Lessons from Mike Matusow

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We pick up the action again from another amazing episode of Run It Back, from Remko and Poker Central, this time with Mike Matusow in the build up to the main event final table from the 2005 WSOP.

It was all a dream

A little lesser known fact is that Mike Matusow started out as a Dealer, earning enough to fund his bankroll and play limit $20/$40 games against an old guy that he said he was “kinda losing it”. Mike got a staking deal early on, in 1998 but the same backer was also staking Scottie Wynn didn’t want to buy him into the $10,000 Main event that year.

He went off the radar and wasn’t answering anyone’s calls, but Mike had had a dream that Scotty won the main event, so he wanted to buy some action, he put him in some $1,000 satellites but Scotty busted them all, he then gave him $500 towards one last shot at getting in and Scotty qualified and gave Mikey 33% of his action.

Scotty went on to win the WSOP main even back in 1998, with one 3rd of the action being Matusow’s. So Mike managed to bag himself $333,000 from having a Poker dream! This is where Scotty, drinking a beer and lighting up a cigarette said: “You call and it’s all over baby”. He wasn’t lying with him holding a better full house than his opponent.

Biggest regret?
Ego, I wish I had put some money away from when I had all the money in Poker… making the change from the “Why me?” person, once I stopped being the victim my life turned around.

Everything Starts with a little controversy

A nice reminder to keep it cool at the table, Shahram Sheikhan slammed the table when he saw the flop that Matusow was in against an amateur after making a tight fold pre-flop. Mike said he needed to “Shut the F*** up” and shortly after the tournament director gave them both a ten minute time out.

Mike was in fully bully mode during the tournament, holding the chip lead with just 2 tables left.

Brutal Cooler

Mike lost a huge pot against amateur Mike Lazar who picked up pocket Aces against Mike’s Pocket Kings on the first hand of the final table, Mike put Lazar all-in for around $3.5M chips and it looked good after Mike flopped a King! However Lazar had a backdoor flush draw holding the Ace of Hearts on the two heart flop giving him around 14% equity. The board ran out hearts and Mike was crippled.

Blow up

Mike should have been steering clear of a couple of other pros on the final table, with Joe Hachem and Andy Black sitting opposite him he would do wise to only play premium holdings when they are in the pot, however, he reached out with a raise with just Dolly Parton on his side, working 9 till 5 with the 95o he bet the flop, rather than checking back with his borderline hand once he flopped bottom pair, he then raised Andy Black’s lead out on the Turn, putting in around 50% of his chips with a hand he could not call an all-in with.

In looking back he says that he wanted to put all the pressure on his opponents, but I think this is a spot where we can just check back the flop and never look to raise any bet from our opponents, we either want to be picking off bluffs or getting to showdown.

Mike went into the final 10 4th in chips with around 7.5Million, with only 2Million between him and 1st position, however after these huge knocks to his stack he was pretty short, he went into battle against Dannenmann, holding Pocket Tens against the Amateurs Ace Jack, Mike flopped best but with two overcards and a gunshot, Dannenmann pushed Mike All-in…

Mike ended up making the correct call, he was a big favourite in the pot but sadly was drawing only to chop the pot when Dannenmann hit his gutshot on the Turn.

Check out the full action here: