Mike “The Mouth” Matusow capped one of the most impressive tournament performances of his career by beating Phil "Poker Brat" Hellmuth in the final heads-up match to claim the $750,000 first-place prize.
Matusow won the first match of the best-of-three series against Hellmuth but the Poker Brat stormed back and won the second match.
The Mouth would not be denied, however, and he ran over Hellmuth in the tournament-deciding match.
It was a dream heads-up match for NBC producers with old-school pros Matusow and Hellmuth competing for the grand prize.
Matusow went on an inspired run in this year's championship that included victories against Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Barry Greenstein, John Hennigan and Scott Seiver.
A former member of Team Full Tilt, Matusow was hit hard by the events of Black Friday and played considerably less poker over the last couple years.
He was confident in this tournament, however, and said on Day 1 that it was “his time.”
Matusow beat a red-hot Hellmuth who has over $4 million in winnings over the last 12 months and two WSOP bracelet victories including one in WSOPE Main Event.
Hellmuth picked up $300,000 for finishing runner-up to Matusow.
Seiver, Matusow, Serock, Hellmuth in Final Four
The final four of the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Championship had a new school vs. old school theme with Scott Seiver facing Mike Matusow and Joe Serock against Phil Hellmuth.
This time the old school won out with both Matusow and Hellmuth moving on. Matusow went through a marathon match against Seiver that finally saw the Mouth land the knockout blow with ace-ten against Seiver’s jack-ten.
Meanwhile Hellmuth beat Serock to enter the final heads-up match for the second time of his career. Hellmuth won the inaugural National Heads-Up Championship in 2005.
Both Serock and Seiver picked up a $100k consolation prize for making it to the final four.
Dan Cates, John Hennigan, Brian Hastings and Eugene Katchalov received $50,000 as they dropped out in the round of eight.
Here are the complete final day results:
Round of Eight
- Scott Seiver def. Dan Cates
- Mike Matusow def. John Hennigan
- Joe Serock def. Brian Hastings
- Phil Hellmuth def. Eugene Katchalov
- Mike Matusow def. Scott Seiver
- Phil Hellmuth def. Joe Serock
- Mike Matusow def. Phil Hellmuth 2-1