When you don't have a bankroll big enough to throw money off a bridge just to see the fish nibble at the bills, you sometimes have to start a poker career with next to nothing. Or in the case of Matthew "MUSTAFABET" Ashton, actually nothing.
"I learnt myself through playing 10c prizepool freerolls," he said. "When I had enough to play an 11c sit and go, I played that and if I lost went back down if I won played higher."
And so began the tale of a man who, like many other success stories before him, never deposited a penny of his own money online. Freerolls won him money, he turned than money into bigger money, and he turned that money into $86,247 and a PLO WCOOP bracelet.
By this point, Ashton is no stranger to final tables and big money. That said, he had--get this--NEVER won a poker tournament on PokerStars. He'd come runner up several times in the past, but never taken one down. His first ever was the $215 PLO 6-max event.
"It always feels great to make a final table especially in the WCOOP," Ashton said, "and it was nice to win my first tournament on PokerStars."
A math student at Sheffield University, Ashton just took a year off from his studies to play poker and travel. He's now back in class to finish his degree. But first he has set a goal of climbing to the top of the WCOOP leader board.
While this WCOOP win is the biggest he's had, it's only been a few months since he took 3rd place in the SCOOP 8-Game event for $50,000.
"I normally play the 8-game mix and like to think I'm a good all around player," he said.
At just 21 years old, Ashton just got back from traveling all over Europe. In all he saw eleven countries and lists the trip as the most enjoyable experience of his life. And while he's already hoping to see more places, he has other goals in mind.
"I'd like to keep improving and try to beat the biggest mixed cash games online," he said.