At just 22 years of age, Matthias 'Mattinho' Auer is the youngest of the seven Pokercode Grindhouse players. He has been into poker for over a decade now, getting into the game through watching WSOP episodes and that featured legends such as Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey, and has been playing online since he turned 18 and could legally do so.
Upon being able to do so, he would also play small live tournaments on occasion, and during one of those times found himself playing some pots with another young guy on his left. Come break time, the two began to talk a bit.
That person was Florian “Gaugi” Gaugusch, and that conversation was the start of a friendship that still exists to this day. The two exchanged numbers, played together a few times, and continued to get further into the game of poker together; but they also had another mutual common interest – football.
Of course, Pokercode was not what it was today in 2018-2019 when all of this was happening, but a third eventual Pokercode Community and Grindhouse Member in Stefan “Nemi” Nemetz was also in the mix at this time.
Mattinho and Nemi had even played together on football teams before but never got close to one another prior to a few years ago. Then, the two of them and Gaugi all wound up on the same team together; and as a result of them spending more time together they not only got closer, but also got more into poker.
As for the true link between Pokercode and football, Mattinho met Pokercode CEO Johannes Mansbart through Gaugi and Nemi as well. The dominoes continued to fall, and he met Mario Mosboeck and Pokercode Founder Fedor Holz much the same.
For Mattinho, joining the Grindhouse was in some senses a matter of being in the right place at the right time. In early 2020, him, Gaugi, and Nemi were invited to spend the better part of a week on a trip in Austria with Johannes, Fedor, and a few other poker players. Mattinho enjoyed his time there, both socially and with regards to grinding poker sessions in a house with a group of guys with a similar focus. Such a great group dynamic led to discussions of a Grindhouse, a project he eventually was asked to be a part of.
At the time, he was already fairly committed to poker, but admits he was not that great of a player. He was still beating low-to-mid stakes MTTs though, and knew the opportunity would be a special one given that he already knew all but one member (Roland Rokita) by the time the Grindhouse rolled around. (And as far as Roland goes, Mattinho and Roli became close friends almost immediately. Said Mattinho of Roli, “If you cannot get along with Roli, something’s wrong with you!”)
Regarding the Grindhouse, Mattinho cites the camaraderie amongst the team as being one of his most memorable experiences. The group dynamic pushed him to elevate his game and created accountability for his study habits and routines, forcing him to study at times where he previously would not have.
On top of that, pretty much everybody in the Grindhouse was on enough of the same skill level, enabling them all to challenge one another even further through discussion, quizzes, and the like. Mattinho also loved that the Grindhouse changed locations several times throughout the project, creating new experiences every step of the journey.
There’s a quote that Gregg Popovich, President and Head Coach of the San Antonio Spurs uses as a motto of sorts for the organization. It deals with the fact that success does not come overnight.
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” — Jacob Riis
Matthinho’s version of the stonecutter hammering away involved consistent grinding and working on his game for nearly half a year between the end of 2020 and January 2021 with pretty much nothing to show for it. He felt like he was making huge strides and improving tremendously as a player but had not hit any scores that would validate such improvement.
Then came February.
Mario had gone to spend some time in Costa Rica and reached out to some of the boys about coming out to enjoy paradise. Him, Gaugi, Nemi, and Roli took him up on the offer, and after a couple of weeks of vacationing (and a little poker sprinkled in between) Mario brought up the fact that some big live events were about to take place in Las Vegas.
Long story short, Nemi took ninth in WPT at Venetian for $73K and Roli finished in third in that same event for $363K. A week later, Mattinho got his big breakthrough with a heads-up chop of the Wynn Classic $3,500 Main Event for $323K.
But we want more than just the “long story short” on this one, right?
After a week in Vegas, Mattinho had played a handful of events with no cashes. The Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 Main Event started out much the same, with him failing to find a bag on either of the first two starting flights. He felt great about the fields and his play in them and was beginning to wonder if he was not going to make a single run in a tournament all trip.
Luckily for him, registration at the Wynn went through the start of Day 2. He was able to fire one last time and spin up a 20 big-blind stack pretty quickly. He had a healthy stack as play neared the money, and Gaugi and Nemi also were still in, though short. Unfortunately, both of them wound up bubbling, a momentary dagger into the sides of all three of them.
