The Muck: Did Mike Matusow Really Have a Blow Up in the WSOP Main Event?
Mike Matusow bluffed off his stack on Day 4 of the 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event, leading some to say it was another patented "Matusow blowup." Putting aside that many on poker Twitter will have you believe they're crushers who play perfect GTO in every hand, in this edition of The Muck, we share the poker world's various takes on one of the memorable hands from Sunday's action at Bally's.
For those who are new to poker or too young to recall, during the poker boom era (2000s), Matusow had a reputation from his television image of blowing up (i.e. tilting and bluffing off his stacks in frustration). But despite that image, he was one of the best players in the game and won four WSOP bracelets from 1999 to 2013, along with a 2013 NBC Heads-Up National Championship and countless other accolades. Hence, why he's been nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame many times, including this year.
On Day 4, with 677 players remaining in poker's world championship event, Matusow made a bold move on the PokerGO feature table that even had commentator Lon McEachern making an old-school reference."
"All in? All in? Matusow with a 2022 blowup maybe?" McEachern shouted.
So, here's the hand in question, picked up with action on the river. Matusow held A♦7♣ and his opponent, Mikolaj Zawadzki, held 9♣8♣. The board was 5♣Q♣5♥4♥K♣, and there was 162,000 in the pot with the blinds at 6,000/12,000.
Matusow, with nothing but ace-high and very little showdown value, wasn't about to surrender the sizeable pot, so he led out for 70,000. Unfortunately, for "The Mouth," his opponent had a flush, albeit a small one on a paired board. Zawadzki went in for a small-ish sized raise to 175,000, but it was far from the end of the hand.
With 320,000 left behind, Matusow made the bold play to move all in, about 225,000 more for his opponent to call. Zawadzki, with nearly 1 million chips still in his stack, tanked before making the call, sending Matusow to the rail in 677th place ($21,000).
########## https://t.co/rHB6W9sKwx— PokerGO (@PokerGO)
Why He Made the Play
On Twitter, the Poker Hall of Fame nominee explained that he was attempting to use his tight table image to his advantage when he made that aggressive play.
I appreciate so many top players reaching out to me and telling me how awsome of bluff that was and how everyone wo… https://t.co/ocdf2NFl8Y— Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow)
During his postgame interview with Kara Scott, Matusow was asked what his friends would say about his decision to bluff-shove in that spot.
"They're going to say that I unnecessarily gave away the Main Event," Matusow answered. "But I think I opened 15 times in four-and-a-half hours, and I never drug a chip, but I never got impatient. They're going to say that was insane and it was a suicide bluff, but I'm going to say that, I don't know, I just, when he raised me, I decided I, when he only raised me a hundred, I know he doesn't have a full house, I know he doesn't have a nut flush draw."
What They're Saying on Social Media
Matusow's play was a hot topic of debate on Twitter after the hand history spread. Not everyone was critical of his play. In fact, many agreed he didn't punt and that his shove was justified. But others weren't quite as friendly.
"I was at the table and was 99.9% sure u had it. The only person who didn’t was the guy who called. That shoulda worked," Kyle Cartwright responded.
@AB48420889 @ArazYZ1 @cj5_doug Common misconception is that somehow making someone sit there a while before calling… https://t.co/IOl8U4ekpq— Me (@turnedquads)
"I would think somebody folding every hand for 2 hours would make them more likely to suicide bluff, rather than to give up on a hand on the river," @Kratochvil8228 argues.
"Mike you played like the elite player you are for four days, but sometimes you just gotta say I messed up," @markiemark2009 advised Matusow.
"Mike it’s just easier to say you made a read and play which was wrong. Your opponent nearly min clicked you with a 3 bet on the river where your stack was to short for him to fold to a shove getting ridiculous odds to call," @brett_ernst tweeted.
"Basically only takeaway here is that a handful of people in your world (old pros, pros, handful of regular rich guys who you play with) they will tell you it was a good raise. It was a ballsy play I admit that. But it was also suicide in the end with the ratio of chips," @MattyMocUSA claims.
Many commenters argued that the read wasn't wrong, it was more that he didn't have enough behind to get the bluff through. Matusow only had just over 200,000 on top of Zawadzki's raise, giving the player with the small flush better than 3-1 on a call. But there's another aspect of it in which most didn't consider when criticizing Matusow's play, and that is Zawadzki would have been risking about a quarter of his stack to make that call relatively deep in the Main Event.
Regardless of where you stand on Matusow's decision to shove, one thing is certain and that is it was an entertaining hand.
