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Carlos Mortensen

El Matador

SpainSpain

Biography

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.

Biography

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.


Read More: My First WSOP: Carlos Mortensen Goes Big Score Hunting


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.

Mortensen began the final table second in chips behind Germany's Henry Nowakowski and ahead of 1989 champion Phil Hellmuth and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

Hellmuth and Matusow fell in fifth and sixth-place respectively, with Mortensen eventually defeating Dewey Tomko heads-up. His {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} made a straight, defeating the {a-Spades}{a-Hearts} 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.


Read More: Carlos Mortensen Wins the 2007 WPT 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

DATEEVENTBUY-INPLACEPAYOUT (USD)
April 2007Five Star World Poker Classic$25,5001st$3,970,415
May 2001WSOP Main Event$10,0001st$1,500,000
October 2004WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship$10,2001st$1,000,000
February 2011LA Poker Classic$10,0003rd$640,680
July 2013WSOP Main Event10th$573,204 

Courtesy of The Hendon Mob. Last Updated May 2021

Carlos Mortensen WSOP Bracelets

YearEventPayout (USD)
2001Event #27: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event$1,500,000
2003Event #34: $5,000 Limit Hold'em$251,680

Carlos Mortensen WPT Titles

SeasonEventBuy-inPayout (USD)
2004-05WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship$10,000$1,000,000
2006-07WPT World Championship$25,500$3,970,415
2009-10WPT Hollywood Poker Open$10,300$393,820

WSOP Main Event Winners 1992-2001

YEARENTRIESCHAMPIONCOUNTRYPRIZE
2001613Carlos MortensenSpain$1,500,000
2000512Chris FergusonUnited States$1,500,000
1999393Noel FurlongIreland$1,000,000
1998350Scotty NguyenVietnam$1,000,000
1997312Stu UngarUnited States$1,000,000
1996295Huck SeedUnited States$1,000,000
1995273Dan HarringtonUnited States$1,000,000
1994268Russ HamiltonUnited States$1,000,000
1993220Jim BechtelUnited States$1,000,000
1992201Hamid DastmalchiIran$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.

Covered Events

Event Place Prize
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship
984th $15,000
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #64: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Mix
126th $2,374
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #43: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em SHOOTOUT
32nd $4,837
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #5: THE COLOSSUS III - $565 No-Limit Hold'em
2375th $832
2017 partypoker LIVE Million North America
Main Event
38th 30,000 CAD
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #62: The $1,111 Little One for One Drop
421st $1,780
2013 World Series of Poker
Event #62: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
10th $573,204
2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
$10,000 Main Event
36th $39,000
2012 World Series of Poker
Event 14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
20th $5,295
2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
Main Event
94th $22,500
2011 World Series of Poker Europe
Event #6: €1,620 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha
26th €3,339
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #27: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship
15th $24,060
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #12: $1,500 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em
40th $7,453
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #4: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em
17th $33,540
2011 Aussie Millions
Event #13: Australia Heads-Up Championship
1st 130,000 AUD
2010 PokerStars.net EPT Barcelona
Main Event
90th €9,000
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed
17th $58,699
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #43: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
6th $102,237
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #30: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
23rd $16,644
2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure
2010 PCA Main Event
106th $23,500
2009 World Series of Poker
Event 54 - $1,500 No Limit Hold'em
129th $3,615
2009 World Series of Poker
Event 25 - $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8-or-better
3rd $89,342
2009 World Series of Poker
Event 9 - $1,500 Six-handed No Limit Hold'em
92nd $3,305
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 25 - $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em World Championship
64th $14,438
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 55 - $10,000 World Championship No Limit Holdem
217th $51,398
WPT $25,000 Championship - Bellagio
WPT Championship Main Event
1st $3,970,415
2007 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final
EPT Main Event
11th €66,360