Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow

Mike “the Mouth” Matusow

"The Mouth"

“The Mouth” is one of the greatest poker players ever!

Mike Matusow has got the chip lead with three players left in Event #13, 7 Card Stud Hi/Low Split.  ‘The Mouth’ is gunning for bracelet #4.  I met Mike in Calgary in 2009 at the Canadian Open Heads-Up Championship, actually interviewed him after his first round match for Canadian Poker Player magazine.  I was working for the Canadian Poker Tour at the time and I was fortunate enough to meet a number of big name players, who up until that point I had only watched on television; Huckleberry Seed, Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Brad Booth, Scott Montgomery and Greg Mueller, among others.

During the short Q&A, Matusow told me he was making it his ‘life mission’ to put disgraced 1994 world champ Russ Hamilton behind bars.  Hamilton, of course, is the man behind the Ultimate Bet ‘God Code’ cheating scandal and a guy who Matusow says ripped him off for $2.5 million.

“I couldn’t understand how he was beating me so badly,” he reflected, on a series of heads-up matches with Hamilton.  “It was a bad time for me.  He’s a thief and should be locked up.”

Matusow used our chat to promote his new book Check Raising the Devil, which he described as an ‘intense ride’ and one of the best biographical poker books around.  As we discussed his life, his new girlfriend, who he met online interestingly enough, the book and poker, Matusow seemed quite jittery and was continuously looking over my shoulder at the television above the bar, seemed like he was preoccupied with the basketball game.

The Q&A only lasted 10 minutes but I knew it was 10 minutes wasted for Matusow.  He didn’t want to be there, not just the interview with me, which he took as a duty to the owner of the Canadian Poker Tour, who rumor has it paid Matusow’s entry in order to attract him to Calgary.  Worth noting, Matusow lost his opening round salvo, a best two-out-of-three match with lots of chips and lots of play, in record time.  He was out of the tournament, two-nothing, almost before it began, the match only lasting 25 minutes.  Again, he glanced at the TV and grimaced. So, I eventually made the inquiry, “You got money on the game?”

“You know, I didn’t even want to be here,” he launched into a mini bi-polar tirade.  “I’ve been running so good betting basketball the last month and it wasn’t even worth my time playing this 5k buy-in.  I’ve got 40-grand on tonight’s game.  I only came here as a favour to Gavin,( referring to the Clown Prince of Poker, Gavin Smith, another elite pro and friend of the CPT owner).  That’s the worst poker I have ever played!”

Just like that, the interview was over and a few hours later Mike Matusow was on a plane back to Vegas, like the trip to Calgary didn’t even happen. Oh, and he gave me a book.  I contemplated asking him to sign it but simply said, “Thank-you Mike, it was my pleasure.”

www.highrollerradio.net  Good luck Mike!