Matt and Tracey – A Poker Love Story
Matt first learned poker playing 7-card stud with his parents at the age of 6 while at anchor on his family’s sailboat. Growing up, he developed a passion for strategy games of every type. While in high school, he became competitive at collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering. In college, he played Bridge, Cribbage, Pinochle and any other card game that he and his roommates could gamble on for the Chinese food tab. Then, in 1999, he and his roommates watched a movie called Rounders. After that, all they played was poker. Soon, they were missing morning classes to run late-night tournaments in their dorm. After college and the Moneymaker boom, Matt became one of the cloud of amateurs playing $1-$2 No-Limit Hold ‘Em at the Taj and punting his stack repeatedly. From 2003-2006, Matt attended law school and made the occasional trip to the newly-opened Borgata to donk off his student loan money in daily tournaments. He then got a full-time job as a lawyer and didn’t regularly play poker for a while.
In 2009, Matt met Tracey and the two were married by 2010. Tracey didn’t think much of gambling, but was okay with Matt occasionally playing poker. However, she never dreamed of doing so herself. Matt had the incredible foresight to put money onto Full Tilt and give poker a try again just months before Black Friday. Whoops. The poker bug had caught hold of him again, however, so he started making some Saturday trips to the Borgata to play $1-$2 NLHE. Frustrated after some initial losses, Matt decided to actually make a serious effort to study the game and bought some leading poker strategy books. That’s when he discovered that he had been playing like a donkey for his whole life. Matt soon consumed every poker book available on Amazon and committed himself to actually learning how to play poker. The good news was that he had 10 years of errors to learn from free of (additional) charge.
Even when they were still dating, Matt and Tracey had discovered that they shared a love of gaming. This continued into their married life, as the two always made time on the weekend to play some kind of strategy boardgame together. Matt knew that Tracey would make an excellent poker player, but she insisted that she was “not a gambler”. In a act that was only partially well-meaning sabotage, Matt began to study old episodes of Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker while Tracey was sitting on the couch with him reading a book. At first, Tracey would only look up at the TV to listen to Phil Hellmuth’s rants. Eventually, she began saying things like, “Why would he raise there? I don’t think he’s getting called by worse.” Mission Accomplished! Matt bought a set of poker chips and asked Tracey if she would at least listen to an introductory lesson. She agreed, and soon learned that poker had a lot more to do with math than gambling. Since she was a math major in college, it quickly became an easy sell.
Matt made the transition up to $2-$5 NLHE at about the same time that Tracey started playing $1-$2 (Summer 2016). The two would discuss hands on the way home and throughout the week. Soon, they were teaching friends and family how to play and discovered they had a love of teaching the game to others, as well. Several of their students have gone on to become successful at live poker. Tracey soon made the jump up to $2-5 herself. As of now, both play semi-professionally on both weeknights and weekends, primarily at the Borgata in Atlantic City and Parx outside of Philly. Both still have day jobs (Matt a lawyer, Tracey a paralegal), but know that poker is a part of their life that is here to stay and will only grow.
In mid-2017, Matt and Tracey began discussing the possibility of starting up a poker strategy podcast and website. His and Hers Poker is the result. We hope that you find our insights into the game and the hands we present to be informative and interesting. As far as we know, we are the only husband-wife team podcasting about poker and hope to present a unique perspective not found in other broadcasts. We are honest that both of us continue to be evolving students of the game and are by no means top-level experts. However, we do think we have something of value to offer and we hope that you’ll agree after listening in.
Thanks, and welcome to the His and Hers Poker family!
P.S. – If you enjoy the intro/outro music used on the podcast, it was made by one of Tracey’s co-workers named Brian Raley, and you can check out more of his stuff on Instagram (@brianraley)
P.P.S. – When Matt is not playing poker, he is also an aspiring author! His first novel, Unchosen, has recently been published. If you enjoy modern/urban fantasy books, please check it out by clicking on the button below: