Mike Matusow, former prisoner and Trump-worshipping poker legend | 10 PEOPLE WHO GOT RICH FROM POKER

Not only is he one of the richest and most successful poker players in history, but Mike Matusow is also known for having beef with many other players.

Nicknamed ‘The Mouth’, Mike Matusow is famous for being one of the biggest trash-talkers in professional poker.

Some even think he’s worse than Phil ‘Poker Brat’ Hellmuth, whom we discussed in a separate article.

Actually, the two trash-talkers collided at the poker table a year ago, which you can see in the video below.

Fun fact – this video was made by Doug Polk, another poker player who we talked about in our 10 People Who Got Rich From Poker series. You can read his story here!


This is a kind of question only those who have absolutely no idea about pro poker can ask. Mike Matusow is an absolute legend of the game, who has been around since the 80s.

Now in his 50s, Matusow has been involved in poker for over three decades. During that period, he’s won all kinds of things, including four WSOP bracelets.

Matusow has also won a lot of money playing poker, with his total live earnings being just below $10M. That puts him among the top 100 in Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List.

But does making this list mean he’s a good poker player? Let’s see what our poker expert thinks!

In the video below, pro poker player and a co-founder of Trademate, Jonas Glejstad, ranks the good and bad players on Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List.

Pro Poker Player, Jonas Gjelstad, reveals who he thinks are top 10 best theoretical poker players on the All-Time Money List on the Hendon Mob Poker Database.

The reason why Mike Matusow is not ranked higher in the All-Time Money List is that he often ends up losing big by making a single misjudgment.

Actually, that’s something that has happened so many times that it’s gotten its own name – Mike Matusow Meltdown.


Matusow Meltdowns or Matusow Blow-up is a situation in which he misjudges a hand at a critical moment in play, thus putting himself completely out of the game. Situations like these often happen when Matusow appears to be winning comfortably.

As a result, it’s almost never clear how much money he has in his account. One day, he could be a multimillionaire only to end up in huge debt another day.

Find out why Mike Matusow is called "The Mouth" when he loses this monster pot against Erik Seidel in Million Dollar Cash Game

His ‘risky’ poker playing style transposes to other areas of life. Matusow loves sports betting and often ends up placing large sums on NFL wagers. Sometimes he wins, but more commonly he loses.

Still, he doesn’t seem to mind going broke. According to him, his gambling skills can always help him dig himself out of any financial crisis.

“I go broke nearly every other day, and I don't care. I'm a great poker player, and people will always loan money to great poker players.”

Losing big money from time to time is not his only problem. On many occasions through different stages of life, Matusow has struggled with addiction.


Matusow’s passion for poker comes from the fact that he’s a gambler by nature. According to the man himself, he’s crossed the line between gambling and addiction many times.

He’s been playing poker since he was 18. He was still in his teens when he suffered a shoulder injury as a result of playing too much poker.

Around the same period, Matusow was so hooked on card games that he often had to steal money from his mother to cover his gambling debts.

mike at the table

His bad habits even brought him to Gamblers Anonymous meetings. Still, those meetings did not make his passion for gambling go away. The main reason why he never said goodbye to poker was that it turned out he was good at it.

Even though he managed to curb down his gambling addiction, Matusow continued having personal problems throughout his 20s and 30s.

In 2005, he got arrested and sentenced to six months in prison on a drug-related charge.

These days, however, Matusow seems to have control over his vices. In 2020, Matusow’s name will be mentioned in newspapers only when poker is discussed. Well, Poker and American politics.


Unlike Gus Hansen, another guy who got really rich from poker and is very active bashing Donald Trump on social media, Mike Matusow has been doing the exact opposite.

Donald Trump

He’s been very vocal on Twitter, defending almost every move made by the President.

Here is a good example of one of his tweets.

We say ‘almost’ because once he did call Trump ‘an idiot’. It was in the early days of Trump’s presidency when the Mexican border wall was in the focus. No, Matusow wasn’t against it. He just thought there were better ways to keep immigrants away.

Matusow has been waging a war with mainstream media, calling them out for spreading what he believes to be ‘fake news’.

Calling coronavirus a hoax is what’s been on his agenda for the last couple of weeks.

Apart from leading a political crusade on Twitter and other social media platforms, Matusow also has his own podcast.


Mike Matusow runs his own podcast, which has been relatively successful. He’s the host of a podcast called The Mouthpiece with Mike Matusow, in which he discusses everything poker-related.

The podcast is where you can hear about his WSOP adventures, as well as learn some poker tips and tricks first-hand.

Apart from discussing poker, he often strays away to other topics. Although he seems to be giving his best to stay away from discussing politics, it somehow finds its way into the podcast.

Of course, topics differ from one episode to another, depending on who joins him in the show. Mike Matusow acts like the host of his show, interviewing big names from the gambling industry, inducing some of his biggest poker rivals.

Episodes are usually released every two weeks and you can get them on different platforms, e.g. Podbean, Apple Podcasts, and so on. Some of the episodes are also available on YouTube.

How to go from a winning poker player to a profitable sports bettor, read here.

Check out the other articles in our 10 People Who Got Rich from Poker series on:

  • Article 1: Daniel Negreanu, the most famous poker play of all time
  • Article 2: Phil Ivey cheated his way to a $10 million win
  • Article 3: Phil “POKER BRAT” Hellmuth, the biggest trash talker in poker
  • Article 4: Fedor Holz, a multimillionaire by 23
  • Article 5: Patrik Antonius, winning the biggest ever online pot & nearly becoming a tennis pro
  • Article 6: Gus Hansen, the great Dane who went on a $20.7M losing streak!
  • Article 7: Doug Polk, a poker pensioner at 31 who now plays warcraft full-time
  • Article 8: Chris Ferguson, the Jesus of Poker who turned full antichrist
  • Article 9: Justin Bonomo, the Romeo with many Juliets
  • Article 11: Viktor Blom, a.k.a. ILSIDUR1, the record holder for the biggest loss in online poker history
  • Article 12: Bryn Kenney, the richest man in poker
  • Article 13: Jonas Gjelstad, leaving school early and moving to Thailand to become a professional poker player

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