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Two Poker Hall Of Fame Nominees Trade Barbs Over $1.8 Million Prop Bet Gone Wrong

Forrest: 'I Was Being A Sucker' For Waiting This Long To Make It Public


Back in 2010, poker pros Mike Matusow and Ted Forrest agreed to a high-stakes prop bet that called for Forrest to go from 188 lbs to under 140 lbs (see the video above).

With $2 million on the line, Forrest trained and trained, and the six-time bracelet winner ended up making the weight. Fast forward to September 2014, and Forrest has gone public with information that Matusow, a four-time bracelet winner, hasn’t paid up. According to Forrest, Matusow didn’t end up “doing the right thing,” like Forrest thought he would in the weeks after he won the bet.

Matusow responded last week with a series of tweets, which were later deleted. In them, the poker pro said he tried to have the bet canceled and Forrest offered him a buyout of $500,000. Matusow refused it and the bet was still on.

Card Player had the chance to speak with Forrest about the hairy situation.

Brian Pempus: Why did you decide come out recently on Twitter and make this public?

Ted Forrest: I felt like I was being a nice guy being silent for four years. I wasn’t being a nice guy, I was being a sucker. I paid Mike $100,000 when he beat me in his weight bet [from 2008], and in four years [since ours] he has paid me $70,500. I had an arrangement with my trainer where I would pay him as Mike paid me. This past WSOP, I paid my trainer because he got sick of waiting. Enough is enough. It’s time for Mike to own up to the fact that he made a bet and lost it.

BP: What do you make of him responding on Twitter the way he did and deleting everything?

TF: Well, I think that if he posted something on Twitter and deleted it, he either did so because he can’t defend it or because possibly a lawyer suggested he delete it. I really have no idea.

BP: I read that you are thinking about suing him. What obstacles would there be to suing Mike?

TF: I have never sued anyone in my life. Right now, Mike is actually trying to work out some sort of possible solution. I hope it doesn’t come to [a lawsuit]. I hope Mike works out some sort of solution, but if he doesn’t, I am probably going to use that as a last recourse.

BP: If it came to that, do you think it would be hard to take him to court over something like this?

TF: The whole gambling world basically knows that the bet was made; I won the bet and Mike did not pay. The facts are there, whether a court of law will see it the same way—who knows.

BP: Can you address Mike’s statement that he was “very drunk” when the bet was made?

TF: I’ve seen Mike being really drunk. When Mike is really drunk, he can’t speak, he can’t walk, he is stumbling everywhere. When we made the bet, he was completely coherent. We walked up to the second floor of the Commerce [casino] to weigh me in on the scale. He had two or three drinks at most. He was fine. He was definitely not inebriated.

BP There were other people there who could describe Mike as totally coherent, right?

TF: Let me clarify something: Mike is never totally coherent, in case you’ve ever listened to him. Any time he speaks whatever comes out of his mouth makes no sense. It might sound like he’s drunk. He’s most often not drunk, even though whenever he speaks he might appear intoxicated.

BP: A lot has been documented with regards to Mike suffering from mental health issues. Does all of that help you not hate him over what you said happened?

TF: I don’t actually hate Mike. I like Mike. I want only good things for Mike. I think it would be good for Mike to make an effort to start making some good-faith payments to me. I think that would be good for the soul. I think that would help improve Mike as a person. It would help him realize that his actions have consequences, and he needs to be responsible and be a man.

BP: Is there anything short of getting the full amount that would make you satisfied here?

TF: Well, right now, Mike is trying to work out some kind of settlement that would be agreeable to both parties. I hope he’s able to make that happen. I doubt that he will be, but I’d love to see it.

BP: Were you and Mike pretty good friends back in 2010 and before?

TF: Mike considers everybody to be his best friend. I feel a little bit sorry for Mike, because I feel he has very few true friends. He has a good heart, but his actions do not always reflect that. His actions hurt people, even if he has a self-deprecating nature and a good heart. He hurts those around him. Even his brother said that he devalues his family. You know, people are making a big deal out of a Twitter war I was having with his brother, which was basically a non-issue. His brother even said “[Mike] made the bet and lost it and owes you the money, but he’s broke and can’t pay.” But when he won $750,000 at the NBC Heads-Up tournament he paid me $20,000. Come on, what was that? At least give me the $100,000 I gave him earlier. He should have made some type of legit payment…About a month after we made the bet, he announced that he was going to make $5,000-a-month payments. I never agreed to that. He just spewed it out of his mouth. He hasn’t even come close to that. $70,500 over four years is close to $1,400 a month…The fact that he has paid me some of the money means that he knows he has lost a bet and he knows he is in the wrong. He just doesn’t want to pay enough to make it hurt.

