How to Win Blackjack Tournaments. An interview with David Matthews

Great Session with the UBT’s first tournament of champions’ winner – David Matthews

David Matthews is the champions’ winner of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour first tournament, and he is clearly explaining how it feels to win a tournament.

How did you react when you heard about the Elimination Blackjack Gameplay?

It was with great ecstasy that I received the news, this is a great innovation to the blackjack tournament. The game is dynamic and unique in such a way that the pros cannot even maneuver things. It’s a new game that you have to be patient with before you can learn about it.

My thought is to learn the game as soon as possible so that I will have a better chance of making big wins.

What appeals to you most regarding this game?

Before the inception of the 30-hand blackjack, there were only 5-hand that actually counts towards the result of the game. The remaining 25 hands were mainly regarded to as fillers that serves as avenue for you to make bets that are minimal. When it come to the elimination blackjack, there is no need for you to have those waiting bets. Right from the hand 1, you will have been battling for a chip position to get the hand 8. While you are on the hand 9, there will be the resumption of the battle for the hand 16 and some other ways. There is a secret bet option that made the introduction of some opportunities that are interesting. The blackjack tournament is so fantastic and this is not about bluffing. As a poker player, this is an option that you will so much like.

What do you think about the Ultimate Blackjack Tour? Were you able to watch it?

Actually, have seen all of the episodes, and opinion is that they should show more of me (jokingly). The show is actually a great one and it is actually giving more excitement to the blackjack game. This can be said to be the biggest challenge for the blackjack on the Television. The poker game has gained much popularity going by the fact that it has an in-built drama. The production is of high quality, and a great job is shown as they display the luck and skill in playing the game.

Can you explain how you felt after beating other champions to win the UBT Championship Episode?

At that very moment I felt on top of the world, and I was about losing my mind. The thrill of winning is the best as I kept yelling, rolling on the floor and jumping. The prize was fantastic, it was a great opportunity to win what I’ve always longed for all these while.

Can you associate your victory to skill or chance?

If I’m to rate this, I will choose 30% skill and 70% luck. This is not to say that skill is not inclusive, but to be realistic, we can say that gambling is mostly about luck and opportunities. Now, let us take Chris the Moneymaker for an example, he has a lot of skills, at the same time luck is on his side.

When I had the first tournament before I was able to qualify for the last event, blackjack, blackjack, 20, 20 were the last four hands. Situations whereby a pro gets a 16, and the amateur gets a blackjack, the amateur is going to be the winner of the game. In the cause of playing the game, the skill matters most on the long run.

Can you explain how well the victory impacted your life?

Have been able to get new house and cars and there are special invitations for me to attend parties and tournaments. What interest and amazes me most is the respect that the blackjack community gives to me. They actually understood what it means to have this kind of achievement.

Trying to look backwards, is there is anything that you felt you could have done in a different way?

Yes, there are some bets that I would have done in a different way. There are so much situations whereby I over bet, and there are sometimes that I bet less. In conclusion, I’ve not really regretted any of my bet as they are close to perfection.

What is the greatest surprise you have encountered with the other players?

I was surprised by how aggressive they were in making big bets at the early stage of the game. This looks strange to me as I’m used to playing the smaller bets.

Being the UBT Champion, you are to compete 6 blackjack legends, how do you feel to be among this category?

This is actually a great honor for me to be among the likes of Anthony Curtis, James Grosjean, Stanford Wong, MIT Mike and James Grosjean.

How well are you preparing for the match?

Actually, I don’t believe in cramming, all that I will like to do is to clear my mind and be totally focused.

Are you scared?

Of course not, I’m ready for the challenge.

How often do you practice?

Within a week, I do play up to 5 – 10 tournament so that I will free refreshed.

How well can you advice those that are about to get into the EBJ tournament?

Many people have the belief that controlled aggression is what will give you success while enjoying the poker game. This is also applicable to the elimination blackjack. If you are not in a critical situation, you should be cautious of the kind of bet that you will place. Of course the poker skill can translate to the elimination blackjack, so far you have taken your time to learn the basics.

Is there any superstition or good luck charm?


What exactly do you want the audience to know about you?

Ok, I’ve spent more than a complete year of my life in a nuclear submarine. Going through the Panama Canal was up to 3x and protection was given to us by the Navy seals.

How often do you play the blackjack?

Yes I do play the blackjack several days in a week and also make use of the live tournaments with the inclusion of the UBT events.

Talk about the greatest hand you have had so far

So far, Adriana Jade has the greatest hand 17. Then, we were almost at a heads-up match and she had up to like $60,000 in chips. Ordinarily, I was hoping to wait as the last elimination was hand 8. Then I was able to figure out I could make early moves. Then what I has was $179,000 and $89,000 was the bet that I placed.

Is there any other thing you do when you are not playing Blackjack?

Some other things that I do include running, driving, and swimming. Most times, I do visit Red Rock or Mount Charleston to see the landscape around. I do read a lot too and I still do that till date.

Do you have an ultimate goal?

Gambling is not my ultimate goal, my aim is to have an impact on the people around me and make the world a better place. It is actually fun and lucrative to gamble, and it is what I will continue to do. It makes me happy and I will like to keep the happiness.

What are you working on currently?

Currently, I’m hoping to publish some articles and I will like to develop a website that will be mainly for the blackjack games.