There's a new boss in town. And that boss is Stacy Matuson.
Matuson earned the title — for at least one day — by crushing Will Kassouf 2-0 in their publicized grudge match at the 888Live Festival in Rozvadov.
Matuson finally got some vindication after famously folding pocket queens to Kassouf’s “Nine-high, like a boss” hand at the WSOP last summer.
This time around it wasn’t personal, however, and the pair were downright courteous to each other over the course of the best-of-three challenge.
“This event is going to be fun,” said Matuson shortly before the match. “There’s no real grudge between us. We hugged when we met yesterday. I’m sure he sees it the same way.”
Kassouf, Matuson Go the Distance in First Match
The set up for the Kassouf vs. Matuson match included 10,000 starting stacks and 12-minute levels with a best-of-three format to reduce variance.
It was expected that each match would be a rapid-fire affair but that didn’t turn out to be the case in the first one.
It was a long drawn-out affair that went all the way to Level 9, which was the last level on the structure sheet.
Matuson finally chipped Kassouf down to just three big blinds so she had no problem calling his final shove with J-8.
Kassouf flipped over K-2 and was ahead, but Matuson found two jacks on the turn and river and that was more than enough to clinch the match and go up 1-0.
Too Little, Too Late in Match 2
After the first match poker fans assumed they’d be watching the battle unfold all night but the second round lasted less then 30 minutes.
Matuson was the aggressor for most of the first match and it appeared that Kassouf was attempting to turn that around in the second match.
Thus, when Will opened with A-7 and saw a 3-bet from Matuson he decided to go for it, probably hoping to see a fold.
Instead Matuson snap-called with pocket jacks. Kassouf found some outs on the turn but no redemption on the river and, just like that, it was over.
“This was fun," said a happy Matuson afterwards. “I think Will is a good player, although I don’t know if heads-up is his strength.”
“I know these were only two games so it could have gone either way. I’ll be here at the King’s Casino the whole week and I’ll be happy to play him for 10 more tournaments. It’s up to him.”
Will Kassouf had to settle for second, this time.
“This was the first heads-up event of my life so I had no experience," Kassouf said in defeat.
"Stacy definitely played a lot more aggressive then she did last summer in Vegas. I guess she took some coaching.”
Matuson received a trophy, a $1,000 first prize and a ticket to 888poker’s own Crazy Eights event at the WSOP 2017. Watch the full replay of their match on the 888poker live stream here.
Stacy Matuson vs William Kassouf 2-0; best of three matches
Matuson wins in level 9, blinds 500/1000
Final hand: J-8 vs K-2; board 6-7-6-J-J
Matuson wins in level 3, blinds 75/150
Final hand: J-J vs A-7; board 6-2-3-5-5