Known as ‘The Mouth’ due to his sometimes confrontational table talk, Mike Matusow is one of the most polarizing poker pros, but there is no doubting his talent on the felt.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Matusow’s first introduction to the game was a video poker machine, which he played to such an extent that he began to experience repetitive strain injuries in his arms and shoulders. Unsurprisingly this machine hurt his bankroll, so much so that he stole money from his mother’s purse and attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
It was not until Matusow was taught Texas Hold Em from a rounder in 1989 that his fortune started to change. In 1997 Matusow entered his first World Series of Poker event, an Omaha eight-or-better tournament, where he eventually finished second to Scotty Nguyen. The next year, convinced by Nguyen’s ability, Matusow staked Nguyen a third of his entry into a Main Event satellite. Nguyen would go on to win both the satellite and the Main Event itself, earning Matusow a third of his winnings, a cool $333,333.
Known as one of the strongest tournament players in the game, Matusow has experienced great success at the World Series of Poker. He has won four bracelets, spanning from 1999 to 2013, and has shown his versatility with each title coming from a different variation of poker. In addition to this, Matusow has also had several deep runs in the Main Event, finishing 6th in 2001, and 9th in 2005.
He rose to fame again winning the National Heads Up Poker Championship 2013 for $750,000. Matusow is infamous for his aggressive trash-talk at the table and can often be found taunting and mocking his opposition. This does not always work in his favour, as he is known to experience a ‘Mike Matusow Blow Up’, where one mistake can cost him all of his chips and hours of solid play.