YOU GOTTA KNOW: Matt Savage On Tiger Woods, GTO & More

Matt Savage announced the return of the Bay 101 Shooting Star. (photo: WPT)

 Got a tough poker decision? Matt Savage has the answer.

Savage is one of the most high profile tournament directors in the game today thanks to his decades of work in poker as well as his role as the World Poker Tour’s Executive Tour Director. In 2001 Savage was one of the founding members of the Tournament Directors Association with a purpose to create a set of uniform rules for poker tournaments and give players an experience they can count on wherever they decide to play.

Savage is so well-regarded by both players and his peers that he’s been nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame every year for the past four years. But if you think it would be tough to connect with a guy who wears so many hats in poker, you’d be wrong. Savage is seemingly ever present on social media, constantly Tweeting and engaging with players by answering just about any poker question posed to him.

So while Savage may be used to clarifying the “one chip rule”, we decided to grill him on subjects that he’s not used to answering. Here’s some more about Matt Savage that you just gotta know.

Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson

When not coloring up chips on the felt, Savage can be found hitting chip shots on the greens. An avid golf fan, Savage holds his own invitational golf tournament every year.

“I really want to go, first of all. It’s going to be at Shadow Creek, a place I love to play golf a lot. I would definitely be a Tiger fan on that one. I’m not a huge fan of Phil Mickelson, he seems kind of phony to me.

Tiger Woods has been through a lot so I know there’s a lot of people pulling for him even though a lot of people don’t believe in what he’s done or whatever. There’s no debating that he moves the needle as far as watching golf on TV and I’m a fan, that’s for sure.”


Savage has had the opportunity to oversee some of the biggest tournaments in the world and watch the best players on the planet up close.

“I think GTO is overrated, for sure. I know a lot of the great poker players do it just from feel alone and don’t focus too much on GTO. However, I do know that being GTO has helped a lot of poker players raise their levels from where they were, maybe, a total fish to just being good poker players.

I think it means different things for different people but I don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all of poker playing.”

Professional Wrestling

Any chance he’s related to Randy “The Macho Man” Savage?

“Those guys are great athletes, believe it or not. I’m not a big fan. I know a lot of people that are. I haven’t taken my son to a match but I think they’re…well, obviously it’s fake. But they’re also great athletes. It’s not something I would be involved in, per se, I don’t think I could take it. But I still think it’s definitely entertaining and the people that are into it, are really into it.

So, while it’s entertaining it’s not something I’ve been a part of…yet.”

All-Inclusive Resorts

Plenty of poker tours have events at resorts that claim to take care of a player’s every want and need.

“I’ve had some good ones and I’ve had some bad ones. You know, you go on these cruise ships and they’re all-inclusive and I seem to choose to go to the place in the boat where you have to pay for dinner because I feel like it’s better. I’m not a huge fan of the all-inclusive bars because it’s all well drinks and if I’m going to have a drink I want it to be a little more top shelf.

So, overall I’d say I’m not a fan but I have had some good ones over the years.”

Poker Vloggers

A new generation of poker superstars has been created on YouTube with players and fans tuning in by the thousands to watch their favorite poker players grind it out in the cash games.

“Well, I just had to start a vlog for the World Poker Tour so I’ve been enjoying doing that. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort as well so I think that I have a certain respect for those guys showing us what they do in their normal life.

It’s interesting, it’s definitely interesting. I am doing my own vlog now so I know how hard it is and I respect the amount of effort it takes to put those together.”


The World Series of Poker just introduced their new mascot in 2018 – Chippy…the Chip? Savage, a well-documented hockey fan, has had his encounters with a number of these real-life cartoon characters.

“I am a fan of mascot racing. I’m a fan of watching those guys fall down and make a fool of themselves.

I’m a big hockey fan so whenever they get on the ice it’s more entertaining. My son loves it so anything that he’s a big fan of, I’m a big fan of as well. It definitely adds a lot of entertainment atmosphere to any sporting event and we have Champ here in Las Vegas for the Golden Knights. I met him, he’s a cool dude.

I’m a fan.”