Once the bubble burst, Mattinho continued accumulating chips with relative ease. Near the end of Day 2, he had one of the biggest stacks in the room with the chip leader on his direct right, and the two wound up getting stacks in preflop blind-on-blind with Mattinho having two aces. They held against pocket tens and he ended Day 2 second in chips with five tables remaining.
Day 3 saw more smooth sailing, and Mattinho wound up entering the final table with the chip lead. Things continued to go his way the rest of the day, and he ended up chopping heads up with Sung Joo Hyun of South Korea.
Mattinho had the chip lead but by Wynn regulations, the two ran three coin flips for the trophy. It was at this point that variance did not favor Mattinho, and as such he took $342,000 while Hyun taking home the trophy.
Beyond all that, he’s grateful for the experience and the opportunity to run deep. Both after the tournament and even during the run, Mattinho said he remembered having a big stack and taking a moment to appreciate how cool the situation was.
It didn’t take long after Mattinho returned home to Austria to hit another milestone in claiming victory in SCOOP Event #61-M ($215 Turbo) for $51K.
The tournament occurred on a Saturday and he spent the afternoon visiting his dad. When he got home around 6 p.m., he was unsure if he should grind. But he felt good enough to fire up a small session.
Among the tournaments he fired up was the $215 Turbo SCOOP, a tournament he didn’t realize was a turbo amidst his other tables. All of a sudden, only 90 players remained and his 15 big-blind stack was one of the largest at the table.
We’ll let Mattinho take it from here: “From 90 left up until the final two tables, I was a short stack the whole time. I did not have more than 15 or 20 big blinds the whole time. And then final two tables, I won two or three all-ins and managed to go into second in chips.”
Mattinho had about 30 bigs going into the final table with the chip leader having 40 BB in their stack. The chip leader was on his direct left, and as such he wound up waiting for all of the short stacks to bust. Given that it was a turbo, such a feat happened in no time. With five remaining, Mattinho won another couple of all-ins.
Three then remained with average stacks only at around 20 BB apiece. Mattinho and one other player were up for a deal but the third player wasn’t, so play marched on. Mattinho found a slight chip lead and re-jammed queen-ten into another player’s jacks, where he cracked them to take a commanding chip lead into heads-up play and finish the deed.
Of the final hand of the tournament, Mattinho said, “I had top pair and triple barreled for value. On the river, I was contemplating if I should value bet, like jam the river or not. And I jammed the river, and after a couple of seconds when I managed to fade the snap-call, I was like, ‘Okay, if he calls now, I should be good!’ And he went into the time bank and called with third pair.
“And I was like, fuck man, I really managed to win a SCOOP tournament! It’s like one of the biggest goals you can achieve in online poker. So that was a really awesome feeling, very hyped. It finished at like 4 am and I maybe went to sleep at 8 in the morning or something. I was not able to sleep; it was pretty cool.”
In addition to poker, Mattinho is also a student at University. However, he’s not very far into his program and has found much more motivation for poker, especially since the COVID pandemic began.
While still technically enrolled, he feels much more motivated to put his efforts towards continuing to advance in poker. He also feels like his ceiling is higher in poker with regards to what he can accomplish, and as such will likely take a break from schooling for the time being in order to fully commit to poker. After all, he can always go back and pick up where he left off if and when he so chooses.
When it comes down to it, Mattinho values his perspective and freedom to spend his time pursuing his passions in life. As he put it, “Why should someone force themselves to do something if they’re not really into it?”
In that same perspective, Mattinho is looking forward with full commitment to not only poker, but also to intentionally creating the life of his dreams.
Said Mattinho, “I think if you do what you love and really put 100% into it, I think there is a lot to be achieved. Because when I think back, for example, two years ago where I was starting to take poker more seriously – if you were to ask me then, two years ago, where I want to be in two years, I would probably have described something like this, where I am now.
And oftentimes, people don’t realize that self-improvement and development come step-by-step, so most of the time we don’t realize it that much. And I love to think back to where I was a year ago, or two years ago, and just compare it to where I am now and to what I would have dreamed of back then, and (it makes me) really appreciate where I am now.”
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