Show Menu

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow – Poker Player Profile

Profile: Mike “The Mouth” Matusow – The Passionate Poker Player


Mike Matusow, popularly known as “The Mouth,” is a professional poker player known for his lively personality, intense table talk, and remarkable tournament success. Born on April 30, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, Matusow has left an indelible mark on the world of poker through his exceptional skills, controversial antics, and unwavering determination. This profile delves into the life, career, and notable achievements of this iconic figure in the poker world.

Early Life and Background

Growing up in a middle-class family, Mike Matusow showed an early inclination towards competitive games. At a young age, he was drawn to video games and gambling, foreshadowing his future career. Matusow’s passion for poker started to develop during his teenage years when he began playing low-stakes games with friends and family. However, his interest in the game grew exponentially when he discovered the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on television, becoming captivated by the high-stakes drama and strategic elements of the game.

Rise to Prominence

In the late 1990s, Mike Matusow began playing poker professionally, frequenting card rooms and honing his skills in various forms of poker. He gained recognition in the poker community for his aggressive playing style and his exceptional ability to read opponents. Matusow’s relentless determination and drive to succeed soon paid off, propelling him into the spotlight.

Tournament Successes

One of Matusow’s most significant accomplishments came in 1999 when he won his first WSOP bracelet in the $3,500 No-Limit Hold’em event, earning a substantial prize of $265,475. This victory not only solidified his reputation as a formidable player but also marked the beginning of a successful tournament career.

In 2005, Matusow achieved his biggest breakthrough by winning the prestigious WSOP Main Event, securing his second bracelet and a life-changing $7.5 million in prize money. This remarkable achievement elevated him to the upper echelons of the poker world and cemented his status as one of the game’s elite players.

Matusow’s total WSOP bracelet count currently stands at four, with subsequent wins in the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better event in 2002, and the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2008. Furthermore, he has accumulated numerous deep runs and final table appearances in various high-profile tournaments, consistently showcasing his skill and resilience on the felt.

Playing Style and Strategies

Nicknamed “The Mouth” for his animated and vocal demeanor at the table, Mike Matusow is known for his aggressive style of play. He employs a combination of strategic aggression, astute reading abilities, and a knack for exploiting opponents’ weaknesses. Matusow is particularly skilled in No-Limit Hold’em and Omaha variants, but his versatility allows him to compete at a high level in various poker formats.

One of Matusow’s key strengths is his ability to read his opponents’ physical and verbal cues, using this information to make accurate judgments and well-timed bluffs. His strong emotional intelligence and intuition enable him to exploit his opponents’ tendencies effectively.

However, Matusow’s fiery temperament has occasionally worked against him. His impulsive nature has led to tilt and emotional outbursts, resulting in suboptimal decision-making. Nevertheless, he has acknowledged this flaw and worked on managing his emotions to maintain focus and composure during critical moments in tournaments.

Controversies and Personal Challenges

Throughout his career, Mike Matusow has faced personal challenges and encountered controversies. In 2004, he made headlines when he was temporarily banned from the WSOP after being involved in a public altercation. Matusow has also been open about his battles with drug addiction and the personal struggles he faced as a result. However, he has demonstrated resilience by overcoming these challenges and remaining an influential figure in the poker world.

Media Presence and Contributions

Beyond the poker table, Matusow has made numerous appearances on television shows and poker programs, showcasing his charisma and poker prowess to a broader audience. He has been a commentator on poker broadcasts, providing valuable insights and analysis to viewers. Matusow has also written a book, “Check-Raising the Devil,” where he shares his experiences, life lessons, and strategies in poker.

Legacy and Impact

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow’s impact on the poker world extends beyond his tournament successes. His larger-than-life personality, relentless determination, and passion for the game have made him a beloved and polarizing figure. Matusow’s entertaining table talk and unpredictable style have helped popularize poker, attracting new fans and players to the game. His contributions to the poker community have left an indelible mark and inspired future generations of players.


Mike Matusow’s journey from a young enthusiast playing small-stakes games to a decorated professional poker player is a testament to his talent, resilience, and love for the game. While he has encountered personal challenges and controversies along the way, Matusow’s achievements, charisma, and unique style have solidified his place among the poker elite. As he continues to compete and leave his mark on the poker world, Mike Matusow’s legacy will undoubtedly endure, forever etching him into the annals of poker history.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes