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A Flashback to the 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event

Final-table stories

by Matt Lessinger |  Published: Jul 24, 2009


Sometimes it’s easy to forget how many players joined the poker scene post-Moneymaker. Many of them regard past World Series of Poker champions as just names on the wall. I was lucky to cover the 2001 main-event final table as a reporter, and still think it was the most interesting final table I’ve seen. It was the first nine-handed final table in main-event history; it had plenty of personality, and a lot of talking. Since WSOP fever is in the air, I thought I’d take a break from my normal column content and tell some stories from that final table, especially for those who are new arrivals to the poker scene. Mike Matusow’s Big Bluff Carlos Mortensen, the eventual champion, was the chip leader for most of the final table, and he moved his chips constantly, raising nearly half of the pots preflop. Mike Matusow had just doubled up with ...

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