Mike Matusow Grinds Stack Up During Level 7 of the WSOP Main Event

Mike Matusow talked about the biggest blow up he saw in Day 2A of the Main Event.

Mike Matusow talked about the biggest blow up he saw in Day 2A of the Main Event.

Mike Matusow played Day 1A of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event in order to get the most rest possible. Matusow’s health has been a constant battle over the last year and starting off Day 2A with 88,225 helped ease his grind.

Matusow started the day in the back of the Orange section of the Amazon room but only played one level with his starting table before it broke.

Matusow’s journey connects with a large portion of poker fans that haven’t had the easiest breaks in their life. BLUFF picked up with Matusow at the start of Level 7 for an inside look at his Main Event run.

2:15 pm: Matusow returned from the first break to find his table had been broken. He only moved a few tables away, staying in the Orange section, assuring he’ll move at least one more time before the end of the day. He has a stack of 86,075 – slightly down from where he started.

2:39 pm: Matusow folded every hand for his first orbit and kept to himself. Garret Crites, seated to Matusow’s left, asks him about players from the poker boom, Phil Hellmuth specifically. “Phil only cares about Phil,” Matusow said, ending the conversation.

2:41 pm: Matusow opened in early position to 1,300 and got three calls. The flop came A J 7, Michael Skomac bet 2,200 from the big blind and Matusow tossed his cards away after opening the action for the first hand at the table.

2:46 pm: Crites, an amateur from Colorado, asked Matusow why he was using a scooter to get around. Matusow gave him the “Readers’ Digest” version of the story. But he revealed that his doctor is pushing him towards another surgery to remove a nerve in his side that causes him pain.

3:01 pm: Skomac opened to 1,400, Matusow called from middle position and Andrew Stringer and Yegor Tsurikov called behind them. The flop came 8 7 3, Matusow bet 4,100, Stringer called and the other two folded. The turn came 6, Matusow bet 7,200 and Stringer raised to 18,100. Matusow tanked for three solid minutes thumbing his chips and shuffling them. He eventually mucked and was down to around 65,000.

3:03 pm: Matusow went into his backpack, pulled out a small, blue pill container and took one pill. He quietly talked with Frank Patti to his right, squirmed in his chair and Patti nodded along.

3:10 pm: Skomac opened from 1,500 on the button and Matusow called from the big blind. The flop came 9 7 2, they checked and the turn came 7. Matusow bet 2,200, Skomac called and the river came T. Matusow bet 6,000, Skormac let his hand go and Mautsow chipped up to around 75,000.

3:17 pm: Patti opened to 1,700, Matusow called behind him and the flop came Q T 4. Patti checked, Matusow bet 1,200 and Patti gave up on the pot to give Matusow a small pot.

3:24 pm: Matusow opened to 1,400 from middle position, Stringer called on the button and the flop came A 6 5. Matusow led out for 1,550, Stringer mucked and Matusow took another small pot.

3:27 pm: Matusow’s table is near the roped off section of the Amazon room that’s currently being set up for ESPN’s four secondary feature tables that come into play on Day 4. Several workers were hanging lights, rigging cords and driving around a couple of scissor lifts – essentially causing a racket. Matusow looked over his shoulder at the activity and sighed heavily.

3:34 pm: Tsurikov opened for 1,400, Skomac called from the button and Matusow called from the big blind. The flop came J J 6, Matusow checked, Tsurikov bet 2,600, Skomac mucked and Matusow check-raised to 6,100. Tsurikov called, the turn came 6, Matusow bet 6,200 and Tsurikov called. The river came A, both players checked and Matusow tabled K T for the flush. “You gotta get lucky or you make mistakes and get gone,” Matusow said as he collected the pot. “This tournament gets fun on Day 4 or 5 and you can watch all these guys implode.”

3:40 pm: Rafael Sans opened for 1,400, Matusow confirmed the amount and then mucked. He told the table about the last hand of the night on Day 1 where he picked up 17,000. It was a blind vs. blind hand where Matusow limped with eight-four offsuit. The flop came [7x] [6x] [5x], Matusow bet all three streets and got called the whole way. “That’s never happened to me in 20 years – on the last hand. There’s literally 0% chance I’m bluffing there – the guy saw me grind my stack all day.”

3:47 pm: The table was talking about blow ups and someone brought up Anton Morgenstern from the 2013 Main Event. With 24 players remaining Morgenstern had a huge chiplead but busted in 20th place after a meltdown. Morgenstern is in the middle of putting together another impressive Main Event run as he’s in the top ten counts currently.

“The biggest blow up I’ve ever seen was John Shipley in the 2002 Main Event. The guy had almost 70 big blinds and no one else had over 40. (Robert) Varkonyi was a tight nit and everyone knew that but Shipley. Varkonyi four-bet shipped preflop and Shipley called off with ace jack – he finished seventh.”

4:06 pm: Stringer confirmed with a floor that the Day 1A and 1B fields did not mix during the day. “Why wouldn’t they stagger start times and break times with this many people?” he asked.

“That would make too much sense,” Matusow replied.

4:12 pm: Matusow went to a flop six ways for 1,400 and board fell 6 5 4. Stringer bet 5,500 and Matusow tanked for about three minutes before folding.

4:17 pm: With the break approaching Matusow called for the floor that moved his scooter to the other side of the room. “I don’t know why he did that – he’s the only floor guy in six weeks that had to move it.”

4:34 pm: The clock ticked down to zero and Matusow ended the level with 91,300.

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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