Mike “The Mouth” Matusow won the World Series of Poker Tournament Champions (TOC) held at Caesar’s Palace
|When I go home tonight, I think to myself, ‘God, I wish I was Phil Hellmuth.’|
The tournament was a juicy “freeroll,” meaning that no buy-in or fee was required by the participants. Unfortunately for us ordinary level players, entry was restricted to the top players in the world
Qualification for the tournament depended on either making the final table of the WSOP main event or finishing in the top twenty in one of the five WSOP Circuit events earlier this year.
Mike Matusow nicknamed “The Mouth” for his relentless table chatter pocketed a cool $1 million for his victory. Unsurprisingly with a tournament containing Matusow the competition was not without controversy.
Harrah’s, who own the WSOP, decided to invite three of the biggest names in poker history – Johnny Chan., Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson even thought hey did not qualify for the tournament.
Respected players such as Daniel Negreanu and Greg Raymer objected to the entry of the big three as it cost each other player $500 in equity in addition to the distinct possibility that one of the three big hitters knocking out those who had legitimately qualified along the way and snaffling the prize money.
And, of course, this is exactly what happened. Hellmuth finished third, Brunson was the “bubble boy,” finishing in tenth whilst Chan was placed 13th.
Predictably Matusow and Hellmuth egos were on a crash collision course as they encountered each other on the final table, much to the delight and amusement of the packed crowd. Ordinarily the assembled audience doesn’t much care for Matusow’s approach but then nor do they appreciate Hellmuth’s crybaby antics and so, for once, the J.P McEnroe of the poker circuit was the darling of the crowd as he teased and tormented Hellmuth every step of the way towards victory
Here are a few of the verbal exchanges that took place:
In response to Hellmuth reminding him of his [Hellmuth’s] second place finish last year, “If you keep getting invited to tournaments, it’s easy to finish second."
- Earlier in the tournament, Matusow gave Hellmuth and Harrah’s another jab regarding the invites, asking the crowd to give Harrah’s an ovation for inviting Hellmuth to take everyone’s money
- Introduced Hellmuth as “a legend in his own mind.”
- Teasing Hellmuth about his tendency to only play premium hands, “What’s the over-under on Phil actually playing a hand today?"
- “When I go home at night, I think to myself, ‘God, I wish I was Phil Hellmuth.’”
Complete Final Table Results
- Mike "The Mouth" Matusow — $1,000,000
- Hoyt Corkins — $325,000
- Phil Hellmuth, Jr. — $250,000
- Tony ‘The Lizard’ Bloom — $150,000
- Steve Dannenmann — $100,000
- Grant ‘G-Money’ Lang — $75,000
- David Levi — $50,000
- Keith Sexton — $25,000
- Brandon Adams — $25,000