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Friday, June 30, 2006

Mike Matusow and the 2006 World Series of Poker - WSOP predictions

The 2006 World Series of Poker is in full swing now and if the first event open to the public is any indicator, it's going to be a WHOPPER! 2,776 poker players from around the world paid $1,500.00 each for a shot at a $757,839.00 payday. The total player count made this event the second largest poker tournament field in history! SO, with that kind of start imagine what's in store over the next 6 weeks...

If you take a look at what Mike's been up over the last few weeks, you can't deny that he's focused, on a roll, and prepped to make waves (and a little cash) at this years WSOP. He has sat out the first few events and is currently playing (as I write this) in the $2,500 6 handed NLHE event.

Word from the rail is that he's in an entertaining mood as he's exchanging verbal jabs with Freedy Deeb. They're sitting facing each other on opposite tables but that's not holding back the word play. During their latest exchange, Freddy yells out "Hey Donkey!". Mike responds by yelling back "Don't talk to me!". Freddy at that point playfully points out to the crowd that Mike was the only person to answer...

Mike sucked out on the river just a few hands ago to increase his stack to 31,000. This puts him in a good spot early so watch out for The Mouth! We'll have updates here as they develop.

You can prep for tournament play in this years WSOP or the next $20.00 buy in multi-table at your favorite online site by reading this review on The Micon System.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mike Matusow places 3rd in the Tournament of Champions

Demonstrating twice now in as many weeks that he is a contender this year, Mike placed third in the WSOP Tournament of Champions. This was the third year that the TOC was held and as most know, Matusow won the title last year after making the final table of the 2005 WSOP Main Event and cashing out for 1 million dollars. Mike certainly hoped to win back to back TOC titles but with a field of 27 of the best in the world, he shouldn't be upset over his 3rd place finish, which netted him a $250,000 pay day.

Mike Sexton, who went on to win the event was responsible for taking Mike out. After about 9 hours of final table play and with only Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, and Mike Sexton remaining the following hand went down:

With the blinds at 5-10K and 1K antes, Daniel raised to 25K on the button. Mike Sexton called from the small blind and looking down at A 4 off-suit "The Mouth" went all in for 170K. Daniel quickly folded and Mike Sexton called holding pocket 7's. With the board reading K J 3 4 6 Mike Matusow didn't improve his hand and was eliminated in third place.

Again, no meltdown followed as he gracefully shook hands with the remaining players and left the final table. I personally think Mike is in the zone right now and if he can continue playing with this intensity, I feel that he will mow through this years WSOP fields and perhaps be the top winnings earner for 2006. So there you have it, my prediction right now on June 27, 2006. Let's wait a few weeks and see if I'm right!

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Can "The Mouth" repeat as WSOP Tournament of Champions winner?

He's set the stage to win back to back World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions titles but can he deliver? As final table play begins Mike Matusow is sitting in 5th place with 21,300 chips. In this invitation only field, Mike has proven once again that he belongs as he outlasted 17 of the worlds best to make his second final table in as many years in this elite tournament.

The chip leader is Andrew Black who last year made the WSOP Main Event final table and is probably best remembered for his tearful display of empathy for a fellow player who was being blinded off due to confusion over a break ending time.

The final table looks like this and we will report on a winnner in the next 24 hours:

1. Andrew Black Dublin, Ireland 94,175
2. Daniel Negreanu Las Vegas, NV 44,325
3. Daniel Bergsdorf Umea, Sweden 24,500
4. Kido Pham Dallas, TX 23,825
5. Mike Matusow Las Vegas, NV 21,300
6. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson Pacific Palisades, CA 16,600
7. Mike Sexton Las Vegas, NV 16,100
8. Darrell Dicken Las Vegas, NV 15,425
9. Gus Hansen Copenhagen, Denmark 7,375
10. Chris Reslock Atlantic City, NJ 6,375

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Mike Matusow takes second place in the FullTiltPoker.Net Pro Showdown at Red Rock Casino

In pro sports there is always pre-season camp to prepare for the start of the season. In poker this year there was the FullTiltPoker.net Pro Showdown, held at the Red Rock Casino. You see, the real "poker season" starts this week with the World Series of Poker kicking off tomorrow at Rio in Las Vegas. For 7 members of Team Full Tilt this game was their pre-season warm up and Mikes second place finish is hopefully a sign of things to come. Finishing off the world class field in this event was Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Erik Seidel, and Clonie Gowen.

This single table matchup was a high stakes 120K buy in game, with the winner taking home 600 thousand dollars (Erick Lingren took top honors). The game was pretty quiet with Mike following suit throughout the live TV event. As millions watched live, Mike and the rest of the pros played tight and didn't chat very much as the cards hit the felt. The first fireworks came when Matusow picked up pocket 6's in the small blind. The blinds were 4K-8K and it was folded to Matusow. He went all in against the big blind Phil Ivey who looked down at KJ of clubs. Being short stacked Phil did make the call thinking Matusow may have been trying to bully him. With both all in preflop, the board came 4 5 8 6 J. With the Jack on the river simply taunting Phil with what could have been.

