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Monday, July 31, 2006

Mike takes an early exit from this years WSOP Main Event

Sorry folks, no repeat final table appearance for Mike. If you read the last entry about the sheer number of donkeys playing in the main event, you won't be surprised by this donk play that knocked out The Mouth:

While at the ESPN featured table (you'll get to see him on TV at least), Mike is sitting with about 10K in chips. His unknown Internet donkey opponent goes all in on a flop of 9d, 4d, 7s and Mike quickly calls. Mike flips over his pocket 7's for a set which is the best hand at the moment as his opponent flips up Kd, Jd. The Ah comes on the turn and the river brings the ugly 3d giving the donkey a flush.

A devastated Mike Matusow leaves the table and life goes on for the remaining 5K or so players left in the event. Was there a Matusow Meltdown? You'll have to wait for the TV show since we promised ESPN no spoilers :)

By the way, if you're wondering I called this donk play here's my logic:

In a cash game or a regular tourney, this is a marginal play so early on. Yes, he had decent outs with two overs and a flush draw. The difference here is that this is EARLY in the BIGGEST tourney on the FACE OF THE EARTH! The blinds were still low and there is no reason here to get all your chips in on a draw. Very few pros will get all of their chips in the pot on a draw so early in a tourney.

Mike had a made hand and a big one at that, his call was correct but in typical Internet donkey fashion the guy was making a move with the flush draw. I swear I've never seen in all my years of poker so many people hard up to hit flushes. I bet Mike would agree...

You can be rest assured that the last 3 WSOP champs didn't take an early exit, they also all started playing online poker here
Saturday, July 29, 2006

Top 5 reasons to have a Matusow Meltdown at the 2006 WSOP

Top 5 reasons to have a Matusow Meltdown at this years WSOP Championship:

5. When your pocket Kings get cracked by the Internet player that called your big preflop raise with Ace Seven (cause they were sooooted!). Not because he hit this ace on the flop but because he chased the runner runner flush draw despite your oversized bets to get him out. Of course he hits.

4. Your flopped set of 7's loses to a backdoor double belly buster straight draw despite your agressive betting. When asked why he kept chasing his massive underdog draw, the winning player declares "I had pot odds man".

3. You're holding pocket Queens and on a flop of 2 3 Q with two hearts, you get THREE callers to your all in reraise. When the other three players turn up their hands they show 4 5, A 2, and 9 6 of hearts???? The ace comes on the turn giving one of the morons a straight and you're sent home packing.

2. You go all in preflop with pocket Aces, you amazingly get two callers. One has pocket 6's and the other has pocket Aces as well! You figure you'll both split the pot and eliminate the fish with the 6's. Oh not so fast buddy, the board comes blank, blank, SIX. To add insult to injury the turn brings another 6 giving the guy quads.

1. All in preflop, you turn up your pocket Jacks against a moron who called you with Ace Five offsuit. The flop comes KKK, the turn is a blank, and the river is the last King. Now you're left holding quad Kings with a Jack, and dipstick now has you outkicked with his (once) dominated hand.

All of the above are great reasons to have a true Matusow Meltdown. They're also all true.

Every hand you just read about above took place on day one of the 2006 WSOP event. With nearly every table full of Internet qualifiers who won their seat here for 5 and 10 dollars, it's the wild wild west. These guys are freerolling for the most part and play live worse than they play online. A few things overheard at the tables from these Internet noobs:

"What's a string bet?"
"When do I bet again?"
"How come that guy gets to go first?"

For most it's their first LIVE GAME EVER. For many it's a freeroll. For the pro's this is their living hell that is the 2006 World Series of Poker...

If you're reading this, you're not playing in the 2006 WSOP. Find something better to do with your time.
Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mike plays in todays 5K Pot Limit Holdem WSOP event

After busting out in the first hour of his last two events, Matusow is playing in the 5K (no re-buy) Pot Limit Holdem event. Believe it or not, this is only his SECOND Pot Limit Holdem event EVER. That's right, his second PL event ever. When asked about it Mike responded:

"Well, I figure these morons keep winning bracelets this year and they don't know shit. I may as well play a game I don't know shit about. Maybe I'll win."

Famous Last Words...

