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Mike Matusow Wins 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship

'The Mouth' Beats Phil Hellmuth To Capture Title and $750,000

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Mike Matusow thrust his hands and the air with a flying leap after the QDiamond Suit hit the river, completing his flush to win the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Jumping up and down, the man known as “The Mouth” screamed, “You gotta go for it, baby!”

For the win Matusow earned the $750,000 first-place prize and 504 Card Player Player of the Year points. Perhaps most special of all for Matusow was being able to play in the finals against his good friend, 2005 champion of this event Phil Hellmuth.

Runner-up Phil Hellmuth“It means a lot to have Phil alongside me. All you hear from the young kids is ‘Mike and Phil used to be good, but they can’t keep up with us kids, with our generation.’ But where are they standing today?” Matusow said in his post match interview for NBC, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Indeed, out of a field of 64 invited players that included many of poker’s most lauded up-and-comers, two of poker’s best known “old-school” pros were able to find a way through to the final. Matusow had to beat some of the best young-guns and established names on the road to the title. First he defeated three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and two-time World Poker Tour champion Michael Mizrachi. In the second round he dispatched online nosebleed cash game phenom Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

In the third round he topped three-time WSOP bracelet winner Barry Greenstein, setting up a quarterfinal battle with two-time bracelet winner John Hennigan. In the semi-finals he overcame an in-form Scott Seiver, fresh off a $2 million win at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure super high roller just weeks ago. Seiver earned $100,000 and 294 POY points for his semi-final showing, moving into 10th place in the overall standings.

With that Matusow set up the fan-favorite final clash with Hellmuth. Throughout the tournament matches had been single elimination, but in the finals the format changed to best of three. Matusow won the first major hand of the meeting when he flopped a set of sixes against Helluth’s pocket queens and then turned quads. After re-raising preflop and betting every street, Hellmuth moved all-in on the river. Matusow snap called and quickly revealed that he had the nuts, taking a huge chip lead as a result. Although Hellmuth briefly mounted a comeback, Matusow was able to seal the deal and take a 1-0 lead in the final.

Matusow was then able to build a lead of roughly 2-to-1 in the second match when the next key hand came up. Mike Matusow raised 60,000 from the button and Hellmuth three-bet. Matusow moved all-in, and Hellmuth called with the ASpade SuitKClub Suit. Matusow was in a commanding position with the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit, and was looking good to make a clean sweep after a 7Spade Suit5Club Suit3Diamond Suit flop. The AClub Suit on the turn turned the tables, however, and Hellmuth doubled up after the 9Spade Suit landed on the river. Hellmuth was able to close out the second match to tie the score at 1-1.

Matusow celebrates his winThe decisive match was the quickest of the three. Matusow took the lead right awya, and roughly 25 minutes into play the final hand arose. With a 3-to-1 lead, Matusow min-raised on the button to 32,000. Hellmuth called and the flop fell KDiamond SuitJSpade Suit2Diamond Suit. Hellmuth check-called a bet of 30,000 and the 6Spade Suit hit the turn. Hellmuth once again checked, prompting a 105,000 bet from Matusow. Hellmuth went deep into the tank, eventually saying, “I’m thinking of making one of the worst laydowns of my life.” Because of that statement, it was a bit of a surprise to Matusow when a moment later Hellmuth announced that he was all-in. After some consideration Matusow elected to call with the 8Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit for a flush draw. The QDiamond Suit hit the river, and just like that Matusow became the eighth champion of this event, while Hellmuth walked away with $300,000 for his runner-up finish.

“I’m on top of the world right now. There is nothing that feels better than winning a tournament. Nothing,” said Matsow after play ended. “I hadn’t won one since 2008. I have only played about 40 since then, and these guys play about 40 a week. But, you know man, I feel good.”

Here is the final bracket for the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship (Click to enlarge):

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
Champion Mike Matusow $750,000 504
Finalist Phil Hellmuth $300,000 420
Semifinalst Scott Seiver $100,000 294
Semifinalst Joseph Serock $100,000 294
Quartefinalist Daniel Cates $50,000 -
Quartefinalist John Hennigan $50,000 -
Quartefinalist Brian Hastings $50,000 -
Quartefinalist Eugene Katchalov $50,000 -
Round of 16 Antonio Esfandiari $25,000 -
Round of 16 Vanessa Rousso $25,000 -
Round of 16 Barry Greenstein $25,000 -
Round of 16 Phil Ivey $25,000 -
Round of 16 Joseph Cheong $25,000 -
Round of 16 David Sands $25,000 -
Round of 16 Tom Dwan $25,000 -
Round of 16 Dan Smith $25,000 -
 
 
 
 

Comments

THEJOEF
1 year ago

Where are the young guns? Well first of all Mike the people in charge at NBC don't invite the best players on earth. This is a a tournament filled with faces that the casual follower of poker will be comfortable watching . Faces that back in 2003 -2006 became interesting . Hellmuth is the only person from the above 40 year old crowd that has maintained his swag in tournament play.
Not that some of these guys like Hennigan and Ivey aren't the greatest cash game players on earth but this is a tournament . What he'll are any Full Tilt people even doing there? Mike.
I'd rather see Leaderer there just for the human drama. I'm sure NBC don't have the balls to pull that trigger.
The younger guys and a one women do dominate the world of tournament poker.
I'm sure you are doing great on your deep stack series. Why not just be a big boy and except the victory like a man instead of acting like the victim every time we hear from you. You would figure you would be a little humbled at this stage of your life.

