Mike Matusow has won $9,003,461 in live tournaments in his twenty-year career as a professional poker player. He has been one of poker’s biggest personalities for more than a decade, and his struggles have been as well-known as his triumphs. Mike “the Mouth” is a volatile individual, once known for his blow ups late in big tournaments. He has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and makes no secret of his emotions, at the table and away from it. When such a personality makes his living playing cards, it’s no wonder that people ask whether Mike Matusow has gone broke.
Matusow has made 13 final tables at the World Series of Poker and he has won 4 bracelets. He made a final table in 1997, finishing in second place and winning $81,700 in a $2,000 Omaha/8 event, and won his first WSOP bracelet along with $265,475 in the 1999 WSOP $3,500 NLHE event. In 1998, Matusow paid one-third of fellow poker pro Scotty Nguyen’s buy-in into a satellite for the 1998 WSOP Main Event. Nguyen won the satellite, of course, and went on to win the $10,000 buy-in Main Event for $1,000,000. Matusow’s cut of the prize money: $333,333.
In 2005, Mike the Mouth became the first poker player to win two prizes worth $1,000,000 each at the WSOP in the same year when he won the Tournament of Champions for $1,000,000. He had already finished ninth in the Main Event that year for $1,000,000 as well, busting first at the final table when his Ts Td lost to Ac Jc all-in on a flop of 5s 2c 3s. His opponent made the wheel when the 4h turned and Matusow missed his chop outs.
Matusow won the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2013 by beating the following poker pros in consecutive heads-up matches: Michael Mizrachi, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Barry Greenstein, John Hennigan, Scott Seiver, and Phil Hellmuth. The match with Hellmuth was best two out of three; Matusow won 2-1 to claim the $750,000 prize and the championship.
He also won his fourth WSOP tournament bracelet in 2013 in the $5,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud 8 or Better event. Matusow has also had success on the World Poker Tour, reaching five final tables in his WPT career. He is currently 32nd on the all-time tournament money list. The top five tournament cashes of Mike Matusow’s career:
– 1st place for $1 million in the 2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions
– 9th place for $1 million in the 2005 WSOP $10,000 Main Event
– 1st place for $750,000 in the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship
– 2nd place for $671,320 in the 2007 WPT Bellagio Cup III $10,000 NLHE
– 1st place for $537,862 in the 2008 WSOP $5,000 NL Deuce-to-Seven Event
Full Tilt Poker
Because of his big personality, Matusow has had a number of opportunities to earn money via endorsement deals. Most importantly, Matusow was an early member of Team Full Tilt. He joined Full Tilt Poker as an endorser in 2004 and, while the details of his sponsorship deal are not known, it has been rumored that Matusow made millions of dollars from his deal with the online poker giant during the mid-2000s.
On the other hand, it was reported in 2012 that Matusow may have owed as much as $700,000 to Full Tilt at the time of the Black Friday shutdown of online poker. Would-be Full Tilt purchaser Groupe Bernard Tapie reported that Matusow owed the debt, but there hasn’t been any mention of it since Pokerstars bought the company in 2013. Matusow, for his part, denied that he owed Full Tilt any money and said via Twitter that he didn’t know why his name had been mentioned by GBT.
Matusow is the author of a book, called “Check-Raising the Devil,” in which he details the wild path that he took to success in poker. The book highlights Matusow’s struggles with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It goes into detail about his arrest for involvement in a drug deal and the 6 months he spent in jail as a result. For a time, he was abusing ecstasy and methamphetamine. He has said his life was out of control.
After serving the jail time, though, Matusow seemed to find a new personal direction. He has said in interviews that he is completely clean and has been for a long time and that he is the happiest he has ever been in his life. He may not have the bankroll for the nosebleed games, but Mike Matusow is not broke.
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