the names "ADZ124" and "Adzizzy124" respectively.
He burst onto the live tournament scene in 2007, winning the Empire State Hold’em Championship $5,000 buy-in Main Event for $198,473.
In 2009, he came to the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino for his first World Series Of Poker and cashed in the $40,000 buy-in 40th Anniversary event for his first WSOP cash, earning himself a 12th-place finish and $172,120.
With his two cashes earned early on in this year's 2014 WSOP, he has cashed in every WSOP he has competed in.
In total, he has 16 total cashes at the WSOP massing $956,649 in prize money.
Marafioti’s best chance at a bracelet came in 2010 as he finished runner up to Hungary’s Valdemar Kwaysser in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship, winning $381,507. Marafioti came into heads-up play as a massive underdog, facing around a 14-to-1 chip disadvantage. After receiving an early double up, he got his chips into the middle on a flop holding after he was check-raised on by his opponent holding . The turn and river brought blanks for Marafioti and his dream of holding a gold bracelet had ended.
Marafioti also has back to back deep runs in the last two WSOP Main Event’s. He finished 154th in 2012 earning $52,718 and in 2013 finished 329th for $32,242. With these two deep runs, it looks like Marafioti has a handle on how to run deep in the Main Event and should be considered one of Canada’s hopes at taking down the most prestigious prize in the poker world.
This year, Marafioti has already had a couple of deep runs in some events. He found success in Event #8, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, which saw 7,997 entrants vying for $1.3 million going to the winner. Marafioti cashed in the event, finishing 371st. He also finished 17th in Event #15, the $3,000 6six-max event for $19,547.
A comprehensive list of Marafioti’s WSOP results:
|2009||$40,000 40th Anniversary Event||12||$172,120|
|2010||$10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship||2||$381,507|
|2010||$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em||29||$14,021|
|2011||$25,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads Up Championship||5||$138,852|
|2011||$2,500 No-Limit Hold’em||96||$6,824|
|2011||$5,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em||79||$9,561|
|2012||$10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship||7||$65,840|
|2012||$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em||196||$3,505|
|2012||$10,000 Main Event||154||$52,718|
|2013||$5,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em||16||$9,925|
|2013||$3,000 Mix Max No-Limit Hold’em||53||$5,666|
|2013||$3,000 No-Limit Hold’em||23||$17,910|
|2013||$2,500 No-Limit Hold’em||30||$17,456|
|2013||$10,000 Main Event||329||$32,242|
|2014||$1,500 Millionaire Maker||371||$5,384|
|2014||$3,000 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em||17||$19,547|
Marafioti’s success has not just been shown during the WSOP; he has proven he belongs among the best, playing in some of the biggest buy-in tournaments around the world.
In 2010, he finished 7th in the 25,000 High Roller at the PCA and 6th at the €20,000 High Roller at EPT London. In 2012, Marafioti returned to the PCA and finished 11th in the $25,000 8-Max High Roller. Just before this year's WSOP, Marafioti got off to a good start by playing in the $25,000 LAPC 6-Max High Roller in March. He finished 2nd, taking home $237,160.
Marafioti has amassed over $2 million in both live tournaments and online tournaments, earning $2,526,314 and $2,410,809 respectively. With almost $5 million in tournament winnings, it’s only a matter of time before he earns a piece of WSOP history, and it may be soon.
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