Competitive poker is one of the biggest industries in the world. It’s a global phenomenon, attracting players from all backgrounds with the allure of fame and fortune. Over the years, we have seen our fair share of fantastic players. These legends become known for their personalities, playstyles, and, most importantly, results. In this article, we’ll cover one such player, Adrian Mateos, one of the most significant presences in the European pro scene. We’ll go in-depth about his achievements, mentality, and beginnings. 

Player Overview

European poker player Adrian Mateos is a widely considered one of the best young players in the world. He has an awe-inspiring tournament career with over $32 million in tournament earnings, putting him 16th on The Hendon Mob’s all-time money list. 

This prolific career includes four World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, one of which is a WSOP Europe Main Event title. Mateos became the youngest-ever player to win 3 WSOP bracelets at 22. Additionally, he won the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event, making him the first Spaniard to win an EPT title. 

Mateos is a regular sight at High Roller tournaments like the Triton Poker Series. He’s also an accomplished online player, often participating in high-stakes tournaments like the WSOP online. Finally, Mateos also serves as an ambassador for online poker in France.

Early Life

Adrián Mateos Díaz was born on July 1, 1994, in San Martin de la Vega, Spain. He became interested in card games at an early age, thanks to a passion for math and the influence of his family. When he saw his first poker tournament on TV at 16, he was instantly hooked. 

Even though he was still a minor, Mateos’ passion for poker was evident. He was studying the game online and even playing against others in clubs. “I watched all the videos, everything I could find online: that’s all I thought about. I had already decided that my future would be in an activity where one was rewarded in proportion to the work done. Poker seemed to me the ideal discipline for this, and even before I played my first tournament, I already fancied my chances.”

Mateos’ love for competition was not exclusive to poker. As a child, he had experience playing tennis against older opponents, frequently holding his own despite the age gap. This also applied to poker, with Mateos winning consistently soon after picking up the game. 

As he grew closer to becoming an adult, Mateos became single-minded in his determination to reach Madrid. He wanted to make his way to the capital and see the competition offered in Madrid’s casinos. When he turned 18, he immediately got his driver’s license and made the trip to the capital.

“My first trips to Madrid were amazing,” he remembers, “I was going, I was winning. I was going back the next weekend, I was still winning. And so on. I was really lucky in the beginning.”

Humble Beginnings

After building up a solid bankroll from consistent wins, Mateos participated in his first major tournament: A €600 event which was part of the Circuito Nacional de Poker. He beat over 300 players, and took first place for $42,399.

From there, Mateos began grinding cash games in Madrid on weekends. He slowly worked his way up in stakes, doubling every time he felt confident in his skills. After three months, he took down the Estrellas Poker Tour. This win didn’t just give him $137,247; it gave him the confidence he needed to take on the world’s best.

The European Poker Tour

Mateos joined his first European Poker Tour (EPT) in 2013, traveling to Deauville, France. Here, he got his first exposure to the world stage. He was up against the very players he had idolized on TV, big Spanish names like Sergio Aido and Javier Gomez, and he quickly befriended them.

After winning a €10,300 satellite tournament, Mateos went up against other fantastic players like Martin Jacobson and Kevin MacPhee. Though initially underestimated, it didn’t take long for him to earn the other players’ respect. Ultimately, Mateos finished 13th and 12th in two EPT events. 

The real reward was in the experience and confidence the tournaments gave him. Mateos was ready to take on the world and prove himself on the global stage.

World Champion and Future Exploits

After the EPT, Mateos kicked things into high gear. He changed career tracks to pursue poker, moving to London with his newfound poker buddies. 

Mateos joined the WSOP Europe in October 2013. Despite it being his first-ever WSOP, and he absolutely crushed the tournament. Beating out renowned players like Dominik Nitsche, he took down the final table and claimed the $1,351,661 first-place prize. What makes this even more impressive is that Mateos was just 19 years old. 

From this point, Mateos has been a force to be reckoned with in nearly every notable high roller tournament. Some of his biggest scores include a $1,214,161 win at the 2015 EPT, $988,924 at the 2017 PokerStars Championship, and $1,162,805 at the 2019 partypoker MILLIONS live. 

Mateos’ biggest cash to date was a hefty $3,265,362 for winning the 2021 WSOP $250,000 No Limit Hold’em – Super High Roller (Event #82). His career is still very much active, with a 2022 $1,461,609 score at the European Poker Tour, $1,095,903 in the January 2023 PCA, and an incredibly recent $1,201,000 at the Triton Poker Series Vietnam.

If you’re looking for a rising poker superstar to follow, Adrian Mateos is definitely a contender for the top spot.