Matthew "cwp394" Ross, like many young poker pros, discovered the online game when he went to college. Unlike many of his age-mates, Ross, winner of Event #3 in the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker, prefers Limit Hold'em to No Limit. Ross is a Limit Hold'em specialist, playing tons of shorthanded Limit games on PokerStars. The former chef quit his day job some time ago and now plays tournament poker for a living, and the $73,385 first prize for Event #3 certainly makes that look like a good decision!
He described his win in Event #3 as a "long grind," perhaps the most apt description of life as a Limit Hold'em player. With an extremely long final table bubble, Ross said at times it felt like they'd never get down to one table. Once the final table was set, however, it was a short hop from there to his first WCOOP title and his biggest career score.
Ross has found tournament success before Event #3, winning the PokerStars $11 Rebuy half a dozen and taking fourth in a live event at Turning Stone casino near his home in upstate New York. He plans to "keep grinding it out" as he continues to work on his game and work his way back up the Tournament Leader Board for another shot at a Team PokerStars pro. He won the TLB this January and got a heads-up match against Team PokerStars Pro player Katja Thater in return. Ross fell short in that match, but describes Thater as one of his favorite players and an "amazing woman."
Ross first learned the game of poker playing with his uncles at family gatherings, and took the initials of one of his uncles for his screen name. "Everyone always thinks I just fell asleep at the keyboard when I made this name," joked the young champ.
Despite learning the game from family members, there was some resistance when he made poker his career. "My family at first hated that I was going to do this for a living, but they understand that this is what I want to do and it is my life." Taking down a WCOOP championship certainly adds more validity to an already-successful career choice! Congrats to Matthew "cwp394" Ross, winner of Event #3!