Michael B. Matusow

Michael B. Matusow (born April 30, 1968 in Los Angeles, California) is an American professional poker player, residing in Henderson, Nevada. Matusow’s nickname of “The Mouth” reflects his reputation for trash-talking at the poker table. He is also known for sometimes ruining hours or days of good play with a single spectacular misjudgment, (known as a “Mike Matusow Blow-up” or “Mike Matusow Meltdown”).[1]

Matusow began playing poker seriously in the early 1990s, first while working as a poker dealer, then as a professional player.[2] His successes include being a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner,[3][4][5] and the winner of the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions.[6]

Early years

Matusow’s first experience of poker was playing video poker in the Maxim Casino at the age of 18, which he played regularly, to the extent that he suffered from repetitive strain injury in his shoulders and arms. He occasionally stole money from his mother’s purse and at one point attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Matusow was taught Texas hold ’em in 1989 by a rounder named Steve Samaroff.[7]

World Series of Poker

At the 1998 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Matusow paid part of Scotty Nguyen’s entrance fee into a satellite event for the $10,000 no limit Texas hold ’em main event. Nguyen went on to win, and gave $333,333 to Matusow in return for his partial stake.[7][8] In 2001, he finished 6th place in the WSOP $10,000 no limit Hold ’em main event. Matusow says that the decisive hand was when he was bluffed by eventual champion Juan Carlos Mortensen, but did not trust his instincts to call.[7][9]

In the 2005 WSOP, Matusow finished 9th out of 5,619 players in the main event, winning $1,000,000.[10] Several months later, he won the WSOP Tournament of Champions in a heads-up battle against Hoyt Corkins, earning another $1,000,000 in the process, making him the first player to win two million dollar prizes in the same year. He also placed third in the Tournament of Champions the following year, winning $250,000.[6][11]

At the 2008 WSOP, Matusow won a third bracelet in the $5000 No Limit 2-7 Draw with rebuys event defeating Jeff Lisandro heads up for the $537,862 first prize.[5] Later in the same year he finished 30th out of 6,844 players in the Main Event, making yet another deep run in the Main Event.

Other poker events

In October 2004, Matusow made his first World Poker Tour (WPT) final table at the UltimateBet Aruba Classic, earning $250,000 for 3rd place.[12] In 2006, he finished runner-up to Tony G in the WPT Bad Boys of Poker II in heads-up play.[13] Matusow also appeared in Poker Superstars III, where he made it to the Elite Eight. In the winner-take-all championship match, Matusow beat seven other players to win $500,000. He also appeared in the second, third and fourth season of High Stakes Poker.[14][15] In September 2006, Mike made his debut on the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Barcelona; however, he was eliminated on the first day. In early 2007, Matusow appeared on two episodes of Poker After Dark where he finished 3rd and 2nd respectively. He plays online poker under the following aliases: “dill pickle” (UltimateBet); “mrpokejoke” (PokerStars); and “Mike Matusow” (Full Tilt Poker, where he is also a member of “Team Full Tilt”).[1][2]

In July 2007, Matusow won $671,320 after coming in second place at the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup III Championship after online pro Kevin “BeL0WaB0Ve” Saul defeated him during heads-up play.[16] On November 11, 2008 at the World Poker Tour Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Matusow made another WPT final table, He was eliminated after his A♠ J♥ didn’t improve against Jonathan Little’s hand of 9♥ 9♠, he finished in 6th place, earning $124,048.

As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $7,200,000.[17]. $3,123,288 of his winnings have come at the WSOP.[18]

Personal life

Matusow is both loved and disliked by many poker fans. At the 2007 WSOP Main Event final table, Tournament Director Jack Effel asked the audience to recognize one of Effel’s “favorite” players. The fans cheered and booed.[19] Matusow has had several personal problems. He has battled drug issues, including a six-month stint in jail in 2004 and 2005 after being caught with cocaine. An undercover police officer pretended to befriend Matusow and gain his trust. He then arrested Matusow after witnessing Matusow hit a line.[20] He has also dealt with being overweight, detailed on ESPN’s broadcast of the 2007 WSOP. During that tournament, Mike made a $100,000 bet with Ted Forrest that he could get down to 181 pounds by June 3, 2008. Mike won the bet on June 3, weighing in at 179 pounds.[21] Matusow resides in a 3,700 square foot home in Henderson (with a cathedral ceiling) and bought a $90,000 BMW 645 CI cabriolet from a $750,000 winning session at online poker.[7] He often wears a gold chain with the Hebrew symbol ‘chai’ around his neck.[7] Additionally, Matusow hosted Card Player’s poker radio show/podcast, the Circuit, before being replaced by Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok.[22] He is also the host of Card Player’s online video segment The Mouthpiece. In one particular episode, Mike discussed the controversial Ultimatebet.com superuser cheating scandal, as well seeking legal action as a victim of the scandal against the main perpetrator, former World Series of Poker Champion Russ Hamilton. [23]

In 2009 Mike Matusow signed a contract with Deepstacks.com to become the Dean of Deepstacks University, an interactive poker training site.

Matusow wrote an autobiography entitled “Check Raising the Devil” that was released May 12, 2009. [24]

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Matusow

Mike also has a brother Scott.


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