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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 17:04 GMT
The online gambler's story
Professional gambler Matthew Hopkins with Panorama reporter Declan Lawn
Professional gambler Matthew Hopkins with Panorama reporter Declan Lawn
20-year-old Matthew Hopkins gave up his job in a fish and chip shop and earns up to $30,000 a month gambling online.

When I started poker I was doing a course to become an accountant and worked in a fish and chip shop.

I was told about the game by a friend who I used to play online computer games with.

I was attracted by the apparent skill edge in the game and the fact that the game was played with money.

Friends told me that it was easily possible to make a week's wage in just an hour.

In the beginning I was quite ignorant and naive when playing and like most other players I thought very highly of myself. At that time, I was losing.

But I devoted myself to the study of poker, and the probability of poker, in the way university students might devote themselves to their subjects.

When I'm not actually playing, I'm continuously reading all the books I can get my hands on in case I come across a piece of advice I haven't heard of yet.

I'm now playing quite high stakes and am earning between $20,000 and $30,000 per month.

I would much rather do this than work nine to five.

By playing poker I work my own hours, play wherever I want and don't have to worry about a boss breathing down my neck.

Also, I earn money that I could never earn in most other jobs.



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