Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

WSOP: Bracelet Winner Q and A -- Mike "The Mouth" Matusow

The Mouth Talks About his New Positive Outlook and How it Led to his Victory


Mike MatusowMike "The Mouth" Matusow won his third gold bracelet last night in the $5,000 no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball event. The names of the players he had to face at the final table speak for themsleves: David Benyamine, Tony G, Tom Schneider, Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein, and Jeffrey Lisandro. Not to mention the fact that Matusow had to wade his way through a field of the 85 best poker players on the planet just to make it to the final table. It came down to Lisandro and Matusow at the end, and Matusow doubled up to take the lead in their exciting battle, and he then leaned on Lisandro until he had an insurmountable lead. The final hand provided a fitting end to an exciting event when Matusow stood pat with a Q-8 low, which held up when Lisandro drew one card to a Q-9 low. Card Player caught up with Matuosw at a post-final table press conference after the big victory.

Question: What does your third bracelet mean to you compared to your big win in the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, or your other two bracelets?

Mike Matusow:
Nothing will ever mean more than beating Daniel [Negreanu] heads up in ’02 ($5,000 Omaha eight-or-better), because when my autobiography comes out everyone will see the circumstances that were surrounding the day before and the night of the final table, and a lot of people don’t really know what I was going through mentally so that is always going to be my biggest accomplishment. But to win this bracelet…it’s not just about beating 85 of the best players in the world at a game that I don’t have that much experience in, it’s the fact that for six days heading into this tournament I think I won 13 pots in six tournaments, and I walked out with a smile on my face every day laughing because I didn’t give a chip away, I was playing so great, and I’m like…Good things are going to happen, good things are going to happen…Because you can’t help it if the cards don’t come, but you can help yourself by playing good. I thought going into this tournament that I had made one mistake in six days. I come into this and all of a sudden I start hitting some cards…Honestly, in the seven tournaments I’ve played, and this is the sickest thing I’ll ever say, the most I have made is three total mistakes between all seven tournaments. And most people make five-six mistakes a day. I’m playing with great patience, great focus…I never said to myself I want to win a bracelet, I want to win this tournament, I just came into today to play one hand at a time, stay focused, and good things will happen, and when you do that you win…I don’t care if I win a bracelet, I want to play good, and if I play good, good things will happen. I’ve been telling people for the last three weeks that it is going to be a big World Series for me, I don’t know if I’m going to win a bracelet, I don’t know if I’m going to win anything, but I know for sure that I’m going to have a big showing because my focus is good, I feel good, and I can just tell that things are going good for me. Am I happy that I won this bracelet? Yeah, I am, I mean I beat the toughest field in poker history and I know for sure I played off the f@#$ing charts. So that’s all that matters to me. If I would have lost or got second I would have been just as happy because I know how good I played. You know, you can only play so good, you can’t control the cards…I think except for the one hand right before dinner break I was the best player at the table and that’s why I won. I thought Barry [Greenstein] was to, but he got real unlucky in that one hand against Jeff [Lisandro]. I thought Barry played great too, I thought me and him were definitely the two best players at the table today. I made the one mistake, and I got away with it, the dinner break came just in time.

Q: You started heads-up play with a chip deficit. Were you confident that you would turn things around against Jeffrey Lisandro?

Absolutely…I knew if I doubled up that I would have him because he knows he can’t run me over, and I knew my patience was unbelievable. Even if he grinded me down to under a million, like 800,000, I had no fear of coming back over the top of him for all of my chips, and yet, I was going to be able to keep throwing away hands and pick my spots. It’s a shame it wasn’t televised, but there was tons of times that I actually came back over the top for all of my chips with a zero, after folding, folding, folding. I set my table image up so great, and that’s what I wanted to do. I don’t think I could have set my table image up more perfect to allow me to do what I wanted to do. I didn’t try to steal one pot in two days. I came back to this final table and I didn’t try and steal a pot until we were five handed. When we got down to five handed I took down plenty of pots. I just played well, I’m happy.

Q: I heard you say after the win that your new outlook on life is that 'You make your own luck.' How much did that new positive outlook lead directly to your tournament victory tonight?

The bottom line is that I don’t walk out when I lose blaming the whole world for how unlucky I am. If you get unlucky and you lose you just come back the next day because it’s just poker. It’s not the end of the world, I used to make poker the end of the world to me and it’s like Daniel used to tell me, ‘I’ve never seen somebody with more highs and more lows in my life, and I’ve never seen anybody more negative in his whole life’ When I walked out for six days straight I swear to God I went home and I said can’t wait to come back because I’m playing so good, and the old me would never do that, the old me would say Jesus I’m unlucky…You know, I came in and I didn’t win a pot for six tournaments, I came in and I won them all in one, that’s what you’re supposed to do I guess.

Q: How are you going to celebrate now that you’ve won?

Go to sleep, come back, and play tomorrow. Honestly I’ve never enjoyed tournament poker, and you can quote that. Before the World Series got big, the cash games at the World Series used to be off the f%^&ing charts, so that’s where I made all of my money. Now, because poker players are celebrities…it has become big, and for me to win a bracelet it’s worth a lot more than for anybody else to win a bracelet because I’m a high-profile player…I used to hate tournament poker, but because of the time I took off and my mental attitude I’m actually enjoying it. That’s the sickest thought I ever thought, I’ve actually been enjoying coming in here and playing, and that’s probably why I’m winning.



13 years ago

Congratulations, Mike.

But I've heard you say, at least a couple of times that you beat 85 of the best players in the world. Actually, with 85 people playing, you beat 84 of the best players in the world.

Just looking to help in case your listeners are paying attention to the details.


13 years ago

Congratulations're having a great year and your new outlook, as well as your committment towards self improvement in all your life, is definitely paying off now. Keep up the great work!!