Carlos Mortensen is an Ecuadorian poker player who won the 2001 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
Known as 'El Matador', Mortensen has also won three World Poker Tour (WPT) titles and has cashed for over $6.7 million on the WPT alone, more than any other player.
In 2016, Mortensen was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Born in Ambato, Ecuador on April 13, 1972, Mortensen moved to Spain as a child. He studied at the University of Madrid and worked as a bartender, before eventually moving to the United States in the late 1990s to play poker.
His first cash at the WSOP was a seventh-place finish in a $3,080 No-Limit Hold'em tournament at the 2000 World Series of Poker.
2001 WSOP Main Event
The 2001 WSOP Main Event attracted a field of 613 players. At the time, this was the largest live poker tournament ever played. It was also the first tournament to pay out seven-figures to the first two places.
Hellmuth and Matusow fell in fifth and sixth-place respectively, with Mortensen eventually defeating Dewey Tomko heads-up. His made a straight, defeating the of Tomko, the second occasion that pocket Aces have been the losing hand in the Main Event after Bobby Hoff's loss to Hal Fowler in 1979.
Carlos Mortensen WSOP Achievements
Mortensen added a second bracelet in 2003, winning a $5,000 Limit Hold'em tournament for $251,680. He has cashed for over $3.2 million at the WSOP.
In 2013, he narrowly missed out on making a second WSOP Main Event final table, finishing in tenth place.
Carlos Mortensen WPT Achievements
Away from the WSOP, Mortensen won his first WPT title at the WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship in October, 2004 for $1,000,000.
In April 2007, he won the $25,500 WPT World Championship for $3,970,415, becoming the first player to win the WSOP Main Event and the WPT World Championship.
In March 2010, he won his third WPT title at the inaugural Hollywood Poker Open. As of April 2021, only four other players have won three or more WPT titles: Darren Elias (4), Anthony Zinno, Eric Afriat, Gus Hansen and Chino Rheem)
Carlos Mortensen Top Five Poker Cashes
|April 2007||Five Star World Poker Classic||$25,500||1st||$3,970,415|
|May 2001||WSOP Main Event||$10,000||1st||$1,500,000|
|October 2004||WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship||$10,200||1st||$1,000,000|
|February 2011||LA Poker Classic||$10,000||3rd||$640,680|
|July 2013||WSOP Main Event||10th||$573,204|
Carlos Mortensen WSOP Bracelets
|2001||Event #27: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event||$1,500,000|
|2003||Event #34: $5,000 Limit Hold'em||$251,680|
Carlos Mortensen WPT Titles
|2004-05||WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship||$10,000||$1,000,000|
|2006-07||WPT World Championship||$25,500||$3,970,415|
|2009-10||WPT Hollywood Poker Open||$10,300||$393,820|
WSOP Main Event Winners 1992-2001
|2000||512||Chris Ferguson||United States||$1,500,000|
|1997||312||Stu Ungar||United States||$1,000,000|
|1996||295||Huck Seed||United States||$1,000,000|
|1995||273||Dan Harrington||United States||$1,000,000|
|1994||268||Russ Hamilton||United States||$1,000,000|
|1993||220||Jim Bechtel||United States||$1,000,000|
Known for his elaborate chip towers and aggressive play, Juan Carlos Mortensen (Carlos Mortensen for short) was born in Ecuador before making the move to the United States in the 1990s to play poker. It didn’t take long for Mortensen to make a name for himself. Not only did other top players begin to know who Carlos Mortensen was; they respected and feared him on the tables.
After taking his shots in tournaments while grinding away at the cash tables, Mortensen finally broke through in 2000 when he cashed in a WSOP event for over $20,000. A few smaller cashes followed and then in February of 2001, Carlos outlasted the entire field in an event at the L.A. Poker Classic to win over $116,000. Shortly thereafter, he took down the Shooting Star Tournament for another $44,550 and an entry into the WSOP Main Event.
Playing his best poker ever and feeling more and more confident with each hand that he was dealt, Carlos put the seat he had won to good use. In fact, he profited the maximum amount when he bested a field of 613 entrants to win the 2001 WSOP Main Event. His win earned him a big $1.5 million payday and title of the world’s best.
Carlos was able to secure himself another bracelet in 2003 in the $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. As the first and only ever Hispanic player to win the Main Event, Mortensen completed another first in the poker world when he won the WPT Championship in 2004. This win made him the first player to win both the WSOP Main Event and the WPT Championship.
With over $8.5 million in tournament winnings, most consider Mortensen to be the last true professional to win the WSOP Main Event. The following years after his win have all seen amateur players take home the most coveted gold bracelet of them all.