About Mike Matusow
Every sport has a bad boy or two or 10). In poker, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow is one of the originals.
Best known for constantly needling his opponents and for never holding back emotional outbursts, you might think of Matusow as more flash than substance.
But you can't fully discount his talent with the cards.
Matusow had already discovered video poker when he forayed into the real thing as a dealer at Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas. He used his time at the table to study players and their techniques and before long he was heading into a small tournament to play.
Needless to say, he won it. Since, well ... it's been a long journey from ESPN regular to Full Tilt Poker pro to poker industry cast-off to right-wing conspiracy fan to man on the rebound.
Poker Pro, Poker Personality, Poker Pariah
It's hard to know which came first - Matusow being known for his poker play or for his out-sized personality.
Well known for his "Matusow Meltdowns" or "Matusow Blow-ups," where he misjudges a hand or series of hands and puts himself completely out of the game at critical junctures in play, Matusow has finished in the money in dozens of high profile poker events.
His wins include the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, the 2002 WSOP $5,000 Buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Split Event, and the 1999 WSOP $3,500 Buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Event.
In total he's made over a dozen WSOP final tables as well as plenty of final tables in other prominent tournaments such as the World Poker Tour (WPT) and Aruba Classic in October 2004, where he placed third and earned $250,000.
Since, it's been a real mix of ups and downs. Matusow has a total of four career WSOP bracelets, his latest in 2013. He was also one of the signature faces of Full Tilt Poker but was left dangling in the wind when things went south after Black Friday.
Losing that kind of steady (and massive) monthly income clearly had a major effect on Matusow and he went into a downward spiral, accompanied by major health problems.
In 2014 Matusow suffered a thoracic spinal contusion (from a chair he was playing poker in collapsing) that left him unable to walk and at risk of paralysis. Both his brain and his body suffered and it wasn't until three years later, successful surgery and a long rehabilitation that he was able to work his way entirely back just to beign able to sit at a poker table all day.
Along the way Matusow says he went broke, lost his house and spent his days "feeling sorry for himself."
His return to the WSOP in 2017 was a success, though. Matusow had 7 cashes for over $250,000 total including three final tables in $10k events and a cash in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship.
In 2018 he repeated that feat with another 7 cashes including a final table in a $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo event.
Check Raising the Devil
Over the years Matusow has been both widely reviled and loved in the poker world, depending on whom you speak to.
Some find his loud-mouthed antics and blow-ups hilarious and endearing, while others actually refuse to engage him in casual conversation at or away from the poker table. Hs repeated claims that he "runs worse than any poker player" have been similarly polarizing.
In recent years his questionable political commentary on Twitter has helped drive a wedge even further between him and the poker community at large.
His knack for causing mischief in the poker world matches his once chaotic private life which, as mentioned, has seen its fair share of ups and downs.
Matusow has battled drug problems and depression for much of his life and even spent six months in jail on drug charges following the broadcast of the 2004 WSOP Main Event on ESPN.
If you'd like to read Matusow's own version of the events that made him one of poker's most notable figures in the 2000s, you can read his autobiography, Check Raising the Devil, which he released in 2012.
|68||$2,762.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 57 - $1500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better|
|47||$17,113.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 51 - $10,000 8-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha Championship|
|45||$4,171.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 36 - $2500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better|
|13||$15,464.00||WSOP 2016 - Event 16 - $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship|
|19||$7,784.00||WSOP 2014 - Event 25 - $2,500 Omaha / Stud Hi-Low|
|77||$4,411.00||WSOP 2014 - Event 6 - $1,500 NLHE Shootout|
|39||$5,617.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 46 - $3,000 PLO Hi-Low|
|40||$5,458.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 31 - $1,500 PLO Hi-Low|
|11||$19,788.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 25 - $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low|
|1||$266,503.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 13 - $5,000 Stud Hi-Lo|
|14||$9,818.00||WSOP 2013 - Event 5 - $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo|
|43||$4,309.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 52 - $2,500 10-Game Mix Six Handed|
|8||$34,748.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 24 - $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better|
|8||$40,059.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 16 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed|
|223||$3,584.00||WSOP 2012 - Event 9 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry|
|54||$5,106.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 52 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)|
|24||$6,368.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 49 - $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball|
|20||$20,129.00||WSOP 2011 - Event 7 - $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em|
|49||$4,448.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 41 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low|
|26||$21,665.00||WSOP 2010 - Event 38 - $10k Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship|
|23||$7,411.00||2009 WSOP - Event 46 - $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo|
|9||$100,880.00||WPT Season 7 - Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic|
|6||$124,048.00||WPT Season 7 - Foxwoods World Poker Finals|
|18||£36,200.00||2008 WSOPE - Event 4, No-Limit Hold'em Main Event|
|30||$193,000.00||2008 WSOP - Event 54, Main Event No-Limit Hold'em|
|57||$2,959.00||2008 WSOP - Event 51, H.O.R.S.E.|
|5||$138,063.00||2008 WSOP - Event 37, World Championship Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better|
|1||$537,857.00||2008 WSOP - Event 18, No-Limit 2-7 Triple-Draw w/re-buys|
|12||$26,627.00||2008 Special - Wynn Classic|
|16||$25,000.00||2008 Special - NBC Heads-Up Championship|
|6||$271,600.00||WPT Season 6 - Borgata Poker Open|
|2||$671,320.00||WPT Season 6 - Bellagio Cup III|
|16||$88,800.00||2007 WSOP - Event 39, World Championship H.O.R.S.E.|
|15||$15,134.00||2007 WSOP - Event 36, World Championship Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better|
|11||$21,435.00||2007 WSOP - Event 19, No-Limit Hold'em|
|23||$11,391.00||WPT Season 5 - World Poker Challenge|
|5||$76,824.00||2007 Special - Wynn Classic|
|9||$25,000.00||2007 Special - NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship|
|95||$1,289.00||2006 WSOP - Event 41, No-Limit Hold'em|
|7||$89,010.00||2006 WSOP - Event 13, No-Limit Hold'em|
|33||$8,528.00||2006 WSOP - Event 5, No-limit Hold'em Short Handed, 6/table|
|9||$1,000,000.00||2005 WSOP - WSOP 2005 $10,000 World Championship Event|
|44||$9,225.00||2005 WSOP - Event 2, $1,500 No-limit Hold'em|
|3||$250,000.00||WPT Season 3 - UltimateBet.com's Aruba Poker Classic|