Juan Carlos Mortensen is the son of a Danish father and Spanish mother. He was born in Ecuador in the city of Ambato on April 13, 1972 where he spent the first years of his young life. He started his education in Madrid, Spain after his family relocated. A highly intelligent child grew into an intelligent young adult and subsequently started and completed his further studies in physics and mathematics.
Early in 1997, “El Matador” as he is called in the poker world, started learning poker at a very entry level. It was during his marriage, while he waited for his wife to finish her shift working in a bar in Madrid. He tried his hand at No Limit Hold ’em, while gambling for money was still illegal, and he lost $70. He intended to win back his loss and returned, where he subsequently was hooked by his winning streak and realization that it can be a lucrative career. In Madrid, he soon established himself as one of the best poker players.
Although he cannot speak any English, he decided to further his career by moving to America. Visa restrictions caused him to spend only three months in the United States, but in that period, his game flourished. He went to the States with $2,800, which paid for everything including accommodation, food, and obviously poker and left with more than $10,000.
Returning to the States in 1999, he played in the World Series in Las Vegas but failed. Later in the same year during a pot-limit hold ’em event in Los Angeles, he made the final tables which was the start of an unimaginable career.
In 2000 in a NLHE $3,000 event, he made the final table again, winning $22,575 with seventh place overall. His first tournament in L.A. the L.A. Poker Classic in 2001, he came first and won $116K. The following month in Northern California, he won the Shooting Stars NLHE event followed by the Main Event of the WSOP, which was a $10K tournament. He took his first major win of $1.5 million in that event receiving the World Championship Tournament title and Main Event bracelet.
As a highly respected player, he made the final table in the 2002 WSOP, winning events at both the World Poker Finals and the State Poker Championship in California. In 2003, he had a second WSOP bracelet under his belt winning $251K for the $5,000 event.
In 2004, he won a World Poker Tour event, winning $1 million at the $10,000 event held in Las Vegas, The Doyle Brunson NAPC.
Another WPT title in 2007 for $4 million was added to his success followed by another WPT title in Indiana. At the Aussie Millions he won the $10K Heads-Up Championship as well as several other wins.
Carlos Mortensen currently lives in Henderson, NV, United States has earned more than $11 million in his poker career. He has earned two WSOP Bracelets and has 16 first place finishes. He ranks as one of the worlds most feared poker players. El Matador has great respect in the poker world with his quiet and humble demeanor at the poker table.