- »Matt Marafioti Dead at 33 After Apparent Suicide
Matt Marafioti Dead at 33 After Apparent Suicide
Online poker legend Matt Marafioti had died after apparently committing suicide last weekend. Marafioti was only 33-years-old and leaves behind a one-year-old son.
Marafioti rose to fame during the original online poker boom. His “ADZ124” alias became synonymous with high-stakes cash game action at PokerStars and the now-defunct Full Tilt Poker. The ultra-talented grinder from Toronto, Canada, was entirely fearless at the poker tables and would take on anyone at any stakes, although $25/$50, $50/$100, and $100/$200 No-Limit Hold ’em games were his bread and butter.
It was not only cash games where Marafioti excelled because his tournament record speaks for itself. Just shy of $3 million in online winnings and more than $2.8 million from the live arena is a testament to his poker prowess.
Marafioti The Poker Player
Marafioti first cashed in a live poker event in August 2007. He won the $5,200 Empire State Hold ’em Championships Main Event in Verona for $198,473. Another six-figure score made its way to his account in July 2009 when he was the runner-up in the $5,180 Bellagio Cup V in Las Vegas for $165,985.
Several more deep runs followed before Marafioti narrowly missed out on a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. He lost heads-up to Valdemar Kwaysser in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold ’em Championship at the 2010 WSOP; he won a career-best $381,507.
The poker star last cashed in a live event in September 2019 at the WPT Borgata Poker Open.
Marafioti continued grinding online poker, although he shunned PokerStars, where he made his name. Pot-Limit Omaha cash games at Americas Cardroom were Marafitoi’s new game, and he was still a substantial winner by all accounts.
A Man Battling Demons
In addition to his obvious poker skills, Marafioti gained a reputation for his trash-talking and overconfidence. He split from former girlfriend Lauren Kling acrimoniously and did not exactly cover himself in glory. But that was Marafioti. He shot from the hip and pulled no punches.
Marafioti was active on social media, and it is here that his demons became apparent. Check out his popular Instagram account, and you quickly see a man who had a troubled mind.
He was adamant the Illuminati was after him, the Mob too, and that people he loved were trying to poison him. He was determined to gain custody of his son. Marafioti was due in court on August 17 for a custody hearing.
His issues reached breaking point in 2016 when he disappeared for almost two months. Rumors of his death circulated, but he reappeared on YouTube and Twitter, where he addressed such rumors. Marafioti revealed people thought he had a severe mental problem, but he did not believe this was true.
His Final Moments
Everything came to a head on August 14 when Marafioti posted what was his last ever Instagram post.
“I am about to get abducted from this mans apartment. His name is Ricardo Carlini. He’s a New York City driver who drove my son home from the hospital when he was born. They are waiting for me outside his apartment on the 29th floor in for Lee New Jersey where I am trying to pick up my belongings from my old apartment at the Modern. I’m at 200 Winston drive cliff side park. If I leave this apartment they are going to make me go missing. If I stay they are going to say I’m crazy and won’t leave. Everything is a Catch 22 and they are setting me up for torture if I go missing or say I’m crazy. Sammy, I love you so much. You mean the world to me. I am always with you no matter what. Love dad.”
News reports of Marafioti’s death surfaced soon after. The press reported a 33-year-old man plunged headfirst from the 28th-floor balcony at the Winston Towers. Two young lifeguards at a neighboring pool heard Marfioti’s screams before discovering his body.
Responding police officers found the apartment door open and Marafioti’s bags stuffed with $24,000 in cash. A tragic end to a tragic story.