BP: You and Mike are both nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame this year. Do you think your statements should harm Mike’s reputation to the point of him not making it in?

TF: Well, I think it is unfortunate timing. It will probably hurt both of our chances. It wasn’t my intention to have the timing coincide with this. It just happened. I assume that eventually Mike and I will both be in the Hall of Fame. I’d like for Mike to be in. He deserves it, as do I.

BP: When you made the bet with Mike, did you have a feeling in the back of your head that all of this mudslinging would happen?

TF: No, you have to realize it was a different climate in 2010. People had money in the poker world. Online poker was alive and well. People were playing with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table and a $2 million bet was a very big bet, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as it sounds today…By the way, I got laid those odds because the bet was so difficult. I was not a favorite in this bet. I was an underdog in this bet and that’s why I got laid such big odds. If the bet had been even money, I would have bet against myself.

BP: You were taking a health risk by doing this? Does that make you extra angry?

TF: I think people are probably over-thinking how risky it was. I actually enjoyed the process somewhat. All the way down to 148 lbs felt great. What made me angry was that in an interview Mike stated that he wasn’t going to pay me a penny after I won the bet for six months because he was going to wait and see if I died first. He felt that I had lost all the muscle around my heart and he was going to wait to see if I died before paying.

BP: Mike said there needed to be a drug test for this bet. Can you talk about that?

TF: We agreed not to use drugs on both bets—his weight-loss bet and my weight-loss bet. We said we would do it on the honor system. If anyone thinks I am crazy enough to use drugs when losing that kind of weight—I might be the “suicide king” but I am not suicidal. I didn’t use diuretics. I was 142 three or four days before the weigh in. Ask my coach, or Michael Craig who documented this, if I used drugs. For Mike’s brother, or Mike, to accuse me of using drugs is just an excuse not to pay. The fact that he has paid $70,500 already means that he knows he lost the bet. When he won the bet from me, I just paid him. I didn’t question. I didn’t ask.

Mike didn’t even show up for the ESPN weigh-in [at the Rio] for me. We had to track him down. It took five hours to track Mike down and weigh myself in front of him so I could win the bet, costing me five extra hours where I couldn’t drink water…When I went into his house and weighed in on his scale, a 15-year-old rusty scale, I weighed 137.5, which was a couple pounds less than the calibrated scale I weighed in on at the official weigh-in…We ended up finding him at his house, asleep in bed, with a big McDonald’s bag lying on his stomach. He woke up and watched me weigh in there.

BP: He probably knew beforehand that you had made your weight?

TF: I kept telling him for weeks before that I was going to win. After a month, I told Mike I was going to win the bet and that he should try to get rid of as much of [the action] as he could. He was like, ‘No, you can’t win this bet; you are going to die.’ He was in denial and had no concept of reality.

Card Player attempted to reach Matusow for this story, but was unsuccessful.



8 years ago

Come on Ted, anyone who would make that ludicrous of a bet amount, $2 million, over a prop bet no less, with The Mouth, has to know he will never get paid. Saying it was 2010 and things were different, while partially true, is no excuse for making a bet that is basically non-payable. You need to bet an amount that you know will get paid, not some fantasy amount that has no chance of getting paid. Making a $2 million bet with The Mouth, you might as well made a $2 Billion bet, both have the same chance of ever being paid. I fault Ted here for not realizing the bet amount was too big to ever get paid, at least by The Mouth.


8 years ago

It's pretty pathetic that Mike Matusow is the best poker can do when it comes to HOF nominations. It's equally pathetic how people are giving Forrest @hi# for betting this much with a known degen. Degens like Matusow were probably betting that much each NFL week back in the Full Tilt pozni scheme days. Forrest won, so pay the man his money. I hope a court of law rules in his favor.


8 years ago

I don't think Mike ever really benefited as much as others as far as the FTP fraud. I think that is why he was so pissed at the whole thing, others made millions and millions while I think he basically got a routine sponsorship deal, or close to it. So, I don't think Mike was ever throwing around $2 million each week on NFL games.

Also, I don't think a court would ever get involved in a verbal weight loss prop bet between two degenerate poker players. One of the first rules of betting is never bet an amount that you know cannot be paid.


8 years ago

You are totally right. In face, "degenerate poker players" are not even legally allowed to file lawsuits.

Instead, the judge just gives them both pistols and has them shoot it out in the parking lot.


8 years ago

"We ended up finding him....asleep in bed, with a big McDonald’s bag lying on his stomach"

Ted does paint a perfect picture of degeneracy, LMAO, classic!