So far it's early as play has just begun a few hours ago. From a 5,000 chip starting point, Mike sits in about 15th place with 10,000 chips. The field is 250 players deep and the leader as I write this entry is an unknown amatuer. Interesting to note that Phil Hellmuth has about the same sized stack as The Mouth right now. They're not at the same table but we're keeping our fingers crossed that somehow they wind up together. Then we'll wait for the smack talk to commence.

Is my Mike-On? Mike-On-System what?
Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mike Matusow busts out of the 50K H.O.R.S.E. event at this years WSOP

Perhaps the most prestigous event for the professional poker world, the 50K buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event attracted the games absolute best. The player list was small at only 143 players but the list was a who's who of the game:

Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Chip Reese, Andy Bloch, Mike Matusow, Marcel Luske, Freddy Deeb, Paul Phillips, Joe Cassidy, Chip Jett, Tuan Le. You name a high limit cash game player or world class pro and they were most likely playing in this event. Most figured the field would be small due to steep price of admission at $50,000.00 but the payday certainly isn't! The winner of this event is taking home a staggering $1.7 million (remember that the field is only 143 players). In fact, this will be the largest payday of any tournament field under 500 players!

For those that aren't familiar with the format, H.O.R.S.E is a mix of the following games:

H: Hold'em
O: Omaha
R: Razz
S: Seven-card Stud high
E: Seven-card stud Eight or Better

It's considered the true test of a well rounded poker pro and only the best can possibly compete at this level and win. You simply can't get lucky and win an event such as this, particularly with the limit structure of the event vs. no-limit. The game is played just like a regular tourney with the exception of the game changes during each level end. In other words, after the first level is complete (in a regular tournament only the blinds increase, the game stays the same) the game will switch to the next game in rotation. For example, if the players are playing Razz they will begin a round of Seven Card Stud high for the next level.

The lone exception in the case of this game is that since H.O.R.S.E. is such a complex game and the final table is being televised by ESPN, the final table will be played in the standard No-Limit format. In my opinion this is yet another example of a network using their muscle to influence tournament play poker to the detriment of the game (but that's another story).

Mike came into this event with some good finishes and is considered by many to be one the best Omaha players in the world. We all know and have seen that his No-Limit game is world class so would that be enough to put Mike in the money? The short answer is no, as he went out in the middle of the field and didn't cash. Does that mean that there were no highlights? Of course not! We're talking about "The Mouth" here!

Seen and/or overheard during play:

Phil Hellmuth was late for play as usual and prior to Phil's arrival Mike was hoping that Phil would be seated at his table. When Phil finally showed after three levels were over, Mike saw Phil approaching his table and made a comment about how happy he was. It was all for naught however, as Phil was seated at another table right next to Mike. Soon after though, he was moved and Mike rubbed his hands together with a grin, saying "well hello Phil". This was an obvious taunt by Mike, the question is what would follow?

Phil Hellmuth to Mike "I'll bet you 20K that you never play another WPT event until the final table format changes." This was in reference to the fact that in WPT events the blinds increase at a staggering rate due to the made-for-tv format. Many players including Mike have complained about this. The comment was most likely made within earshot of Lyle Berman, owner of the World Poker Tour.

"When's this hold'em round get over so we can get back to the action games?" - Mike Matusow

"Phil, I got the whole rail licking their chops whenever I look over at you." - Matusow to Phil Hellmuth

"I'll run through the Amazon room buff naked if Phil wins this event." - Mike Matusow

"Now I know who my second favorite player to win the event is." - Greg Raymer, in response to hearing Mike's bet.

One of the few online poker rooms that offer HORSE cash games can be found here.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mike Matusow advances to the Super 16 in the Poker Superstars Invitational

After the first two round Mike Matusow had zero points and was in danger of not advancing to the Super 16. Earlier this week however, in the final televised match he was able to place second and cap off a stunning run. After his tough start he was able to string together a win and two second place finishes to come into the final match holding his destiny in his hands.

The Mouth needed a third place finish or better to advance and wound up heads up against Jeff Shulman who already had his spot locked up. After a good battle and some great laydowns Mike got all of his chips in holding pocket 8's vs. Shulmans pocket 10's. Mike seemed shocked to see a pair over a pair in heads up competition making the comment "Pair over pair heads up? You gotta be kidding me!"

