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Home / News / Moving ode to home games wins #PlatinumPokerHand competition

This article was updated on January 5, 2023

Matt Glassman has been declared the winner of PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade’s #PlatinumPokerHand competition, in which entrants had to tell their best poker hand story.

Glassman, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Affairs Institute, entered his “Jack-Three Offsuit and the Monster Ballad Poker Game” blog post and wowed the judging panel, which included Shahade, Maria Ho, Sam Grafton, Mark Foresta, Keith Becker, Alex O’Brien, and Brad Willis.

The contest–which offered a Platinum Pass worth $30,000 for the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) 2023 to the winner–received more than 70 entrants from all over the US and Canada, including video, audio and written submissions.

Shahade’s The GRID podcast revealing the winner and wrapping up the contest can be found here.

“I was blown away by the quality of the submissions and finalists and am thrilled by Matt’s victory,” Shahade said. “His beautiful rendition of the home game of his 20s reminded me of my favourite thing about poker, the way it unites people on different paths, and at different stages of life, through a shared passion.

A 7pm Monster Ballads tourney, circa 2002

A 7pm Monster Ballads tourney, circa 2002

“It also reminded me of the privilege of poker- to play for years with people we love shouldn’t be taken for granted. As Matt points out, “You never know when a poker game is going to fall apart. People move. People get busy. The game goes less and less often. And then it’s just gone.” 

“Well in Matt’s case, The Monster Ballad Poker Games is very much back. His friends are cheering him on, and I won’t be surprised to hear a hand history featuring jack three.”

Author and poker player Alex O’Brien called Glassman’s entry “sophisticated storytelling” while streamer Mark Foresta said, “he took me back to this golden age of poker that, honestly, I never got to play in.”

“All the finalists were spectacular,” said Maria Ho. “I thoroughly enjoyed reading/watching them all. It was very tough to choose among them, but I’m happy to be a part of making someone’s poker dream come true.” 

Glassman will now head to the Bahamas with his wife later this month to take part in the $25,000 buy-in PSPC 2023

“Some low-stakes home games become larger than life,” his story begins. “No rhyme or reason. Just a realization. Holy smokes we’ve built something really special here. The sweet spot of competition and laughter and friendship that fuels daydreams and memories. And a grin that appears when you exit your life and show up on Thursday night.”

You can read Glassman’s prize-winning entry in full here.

The runner-up was the brilliant rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Dan “DrDadPoker” Schill, a PHD in molecular biology and a poker streamer.

Schill–whose entry can be watched on YouTube here–was gracious in congratulating Glassman and wishing him good luck. “A deserving winner of the platinum poker hand competition! Please join me in wishing Matt the best of luck in the #PSPC,” he said.

Below is the original article announcing the final six entries, published on December 29, 2022.


Jennifer Shahade and her panel of judges have narrowed down entries in the #PlatinumPokerHand competition from more than 70 to just six finalists, with the eventual winner bagging themselves a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) 2023.

From bad beats to strategic sagas, a poker hand story can be anything you want it to be. But more often than not, the way you tell it makes one great, rather than the nuts and bolts. 

Over the past couple of weeks, PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade has heard plenty of tales from the tables as her #PlatinumPokerHand competition invited players from around the US and Canada to share their best poker anecdotes in a bid to win one of the last remaining Platinum Passes to the PSPC 2023, which takes place next month in the Bahamas.

The competition was simple: tell your best poker hand story–akin to how guests on Shahade’s award-winning podcast The GRID do–via written, video or audio mediums.

But whittling down the entries to just six was anything but simple. Thankfully, Shahade had an esteemed panel of judges, with Sam Grafton, Maria Ho, Keith Becker, Mark Foresta, Alex O’Brien, and Brad Willis on hand to help.

And now just six finalists remain. You can read, watch and listen through the top entries below.

Shahade will then announce the competition winner on a special episode of The GRID tomorrow (December 30), so make sure you tune in to find out who wins the Platinum Pass worth $30,000, and who will then battle in the $25,000 buy-in PSPC event.



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