Mike Matusow, a four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and one of the most entertaining players on the circuit, is looking for a backer.
Despite having just over $9 million in live tournament earnings and a plethora of championship trinkets, the man they call “the mouth” is calling on his rich friends (or anyone else with money) to help him compete at the 2016 WSOP.
Anyone with any experience on the professional tournament circuit will know that variance can be a bankroll killer and considering that Matusow hasn’t cashed in an event since 2014, it’s not surprising he wants a backer this summer.
For his part, Matusow has taken some time away from the game in recent months to settle himself and, according to his recent tweet, he’s “healthy and hungry.”
Matusow is no stranger to taking deals and has played in numerous cash games and tournaments (many of which have been televised) on someone else’s dime. However, while few would question his skills when he is focused, Matusow’s downfall has often been the result of a mental meltdown.
Over the last few years, he’s found himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. His infamous arguments with Greg Raymer (in 2004) and Shawn Sheikhan (in 2005) will go down in WSOP history as hugely entertaining, but equally as detrimental to Matusow’s performances.
Matusow’s most recent implosion took place during the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low event at the 2014 WSOP. With just 22 players left and the chips on his side, Matusow was issued a one-round penalty for an excessive celebration.
After returning from the rail, Matusow continued to grind but found himself hit with another penalty a short time later. Although he was only forced to sit out for a round, Matusow was visibly on tilt when he returned to the felt and within an hour he’d lost the bulk of his chips.
A short time later he was out in 19th place despite looking as though he was on course to claim his fifth bracelet. This sort of meltdown has plagued Matusow throughout his career and any backer will have to take this into account if they’re going to part with the best part of $100,000 this summer.
However, if Matusow is as calm and focused as he’s stated, he could easily challenge for a bracelet this summer. In fact, in previous years, players with backers have performed extremely well in major events.
One of the most notable winners in recent times was Daniel Colman. On route to winning the 2014 WSOP $1 million Big One for ONE DROP, Colman famously had financial help from friend and fellow pro Olivier Busquet.
Although Matusow won’t be able to scoop $15 million from a single event in the same way that Colman did, he’s certainly has enough experience and confidence to be a threat in any event he plays.