22th May 2013
Mike Matusow (Full Tilt); mrpokejoke (PokerStars)
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, so named for his garrulous and loose-lipped approach to live poker, has been winning poker tournaments since the mid-nineties. This master of trash talk was, once upon a time, a down-at heel video poker player suffering from repetitive strain injury, before he was taken under the wing of a Vegas rounder, Steve Samaroff, and taught the fundamentals of poker. He became a poker dealer before turning professional, and, at the 1998 WSOP Main Event, he had a piece of the champion Scotty Nguyen, earning $333,333 for Scotty’s victory.
The following year he won his first of four WSOP bracelets, in the $3,500 No Limit Hold'em event. The year after that he made the Main Event final table himself, finishing in sixth place, a feat he repeated in 2005, when he came ninth out of 5619 players for $1m. In the interim Matusow had spent time in jail after being caught providing ecstasy and prescription drugs to an undercover police officer. Now with his wild days behind him, the 2005 Main Event was seen as his comeback and he was a strong favourite going into the final, until he ran kings into aces in a 3-bet pot, an incident that was symptomatic of his perceived “bad luck” in critical situations.
Matusow is a formidable live player and excellent reader of the game, but is also known for playing long stretches of his A-game only to be undone by a single misstep; however, he claims that more recently a positive mental attitude has helped him to combat the “Matusow Meltdown”. As well as his three bracelets, Matusow has made two WPT final tables and, as of 2013, has earned $8.6m in tournament winnings worldwide; however, he has always been open about the fact the because of his love/hate relationship with high stakes online poker and his fondness for sportsbetting, his net worth is prone to wild fluctuations. In 2013 he won the NBC National Heads Up Championships, beating Phil Hellmuth in the final and took down his fourth bracelet at the following WSOP, in the $5k Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
He released his warts-and-all autibiography Check-raising the Devil in 2009.
Article: Just How Unlucky is Mike "The Mouth" Matusow?
Mike wins NBC Heads-up Championships
2005 Main Event - Mike eliminated in the cruelest way ever
Daniel Negreanu vs Mike Matusow $496k pot