 
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stray89
1 year ago

I have to completely disagree. This field did in fact contain some of the best players. Not just has-beens, but plenty of players that still have massive success. To name a few: Galfond, Hellmuth, Cheong, Katchalov, Ivey, Dan Smith, and Merceir. Sorry if I spelled some names wrong, but you get the point. Of course, he didn't have to play all those players, but he still had to beat some real top-notch talent. Mike won it fair and square. Saying it was because the field didn't have talented players is flat-out silly. In my eyes, these are in fact some of THE best players of today.

Oh and I forgot Haxton. Ike is a beast.

 
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maxima191
1 year ago

I hope they get rid of this tourney-Some of the best players refused their invitations.
Matusow really need this win-good for him but as a Las Vegas local I have better things to do than watch this boring tourney

 
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SiN8FuL
1 year ago

Bunch of haters. Stop complaining about everything. You as poker players should be happy this event was brought back even if you don't like the event. It's a positive move for poker in wake of black Friday. The line up had some of the best players out there. You people just like to bitch and run your mouth. Stop crying like a bunch of babies. If you don't like this event then don't watch it and shut up.

 
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bmpek
1 year ago

congrats mikey. this win is great for the sports books and the local 300 600 game. this money will be in play.

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

This event is a joke and only has a handful of proven great NL HOLDEM TOURNAMENT players.MATASOW himself hasnt won a tournament in 5 years!! He states he doesnt play them ,well thats not our problem. If they would put the best tournament players in it then it would be a real look at how good the top guys and one girl(Selbst) plays. If they want to leave 12 spots for throw ins like Brunson,Ivey,Hennigan,Dwan,Galfond, then i have no problem with that. Those five names I just gave you are worth watching even if its a game of GO FISH!!
Hellmuth earned his way into this.WILL "the THRILL" broke his ass for many years to get a shot at the big time! How does Mike Matusow deserve an invite and then he acts like he can compete with todays top tournament players? Really? TV poker blows and that includes ESPN. TV execs and casinos have gotten too involved with controling what really goes on at a poker table. The intensity no longer translates to TV. The raw emotion has been put to the curb because we dont want to hurt peoples feelings. The biggest example of this was shown of ESPN this summer when they let that guy stay in the tournament when he clearly should have been on a plane home!

 
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toneloco64
1 year ago

Yeah, Mizrachi, Blom, and Greenstein, finishing off with Phil Hellmuth.

What a weakly sick thin field. I bet you crush guys with that kind of talent all the time.

 
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Roseystuff
1 year ago

Let the haters say what they like while you enjoy your 750K Mike. CONGRATS!

 
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Dustin2
1 year ago

Spitting Venom...WOW.. What can you say HATERS gonna HATE!!! Nice run Mikey congrats bro!

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

Truly Amazing win. I mean outstanding and well deserved. Hey hes the best and has really earned it. For christ sake people just read what the guy said after he won! Come on are you people really this friggin retarded? We dont care that he won but just take the money and say thank you and move on like an adult.

 
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vikingpete_99
1 year ago

@THEJOEF...take your own advice, move on like an adult. considering Matusow plays very little (for whatever reason, money management problems most likely), smart money continues to back the guy because he is a great tourney poker player. he's proved it at WSOP and WPT events. i dont know who you are but i dont think you'll ever come close to the accomplishments of the MOUTH.

 
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notCIA
1 year ago

Winning any tournament involves a certain amount of luck, but this single elimination heads up format, it's just a freeroll crap shoot. If NBC can draw viewers and sell ads, more power to them.

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

Pete, I don't care why he doesnt play many tournaments. I do care when people that work their asses off and climb the poker tournament ladder get shut out of this event and then he acts like hes some king of poker. Accomplishments? Do you mean winning a poker tournament? I might be wrong but I only see one guy from the pool of big names that seems to have lived a respectable life. Again im sure im missing a few others but Hellmuth is the only one that seems to have has shit together. So not that it matters but Mikes "accompishments" in poker come with a price that make it not worth it.

 
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vikingpete_99
1 year ago

yep, $9 million in earnings is not worthy. what universe are you living in? face it...Mike Matusow is a great poker player, horrible money manager, and is great for TV. many of the "people that work their asses off" have little or no social skills at the poker table and would be disasterous on TV (see ESPN's expanded coverage of WSOP...like watching paint dry). we need more MOUTHs and less of the internet's anti-socialites if we want this game we love to keep alive on TV. if the TV coverage goes away, so will the popularity of the game. and soon poker rooms (which in many casino's cases) are seen as a liability but neccesary addition will start to slowly go the way of the keno lounges...GONE FOREVER.

 
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xIcemanxx
1 year ago

50% to taxes, 30% to bookies enjoy whats left

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

No its not worthy and I didnt say the guy couldnt play.
TV poker is over and has been for a while.
9 million over 22 years is not even break even in the poker world and casino life.

 
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drago619
1 year ago

if they put the best tournament players in the world as "thejoef" speaks of..then they would still be playing this tournament since most those players tank 5 minutes on every action anyway.

 
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THEJOEF
1 year ago

It's pre -recorded so why would that matter?

 
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