It was all in fun though as his 8's didn't improve and Jeff took the win and 10K. Mike was complimentary and cool during his exit interview with Mary Strong. He took time to thank everyone and give Jeff props for his good play throughout the event.

Again, in my opinion this is another example of Mike being focused, calm, cool, and collected this year. He's primed for big wins this year and I've got a feeling by the time the WSOP is over, you will be seeing his face on TV final tables many times this year.

Pick up the pace on your tournament final table finishes with The Micon System.
Sunday, July 09, 2006

Matusow makes his first final table of the 2006 WSOP

Mike Matusow today continued his focused, new style of "Non Meltdown" poker and made the $2,500 NL event final table. If you're a follower of this blog you already know he's been on a tear lately, cashing for well over 1 million over the last few big events he has played. I made the prediction at the start of this years WSOP that you'd hear from "The Mouth" and with one cash already under his belt, he added the exclamation point today with his 89K cash.

Mike started the final table mid-pack and made a few moves here and there. He never really had good cards to play however and after picking up three hands in a row, he ran into amatuer Justin Pechie during the following hand:

Looking down at the Jack of Hearts and Ten of Diamonds, Mike Matusow raises to 33K. He's called from the small blind (Pechie) and after a flop of 10 9 6 rainbow, sees Pechie bet 32K. Mike immediately goes over the top all-in for his last ~300K in chips and is almost beat into the pot by Pechie. When Pechie flips over his Ten of Hearts and Nine of Hearts "The Mouth" knows he's in trouble. The turn and the river are no help and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow is eliminated in 7th place.
Of course for Mike, it's really not about the money. It's about the bracelet and the respect of his fellow poker pros. Mike is far more calm this year than last year and with his early pace showing some positive returns, watch out for more "noise" coming from this "Mouth"!

Run your mouth all you want, you can be the Star of your own poker party here
Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Matusow busts out in the 5K No Limit Hold Em WSOP Event

Mike Matusow came in all talk, ready to do battle in todays 5K NL event. He was seen several times playfully taking verbal jabs at opponents from fellow pros to the amatuer "Joe Blow" at the table. More often than not though, it was kind hearted singing heard from the mouth of, well "The Mouth".

One player that he had nicknamed "Smiley" was serenaded by Mike after a board of A xx flopped. " Mike bet out on the flop and "Smiley" went all in to hear Mike sing "Smiley, Smiley, I have AK Smiley. I'm going to fold AK here Smiley" as he folded his cards face down. Whether he actually had AK or not is unknown.

Unfortunately for Mike, he never got any cards to play as Big Slick (AK) once again let him down when he pushed his final 2,200 chips in with it pre-flop. He was called by unknown player holding pocket 7's which held up. Mike busted out in 400th place and of course, didn't cash in this event.

The ultimate winner of this event will collect 818K.

Bust out yourself? Reload here
Monday, July 03, 2006

Mike cashes early this year at the World Series of Poker

Mike has already played well and cashed in just the fifth event at this years WSOP. With 824 players putting up the $2,500 buy-in for the first short handed (6 players per table) No Limit event, $475,000 was waiting for the winner of this event.

Mike (as mentioned earlier) was playing well and put himself in a good spot to head to the final table. Unfortunately, he took a bad beat here and there and ultimately left the event in 33rd place, earning $8,528 for his efforts. It certainly wasn't about the money though and I'm sure Mike is replaying hand after hand as he prepares to play again this week.

It is worth noting that Russ "Dutch" Boyd won this event marking a helluva comeback from mental health issues and personal problems. For those of you that don't know, Dutch has publicly talked about his mental health issues (depression, bi-polar disorder) and his battle to overcome them. He's also well known as a dot-com era "thief" who alledegly made off with hundreds of players money in a poker-room site that went belly up. A few years ago there were rumors of players waiting in the wings for Dutch to cash out so that they could "reclaim" their bankrolls that vanished when the website did. No word on whether anyone was around to collect this time...

It's never too early to prepare for the 2007 WSOP, I'd suggest starting at the same place where the last three champs came from.