Mike Matusow is your typical poker brat and is the favorite bad boy of several poker fans. Known as much for his phenomenal game as for his outlandish statements and in your face behavior, Matusow has made it a habit to be constantly in the news.
With career earnings in excess of $3 Million, Mike has had a personal life that is as colorful as his playing style. While at the poker table he is known for harassing other players and having occasional blow outs that effectively take him out of the game at crucial stages, in his personal life he has struggled with drug abuse and depression. His resume includes six months of jail time on drug related charges. In spite of all the controversy and bad publicity Matusow is undeniably one of the world’s greatest Omaha and Texas Hold’em players.
After starting his career as a dealer in a Las Vegas casino, Matusow quickly went on to win several high profile, high stakes tournaments including the WSOP Tournament of Champions in 2005. Apart from live games he has also played regularly at online casinos. At the time of Black Friday, Matusow was a regular at both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
The latest controversy relates to his stint at Full Tilt Poker. Subsequent to the shutting down of the site by federal authorities thousands of players with credit in their FTP accounts were unable to access their money. The government then tried working a deal with the Groupe Bernard Tapie which would allow the group to take over and resume the operations of FTP while at the same time ensuring that players were paid. This deal has run into a series of problems and its execution has been continuously delayed.
One of the main roadblocks cited by representatives of the Groupe Bernard Tapie is the monies owed to FTP by some high profile players. The group’s lawyers claim that a handful of these star players collectively owe millions of dollars to the now shuttered site. The names, apart from Matusow (who the group says owes $700,000), include Phil Ivey ($4 million) and David Benyamine ($2 million). An attorney for the group, Behn Dayanim, recently stated that Matusow had not responded to the group’s attempts to reach him to discuss the issue.
Matusow for his part was quick to refute the allegation. In a Twitter post he informed his fans that he did not owe any money to FTP and claimed that he had no idea why his name was mentioned in this context.