Mike Matusow was born in Los Angeles, but has spent the majority of his 51 years in Las Vegas. His autobiography, Check Raising The Devil, chronicles his time playing video poker before he was taught hold'em in the late '80s and shifted his focus to poker. In 1998, Matusow backed Scotty Nguyen to the World Series of Poker main event title, giving him a third of the $1 million prize. The next year, he won his first bracelet, taking down a $3,500 no-limit hold'em event.
Matusow has four bracelets in total, his other three coming in the 2002 $5,000 Omaha eight-or-better event, the 2008 $5,000 no-limit 2-7 lowball event, and the 2013 $5,000 stud eight-or-better event. He has also made the final table of the WSOP main event twice, and won the Tournament of Champions in 2009 for $1 million. In 2013, he took down the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship for another $750,000.
The Poker Hall of Fame nominee has more than $9.3 million in career live tournament earnings, but has had as many downs as ups during his career. Matusow served time in jail on drug charges in 2005 after he was set up by undercover police officer. He has also dealt with going broke, and health issues have threatened to derail his playing career.
Matusow's popular webshow The Mouthpiece has returned as a podcast, with episodes featuring Jennifer Tilly, Mike Sexton, Michael Mizrachi, Greg Raymer, and Daniel Negreanu. You can also check out his YouTube channel Mike The Mouth, which features action vlogs from his cash game and tournament sessions.
Highlights from this interview an explosive introduction, free speech for comedians and Michael Jackson cosplayers, high school fights, some advice for Michael Phelps, demanding a raise from Full Tilt, a lack of respect for the old school guys, the politics of the Poker Hall Of Fame, Barry Bonds has Phil Hellmuth ego, his WSOP main event final table shot, drugs for world peace, a 72-hour session, two secrets for Phil Hellmuth, Doug Polk and ranges, why GTO is for players with no talent, Trump's biggest problem, beating Daniel Negreanu heads-up for a bracelet while detoxing from crystal meth, the $2 million weight-loss bet with Ted Forrest, and his thoughts on climate change.