min read
Matthias Eibinger - Austria's #1
Hill Kerby
Writer @Pokercode

Matthias Eibinger co-founded Pokercode with Fedor Holz and Simon “IgorKarkarof” Rønnow and is one of Team Pokercode’s head coaches along with them. He is first on Austria’s all-time money list with lifetime earnings of more than $10 million, including wins in €50,000 Super High Roller events at EPT Monte Carlo and EPT Prague.

Graz is not necessarily the first place you might think of when it comes to Austrian poker players. Regardless, Eibinger has called the Styrian capital home his whole life and loves it there, with no plans of relocation in the future.

Besides an interconnected poker network throughout Europe and beyond, Eibinger cherishes the fact that he has a large group of friends at home that he can spend time with outside of the game, especially after returning from live poker trips. Such an environment enables him to spend time with friends in a place where he feels comfortable and that serves as a home base for other hobbies of his, including skiing and playing beach volleyball depending on the season.

Matthias Eibinger standing next to Kahle Burns at a Triton Super High Roller Tour stop.

Eibinger’s Early Career

Eibinger got his start around a decade ago playing with friends in home games for a handful of euros around the time he was finishing school. He immediately found an affinity for the game and began to dive further into it, bringing about an even deeper level of engagement.

At that time, he thought he might be able to play on the side as he went to University. The idea of making some extra spending money, even if it was only a few hundred euros a month, was appealing. Instead, he never wound up going back to school.

Success did not come immediately, however. With a natural enjoyment of poker, he dabbled in many forms of the game before ultimately finding hyper turbo sit-n-go’s. Even then, it took him a bit of time before realizing that there was a learning curve involved, and that’s when his game began to really take off.

With an intense work ethic that is among the best in poker, things only progressed from there, and he eventually worked his way up to the highest level of hyper turbos spread on PokerStars. He remained at the top for a couple of years, earning Supernova Elite each year along the way until PokerStars got rid of the VIP system and forced him to reassess his options moving forward.

Transitioning into MTTs

Eibinger had put a ton of work into ICM and short-stacked situations, areas of poker that translate far better to MTTs than to cash games, and so he decided to make the commitment to multi-table tournament poker.

To him, the play was not to start from scratch at lower buy-ins and work his way up. He had risen to the top in hypers and had his sights set on doing the same for MTTs, so he took an approach few on the planet would have the discipline and drive to do. He spent nearly a full year away from playing in order to study every day as a full-time investment into his future success – a level of success he 100% knew he could, and would attain.

Prior to then, Matthias had never played more than 25BB-deep poker. Sure, there were areas from his background in hypers that translated, but he was largely in uncharted territory. He had to learn the similarities and the differences, citing that the biggest aspect was simply being aware of how everything changed overall. There were more details and situations to learn due to deeper stacks, but there were also more players at the table as well as overall in the field.

Eventually, he got to a point where he felt comfortable with all of these dynamics and largely felt prepared to hit the ground running. He jumped back into the game and his beliefs were confirmed: he quickly felt like he could compete with the best in the world, and it enabled him to quickly jump into high rollers in the live realm too, an arena he actually much prefers to the online grind.

Fedor Holz & Matthias Eibinger at the Triton Super High Roller Festival in London, 2019.

Co-Founding Pokercode

Eibinger found his way into Pokercode’s inception after meeting Fedor Holz in the Bahamas in January 2019 when the two were seated at the same table. A couple of days later, the two got breakfast and immediately connected. Holz shared his idea and it was something Matthias resonated with. After a few talks between the two, he was officially on board.

However, there was still no clear path that Pokercode would take in terms of its development. The whole idea was exciting, but they made sure to put an emphasis on listening to feedback and finding what was important to help the overall community. Ultimately, the community became the focus, and it’s something that Eibinger is extremely proud of.

Beyond that, Pokercode is still continuing to grow and evolve in that same light. For example, the Pokercode Grindhouse was a huge success in 2020, and the plans of Grindhouse 2.0 are now in the talks for the future.

He also hopes when live gatherings can occur again to incorporate Pokercode into a live event, not only for poker tournaments but also to engage the community in other ways that enrich life and allow for further connection among Pokercode members.

At the end of the day, Pokercode exists to serve its community. Some players may aspire to reach the top of the poker world, but many others may have other goals regarding improvement in their games that they can find success in even if they don’t aspire to play Super High Rollers.

For Eibinger, that goal was indeed to reach the top, though. In his mind, there was no option but to achieve his goal. As he stated on the matter, “I think if you don’t believe in yourself, you will not reach it.”

That is a message that can ring true to everybody.

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