8 years ago

It's pretty pathetic The Media Broadcast's these Prop Bets On National and World Tv.While Million's Fight for Online Poker Regulation The Media and Some Player's choose to Broadcast there "Prop" Bs In front of the World and Congress.

Another Insult To Poker was the coverage by the media Broadcasting Ivey's and Negreanu Bracelet Bet."Like we all Give a Chit"
This should never of been Highlighted on here or on espn at the WSOP.This make's the rest of us look like degen gambler's throwing money around on Bs.
Open your Eye's guys if this keep's up we will never Have Online regulation Nationwide.

As for you Ted....I lost Respect for you after this Bs. Is this because of HOF? I'm starting to think so...This is not good for Poker at all. Thank's for making the rest of us players Look like Brainless Gambler's in front of the World. LMAO as I'm Typing I see this Hs "Ted Forrest (@ForrestTed) is now following you on Twitter!" Amazing coincidence! That's again Numbnut's from the rest of The Online Poker Community fighting for Regulation.

And Mike, Dont fall for this Crap, You were wise to delete your tweets..Smart Move..Use your Head. Dont add to this Bs."Scott" Keep on him and watch over him threw this crap.

And for the FTP Crap...Peeps say Mike Didn't have as many perks as the rest..He's socalled upset by that? I dont believe that at all. Threw Black Friday if anyone followed the QuadJacks Black Marathon,They Relise Mike went to bat for All of us. He didn't create stories or Bs he Spoke the truth about it. Even when the "FTP patsy "Mr L" "No Plug for you either DumbArse" Tryed to silence Mike he Told the Truth and stood with us., Highlight that!

And You Cardplayer and the rest of the media. If the President or even Congress came on Tv Tonight and Stated Online Poker will never be Regulated Nationwide and is Forever Illegal in the Usa....

What would you guys do in the media???You would be peddling free magazines at every venue that holds a Poker Tournament.Your Highlight's are not helping us or Making us look good as a Poker Community. Start thinking about what you Broadcast on tv and Main stream Internet! Clean up your act's....
Again....Thank's Alot


8 years ago

So it,s your thinking No Name that if something bad happens in the poker world it should be swept under the carpet? People out side of the poker world are not as dumb as you must think they are. Why do you think there is no national internet poker online? Maybe it has something to do with dark side of the poker world. Which believe it or not most intelligent people know about. You can,t dig a hole deep enough to hide all the bad actors and stupid shenanigans. This is just 1 over sized example of the crazy things that happen in the gambling world. There are thousands of welchers in the gambling world. Yep we should only print the good news like so and so who just won a million $ tournament has 5 million in life time earnings. Put on those rose colored glasses and try to rope in a few more suckers. I always laugh at these statements when I see them because they are a total fabrication. That,s like in my business I make 3 Million a year. Of course I am not counting how much the product I sell costs,rent,workers and other costs. Believe me people are not as dumb as you obviously hope they are.


8 years ago

" I always laugh at these statements"
I've read yours 3 Times and I still can't Figure out why you typed your post. My Point was "Prop Bets" Should be Private between the Players involved and not the World. As For Black Friday, it Had to Happen. There was To Much Cheating going on. Players using Bots,Multi Accounts,Team Play,Ghosting Accounts ect ect.But you know this Correct?

And I'm sure you think the New Poker Bot Is Awesome and great for online Poker? And its Even Better to see two HOF Nominee's "Trade Barbs Over $1.8 Million Prop" Before someone is Inducted this year???? "Well 1 guy is trading Barbs"...But Im sure you know everying about that to correct?
You played Online for how long? You seem to be a Bundle of Information on it all. "Now I'm Laughing" Carry On


8 years ago

Your point No matter what you meant came off as if it sheds a bad light on poker it should not be talked about or heard of. As far as laughing at the career earnings of players as posted here and other places they are a total fabrication. Never is the cost of playing[travel, hotels, food, entries that are loses and other costs] deducted from those career earnings which makes them a lie. How long I played online has what to do with my post or any thing else in life.


8 years ago

"Never is the cost of playing[travel, hotels, food, entries that are loses and other costs] deducted from those career earnings which makes them a lie."

That Is True and I agree with you 100%. And the Online wins/Career earnings from before Black Friday are bogus..hard to say who cheated to earn that $. My Opinion it should not be added to life time online stats at all.

I see some of your points now...


8 years ago

"Motor Mouth" Matusow should never have been nominated to the Poker Hall of Fame much less be inducted. He is a liar, drug addict, criminal who has cheated many people over the years but somehow he has a good heart. Bull, he is a bad person who only looks out for himself.