Victory Square is pleased to announce the addition of entrepreneur and world-class poker player, Matt Jarvis, to our team of advisors. Best known for his ten plus years as an elite poker player and with a resume that includes both a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table and a WSOP bracelet, Matt is no stranger to high level competition and excelling with the pressure that comes along with it.
Matt’s experience in the casino & gaming industries along with his diverse business background makes for a great fit as a member of the Victory Square advisory team. To give you a better idea of who he is, we sat down with Matt to find out just what it takes to make it behind both the board room and poker tables.
Victory Square: Tell us about your background.
Matt Jarvis: Honestly I’m just a regular guy from Surrey, BC who was raised by two amazing parents; an elementary school teacher and a professional golfer. Growing up I was always a hugely competitive athlete who never found a game he didn’t love to play. I was a true entrepreneurial grinder from the start. I used to dig through ditches to find golf balls so that I could clean them and sell them back to the local golfers. Once I had a taste for entrepreneurship I knew this was my calling.
Given my affinity for math, I saw an opportunity with the poker boom and decided to focus my energy on building my career by playing cards. Success didn’t come overnight. I spent a lot of late nights grinding at the tables and studying the game. My big break came when I made the final table of the biggest poker tournament in the world and earned over $1 Million dollars.
But I was still hungry. I took this new found success at the table and parlayed it into multiple business ventures. My major investments were in mobile home parks in the Midwest as well as launching a house-detailing franchise with Shack Shine.
I was fortunate to connect with Victory Square’s CEO Shafin Diamond and found we had a similar passion for business. This relationship led me to connect with several successful entrepreneurs within the VST family. I immediately felt at home and knew I wanted to contribute.
I’m currently working as a business development manager at FansUnitealongside co-founders Darius Eghdami and Duncan McIntyre. As well, I recently partnered with V2 Games CEO Sam Chandola to create Casino Hour, a free-to-play mobile app in the social casino space. Look for it in the app store for iOS and Android in Q4 of this year!
Victory Square: How does a kid from Surrey make it to the finals of the World Series of Poker?
Matt Jarvis: Poker is seen by many as a luck-based game. They’re not wrong. On any given night, luck plays a huge role. However, over the long run skilled players always prevail. What a lot of people don’t see are the long hours that professionals put in to mastering the game. Over my poker career I’ve put roughly 20,000 hours into the game both as a student and as a practitioner.
Did I have a little lady luck on my side to make the final table? Without a doubt. However, navigating a field of 7,000 opponents over an eight day period also takes skill, incredible mental fortitude and immense physical stamina. My advantage was my preparation. I studied, trained, dieted, sacrificed, and surrounded myself with some of the brightest minds in poker. I was also fortunate enough to have the most supportive wife, sister, parents and friends in my corner. In order to succeed, whether in poker or in business, preparation and support are critical.
Victory Square: What have you been able to take from your time at the poker table and apply to the business world?
Matt Jarvis: One quote that has always stuck with me at the tables is “You have to be willing to die in order to live”. Risks are a requirement and failures are inevitable. I certainly didn’t win every pot I played, but without trying new things, failing, and going back to the drawing board, I would have never achieved the level of success that I did. Being creative, being willing to fail, and having resiliency are all attributes that I take with me from my poker career and apply to my life as an entrepreneur.
Victory Square: What similarities do you find with the tech and poker worlds?
Matt Jarvis: Poker is an ever-evolving game. Bright minds will be always be competing at the top levels to try to one-up their competition and stay ahead of the curve. The tech space mimics this exactly. There are always new ideas and new brands competing for their share of the market.
Victory Square: What do you hope to contribute to Victory Square as an advisor?
Matt Jarvis: My experiences in poker, as well as running a business with Shack Shine have taught me how critical it is to understand your customer. Forward-thinking tech companies sometimes forget that the customer should always be the main focus and products should revolve around their needs. One way I intend to contribute is through this customer-centric mindset as well as my ability to reverse engineer solutions. I bring a passion for people, a dedication to operational excellence and consistent high-level execution.
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