Matt Bretzfield Fuels His Passion for Poker With 3 Wins at WPT RRPO

Matt Bretzfield Fuels His Passion for Poker With 3 Wins at WPT RRPO

Matt Bretzfield had never played in an 8-game mix tournament before he sat down and won the $600 affair at the 2023 World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock n Roll Poker Open.

The win was his third victory in the 2023 RRPO series, equal to the all-time record, and the first time a player had done such a thing since Julio Fernandez and Atanael Thomas both pulled it off in different Seminole series in 2012.

Ive been very busy with a lot of other stuff, but with this series, I said lets go. I worked on Wednesday and on Thursday I won (the $1,100 5-Card PLO). Worked on Friday, came back, ran deep, and just missed the money. I came back again and won my second (the $500 5-Card PLO Bounty.)

Bretzfield has played PLO for over 20 years, but he had never seen a single hand of stud poker in that time.

Ive never played any stud variants in my life. Never. No razz, no stud, nothing. I played TD once just messing with some friends, but other than that I havent played any of those games.

The day started with an entry into the $3,500 Main Event, but that went south fast. The idea of playing in the 8-game mix wasnt on his mind until Bretzfield stepped outside and talked to Yuval Bronshtein.

I told him I really dont play that, but he said talk to me for a few minutes and he gave me a few pointers. So I jumped in and I won it. It was pretty cool.

Matt Bretzfields Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Tournament Wins

SeriesEventEntriesPrize PoolPrize
2019 LHPO$1,100 PLO84$82,480$15,323
2022 SHRPS$400 Mixed PLO126$42,210$11,475
2022 SHRPO$1,100 Mixed PLO78$75,660$20,165
2022 RRPO$600 NLH37$19,610$5,828
2023 LHPO$600 PLO134$70,350$14,963
2023 RRPO$1,100 5 Card PLO86$83,420$21,583
2023 RRPO$500 5 Card PLO Bounty164$35,540$8,073
2023 RRPO$600 8-Game Mix67$35,175$8,481

Bretzfield cut his teeth in underground games around New York, whee he dealt and played Holdem and PLO. His early tournament cashes were relatively modest until he moved to Florida in 2016.

I played maybe three tournaments my whole life before I moved to Florida. I started on Full Tilt and PokerStars when I was in college at UCONN. When I left college, I went back to New York and it was all underground. I started dealing and playing and never stopped really.

He moved down to Florida with his girlfriend, but poker wasnt really on his mind. Bretzfield played some cash games and some PLO nothing too serious. It was a life-changing birthday that sent him down the road to playing more tournament poker.

Im trying to enjoy myself while I play, but Im a very competitive person. Everyone who knows me knows that. I want to win. I have to win. My mentality is to be a winner.

We split up and it was my birthday and I had nothing to do, so I fired a tournament and I won it. That tournament was a $150 Triple Stack in the early summer of 2018 at Seminole in Hollywood. It got me a seat in the Main Event of the SHRPO later that summer and I hadnt played in any series at that point. I took 10th in the Main and thought I could do this.

The 10th-place run earned him $62,415, but he wasnt done. A week later, he would finish second in the $360 opener at the Card Player Poker Tour stop in Pompano Beach. Another week after that, he won the $1,100 Main Event for $35,443.

Bretzfield has since won eight tournaments in various series at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. He says it could be 10 if it werent for taking more money to give up the trophy in a couple of chop deals along the way.

Outside of poker, hes a caring friend and hard-working business partner.

Ive always been that guy with other endeavors. I grew up very poor and I promised myself I wasnt going to be like that when I got older. So I have a lot of business interests I do also. But Im not successful enough yet to play poker every day like some of these guys do.

When hes not playing poker, Bretzfield deals private games in California, Texas, and here in Florida. He plays basketball twice a week and enjoys hanging out with his friends just as much as he enjoys winning poker tournaments. But dont make the mistake of thinking that Bretzfield is out there just tossing chips around for fun.

Im trying to enjoy myself while I play, but Im a very competitive person. Everyone who knows me knows that. I want to win. I have to win. My mentality is to be a winner.

Going forward, Bretzfield plans to spend six or seven weeks in Vegas every summer. The win in the 8-game mix has ignited a passion for triple draw and other mixed games, not to mention Bretzfields desire to pursue his passion at a high level.

My father passed away recently, and he raised me by himself. He would always say to me, pursue, pursue, pursue, and he would follow me on all of the coverage. When he passed a part of me left, but the rest of me is just trying to make him proud.

Shortly after the death of his father, he won his first WSOP Circuit ring in October 2002 in Pompano Beach.

I walked outside and got emotional because I knew he was with me. Im not a big spiritual believer, but when I won my second trophy here, I could feel him with me. I cant explain it. It was always me and him, and I grew up very poor.

In the end, Bretzfield is one of the most competitive people you will ever meet in a poker room, but his friends come first.

Poker isnt everything to me. Its important, but its not the most important thing. Id rather be a loyal friend than play poker.

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