Mike Matusow started playing poker seriously in the early 90s,
initially while working as a poker dealer, and then as professional
player. His earliest experiences of poker came at age 18, when he
would play video poker compulsively in the Maxim Casino. Matusow
played video poker so regularly that he suffered a repetitive
strain injury in his shoulders and arms. During this time, he
occasionally stole money from his mother's purse, and subsequently
attended some Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
In 1997, Mike entered his first WSOP tournament and finished
second to Scotty Nguyen. Then in 1999 Matusow won his first WSOP
bracelet playing the $3,500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tourney. He
went on to finish 6th in the WSOP main event in 2001, and went on
to win his second WSOP bracelet the following year in the £5,000
buy-in Omaha8/Better tourney.
Mike celebrated his success hard, and so much so that his personal
and professional life hit a very rough patch. In 2004 he was
sentenced to 6 months in jail on a drugs charge.
Mike Matusow has earned the nickname 'The Mouth' through his
reputation for trash-talking at the tables. 'Mike Matusow blow-up'
and 'Mike Matusow meltdown' have become somewhat popular terms,
describing his terrible moments of misjudgement whereby he can ruin
hours or even days of play in one fell swoop.
Interesting fact: In 2007 Mike Matusow made a $100,000 bet
with fellow pro Ted Forrest that Mike could lose enough weight to
get down to 181 pounds by June 2008. Mike won the bet, weighing in
at 179 pounds.