With Phil Ivey now eliminated and holding the chip lead, Mike proceeded to make great laydowns and a few great calls. When he ultimately found himself heads up with E-Dog it didn't take long to end the game. On the very first hand of heads up Mike looked down to see AJ and pushed all in. Unfortunately for Mike, E-Dog looked down to see the sweet familiar Big Slick (AK) and immediately called. Mike didn't improve and Erick won the match along with 600K. Mike took down 280K for second place and beleive it or not, there was no Matusow Meltdown afterwards!

I think the most important thing to recognize here is that Matusow played with focus and made great decisions through the whole game. He obviously took this opportunity to use the game as a primer for the WSOP and if his second place finish among the top pros in the world is any indication, watch out for The Mouth!

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Is Mike playing with someone else's money?

In a recent episode of High Stakes Poker on GSN, an exhange took place between Daniel Negreanu and Mike Matusow. During the back and forth verbal jabs, Daniel made reference to Mike not even playing with his own money. This was a not so subtle reference to the fact that Mike pretty much stays broke and was playing in the high stakes game with a backers money.

A backer is someone who will partially or even fully fund a poker player so that he or she can play in a cash game or tournament. A typical setup will give the player a percentage of the winnings and the backer (or staker) will keep the lions share of the winnings, plus the original staked amount. It's most commonly seen on the tournament circuit but you occasionally see it in cash games. Most often, in a cash game setting the player is technically "borrowing" the money because they are broke. According to Daniel, that's the case here.

We did a little digging around and found that Mike was most likely broke during his appearance on this latest taping of High Stakes Poker. According to sources, Mike had another relapse and lost a few hundred thousand playing online poker. The rest of his bankroll vaporized at the sports book.

There's no question Mike is one of the best poker players on the planet. If only he can learn to manage a bankroll properly he may be remembered as a true world class player. If he stays broke, who knows...

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mike Matusow to play in the Mansion Poker Superstar Challenge (or not)

So is he or isn't he? Depends on who you ask. A few weeks ago a new poker site trying to make a splash jumped on the PR wagon to promote their new sponsored TV show, The Mansion Poker (MP) Superstar Challenge. It was a weak attempt at marketing to start with so I'm not going to give them anymore mention here. The big deal that came of the PR blunder was they (Mansion) claimed that several of the Full Tilt Poker Pros were going to be playing in this tournament.

So for those that already know, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harman, and Howard Lederer all play under the Full Tilt flag. Howard even owns a percentage of the holding company for Full Tilt!

So what's the twist in this story you ask? Good question, because up until now things have been status quo. However, Full Tilt today released a statement disputing the claims of Mansion Poker. Full Tilt says that no such commitments were made and in fact, MP didn't even ASK Mike The Mouth to appear on this show.

Shady tactics or a big misunderstanding? You be the judge.

FullTiltPoker.com Responds to Mansion Poker PR

14 June 2006

LOS ANGELES, California – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The following is an open letter to the poker industry from Fulltiltpoker.com management in response to a Mansion Poker press release dated June 9, 2006.

"On June 9, 2006, Mansion Poker issued an inaccurate press release regarding their upcoming Mansion Superstar Challenge. The release stated that Team Full Tilt member, Phil Ivey is confirmed to participate in a series of elimination tournaments. This is untrue.
The improper release also stated that Team Full Tilt members Howard Lederer and Mike Matusow had been "…hand selected to fill the all-important shoes of poker "wingman." Again, this is untrue.

Not only did Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer and Mike Matusow never agree to participate in this event in any way, they were not even contacted by Mansion Poker about participating.
A fourth member of Team Full Tilt, Jennifer Harman was in discussions to participate in the event, however, due to Mansion Poker's obvious disregard for the truth and egregious actions, she will no longer participate."

"Team Full Tilt," is a select group of the world's finest professional poker players, including Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Andy Bloch, Phil Gordon, Clonie Gowen, John Juanda, and Mike Matusow. Full Tilt Poker offers players the unique opportunity to Learn, Chat and Play poker with the best poker pros in the game.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Phil Ivey's wife caught cheating?

Did Phil Ivey really catch his wife cheating?

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Mike Matusow earns his three year card for the PPT

The Professional Poker Tour announced the schedule for the second season of it's very successful tournament series. PPT's Season II features a field of 265 and one new site on the tour -- Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ. In addition to Borgata, the four PPT tournaments will be filmed at some of America's true palaces of poker: Foxwoods Resort Casino, Commerce Casino and Bellagio.

The field of poker All-Stars competing in the PPT continues to grow even stronger with the addition of newly qualified players, whose performances over the past two years have landed them one, two or three-year PPT-Tour cards.

Mike "The Mouth" Matusow is guaranteed plenty of face time for the next three years on this tournament circuit as he was one of 61 poker pros to be awarded a three year card (similar to the PGA) to compete on the circuit. Other notables that got three year cards include Doyle Brunson, Chris Ferguson, Freddy Deeb, Phil Ivey, and Ted Forrest.

Keep an eye on the Travel Channel next month as the first season of the PPT will air on July 5th.

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