– General Introduction –
Matthew “Aussie Matt” Kirk is a professional poker player from Perth, Australia. His exact birthday is unknown. However, a 2015 article refers to him as “a 28-year-old” which means he was born either in 1987 or 1986.
According to himself, he hardly ever plays online. His specialty is high stakes live Pot Limit Omaha cash games. Despite that, he’s known for one of the biggest losing sessions captured on camera – he lost around $3.5 million playing high stakes PLO on a live stream. He’s also rumored to have immense wealth in cryptocurrency.
– Key Career Dates –
- c. 2005: He begins playing live poker at his local casino in Perth.
- 2008: He cashes in the Aussie Millions Main Event.
- 2012: He cashes in the $10K PLO event at the WSOP.
- 2015: He shows up in the $250K buy-in Big Game at the Aria.
- 2017: His highly publicized lawsuit begins against Czech casino owner Leon Tsoukernik begins.
- 2018: He loses around $3.5 million in partypoker’s promotional livestreamed high stakes PLO cash game.
– Matthew Kirk’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Matt Kirk started out as young as he legally could in Australia, at the age of 18 at his local land casinos. However, he quickly transitioned to private games. He also found his game of choice, Pot Limit Omaha, his preference over the most popular game, No Limit Hold’em.
He first caught the online poker community’s attention in 2015 when he bought in for the $250K minimum buy-in cash game at Aria. According to himself, he decided to do so because there were no PLO games running and he was simply bored. He played against the likes of Phil Ivey and Antonio Esfandiari. That session didn’t go well for Aussie Matt, he ended it with hundreds of thousands of dollars down. After the game, poker legend Doyle Brunson described him as “a bit of a maniac”.
→ Live Tournaments ←
According to his Hendon page, Kirk has earned $187,000 total in live tournament cashes. That is hardly something that would put him on top of any kind of list – but this is due to the fact that he’s mainly a cash game player.
That $187K comes from 6 ITM finishes over the course of 4 years. His biggest score is the first live cash on his record. He finished 11th in the A$10K buy-in Aussie Millions Main Event in 2008. He pocketed A$135,000, which was $188,669 in US dollars at the time.
He has 3 more cashes from local Australian smaller buy-in NLHE championships. In 2011, he cashed again in the Aussie Millions Main Event. That time, he came in 20th for A$45,000 (around US$44,000).
So far Aussie Matt has not won any poker tournaments, the closest he came to victory was a 4th place finish in a A$300 event at the Western Classic Poker Championships in his hometown, Perth.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Matt Kirk has won no WSOP bracelets. He has one ITM finish from the 2012 series in the $10K Pot-Limit Omaha event. He finished 33rd out of a field of 293 which earned him $16,801. That is his last result on his Hendon page to date.
→ Live Cash Games ←
This is what’s supposed to be Kirk’s specialty. According to himself, high stakes PLO cash games is where he makes most of his money in poker. Despite that, he was on camera losing a whopping $3.5 million during one session playing his favorite game, Pot Limit Omaha cash.
This horrendous event took place on April 28th, 2018. Partypoker put together a super high stakes PLO cash game to livestream for promotion. The table featured British poker pro Sam Trickett, British casino owner Rob Yong, Czech casino owner Leon Tsoukernik, the French Yair “the Wolf” Bitoun, and – of course – the hero of our story, “Aussie Matt” Kirk.
The stakes were $200/$400 on paper, but the constant straddling raised them even higher in almost every hand. The Aussie man reloaded countless times, losing huge pot after huge pot. He was running extremely bad. For example, in a 4-way all-in pot which ballooned up to $600,000, Kirk flopped a set of 3’s while all of his opponents had flush draws. Despite all those clubs out of the deck, the draw completed and Kirk missed his full house.
Despite his awful experience, Kirk was seen playing heads-up PLO cash games again in January 2019. The venue was the famous Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio in Vegas, and his opponent was Isaac Hexton. Gus Hansen posted this video of the match-up on his Instagram.
In 2017, Aussie Matt also appeared on PokerGO’s revived version of the classic poker show Poker After Dark. There, he played $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em. He won a giant, almost $1 million pot that night.
→ Online Poker ←
Kirk has said in the past that he hardly ever plays poker online. Despite that, some believe that he played under the screen name “andrewkirk” on Full Tilt. That account was a losing high stakes PLO cash player’s.
→ Scandals ←
Kirk v. Tsoukernik
In June 2017, court papers were leaked that revealed that Matt Kirk is suing Leon Tsoukernik for a $2 million unpaid poker debt.
Kirk claimed he loaned $3 million to Tsoukernik during a private heads-up cash game at the Aria casino in Las Vegas, NV – but he only got paid back a $1 million. Kirk cited text messages and security camera footage as evidence. When he failed to collect the money, Kirk took legal action. In turn, Tsoukernik countersued him for defamation for $10 million.
Although many in the online poker community thought Aussie Matt had a very strong case, a district court judge dismissed the entire case with prejudice – claims, counterclaims, third party claims altogether – a year later.
Since then Kirk and Tsoukernik played poker against each other multiple times, both live and online. At those occasions there seemed to be no bad blood between the two – one example being the aforementioned partypoker high stakes PLO stream.
The aftermath of his hellish PLO night, Bitcoin speculations
The news of Kirk’s $3.5 million downswing in one session spread around the Internet and was talked about by poker fans months after.
Many brought up the rumor that Kirk is actually extremely wealthy thanks to his early Bitcoin investments. What made the hearsay re-ignite is a comment Sam Trickett made at the table.
A Reddit user pointed out on a thread that during Kirk’s infamous giant losing PLO session Trickett told him “Bitcoin just went up, so you’re pretty much even”. He later added “it went up a 100 dollars”. In response, Kirk made a shushing gesture, placing his index finger to his lips.
The speculations on the poker forums claim that Matt Kirk has 66,000 Bitcoins to his name. At its current exchange rate, as of writing this article, that would equate to over $250 million! If these rumors are indeed correct, high stakes poker is nothing but a pastime activity to Aussie Matt Kirk.