In this Series
- 1 Officials Offer First Look at 2022 WSOP; Answer Several Lingering Questions
- 2 Bally's & Paris: Your Guide to the New Home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)
- 3 Negreanu, Deeb (as Expected) Highest Bids in $25k WSOP Fantasy Draft
- 4 WSOP Transportation Guide: Riding the Las Vegas Strip Monorail
- 5 Let the Games Begin: 2022 WSOP is Officially Underway
- 6 Phil Hellmuth Misses 2022 WSOP Opener After Bout of Traveler's Diarrhea
- 7 Kenney, Schindler & Imsirovic Arrive at 2022 WSOP Despite Recent Cheating Allegations
- 8 Phil Ivey is Back! Poker G.O.A.T. Cashes First 2022 WSOP Event
- 9 Baltimore Raven Calais Campbell at WSOP: "We Have Super Bowl Potential"
- 10 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Katie Kopp Becomes Bally's First-Ever Bracelet Winner
- 11 WSOP Player of the Year Race One Week In: Defending Champ Arieh Off and Running
- 12 ClubGG Offers Bubble Protection For Eight 2022 WSOP Events
- 13 Doyle Brunson Skipping 2022 WSOP Due to COVID-19 Concerns
- 14 Retired NBA Star Paul Pierce Allegedly Won't Pay His Poker Debts
- 15 Scott Seiver Pays $43k to Enter $1k WSOP Event, Fails to Cash
- 16 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Lara Eisenberg Talks Poker's Impact on Dementia
- 17 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Depaulo vs. Hellmuth, a Pure One Outer & a Royal Flush
- 18 Reigning World Champ Koray Aldemir Quietly Crushing it at 2022 WSOP
- 19 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 2: Jeremy Ausmus Wins Third Bracelet in 9 Months
- 20 Hellmuth Controversy at WSOP: Poker Brat's Chips Swiped on Break
- 21 Security Mistakenly Tries to Kick Out Neymar Jr. After He Cashes First WSOP Event
- 22 Breaking News: Phil Ivey Closing in on Elusive 11th WSOP Bracelet Tonight
- 23 Doyle Brunson Becomes a WPT Ambassador, Might Play WSOP Main Event
- 24 World Series of Daniel's? Zack, Weinman (But Not Negreanu) Lead POY Race
- 25 WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller Kicks Off; Ivey, Negreanu and Kenney All Enter
- 26 Ali Imsirovic Busts WSOP $250K Super High Roller on Brutal Cooler
- 27 Cruising in the $250k, Is 2022 One of Phil Ivey's Best WSOP's Ever?
- 28 Runner-Runner Bad Beat Tilts Negreanu; Poker Star Out of WSOP $250k
- 29 Navy Vet Reps Military Charity During WSOP Salute to Warriors Event
- 30 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Meet Wendeen Eolis, 1st Woman to Ever Cash Main Event
- 31 Dan Zack Still Leads WSOP POY Race; Ivey, Deeb within Striking Distance
- 32 888poker Pro Ian Simpson Gears Up for 2022 WSOP Main Event
- 33 Poker Players Who Have Defended Their WSOP Bracelet
- 34 How to Make Day 2 of the Million Dollar Bounty
- 35 Poker Player Wins WSOP Main Event Satty in His Sleep...Literally
- 36 Josh Arieh Flushed Out of WSOP Main Event Early; Four Past Champs in Day 1a
- 37 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Yuvee Loses $50K to Pair of Deuces; Ivey Hits Ace from Space
- 38 BREAKING: Phil Hellmuth at 2022 WSOP $3,000 NLH Final Table, Chasing 17th Bracelet
- 39 Will the 2022 WSOP Main Event Smash the Attendance Record?
- 40 Barstool Sports' Cracking Aces Podcast Hosts Crush it on Main Event Day 1
- 41 WSOP Main Event Railbird Pays Back Daniel Negreanu Four-Year "Debt"
- 42 Matt Glantz Finds the $1 Million WSOP Bounty
- 43 BREAKING: WSOP Main Event Day 2 Schedule Altered
- 44 Aces Bust Kings 15 Minutes into Day 1b of WSOP Main Event
- 45 The Muck: Ike Haxton Takes on Barstool Sports' Poker Invasion
- 46 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 5: Jessica Teusl Wins First Bracelet at First WSOP
- 47 2022 WSOP Main Event Draws Massive Field, Almost Breaks All-Time Record
- 48 Phil Hellmuth's World Series of Poker Entrance Met w/ a Chorus of Boos
- 49 Robert Lipkin is the 2022 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 50 SO SICK! Kings vs. Kings Cooler Busts 888poker's Sam Abernathy from the WSOP Main Event
- 51 Koray Aldemir: Back-to-Back WSOP Main Event Runs "A Privilege"
- 52 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 53 Former World Champ Tom McEvoy Shares his Poker Samadhi Wisdom
- 54 Did Alejandro Lococo Pull Off Best WSOP Main Event Bluff Since Moneymaker?
- 55 The Muck: Did Mike Matusow Really Have a Blow Up in the WSOP Main Event?
- 56 Dan Zack Claims 2022 WSOP Player of the Year Honors
- 57 How Much Money Players at 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Made
- 58 Espen Jorstad Wins 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000
- 59 Las Vegas Active Shooter Rumors Spark Panic; WSOP Impacted, Negreanu Injured
- 60 Quads Dooms Asher Conniff at WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 61 Aces Cracked! Souki Busts from WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 62 Espen Jorstad Holds Commanding Lead in Pursuit of WSOP Main Event Title
- 63 Not Su's Day: From Chip Leader to Out in 9th Place
- 64 A Look at All the 2022 WSOP Online Michigan Bracelet Winners
- 65 Five Memorable Hands from the 2021 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 66 Where Are They Now: Ron “The Carolina Express” Stanley Battled Stu Ungar at 1997 WSOP
- 67 WATCH: One of the Best Folds in WSOP Main Event History?
- 68 Adrian Attenborough Just Made Two of the Gutsiest Plays of the 2022 WSOP
- 69 Can Karim Rebei Click his Way to a WSOP Main Event Title?
- 70 Cool, Calm & Collected Efthymia Litsou is WSOP Main Event's Last Woman Standing
- 71 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Quads, Quads, Quads, Quads!
- 72 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 73 Daniel Negreanu Wraps 2022 World Series of Poker Down $1.1 Million
- 74 How the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Will Be Remembered
- 75 PN Podcast: 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Thoughts; Interviews w/ Main Event Final Three