Mike Matusow Wins National Heads-Up Poker Championship
By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor
When NBC decided to bring back the National Heads-Up Poker Championship this year, the speculation began about who was most likely to win it.
The top online poker pros who crush nosebleed cash games jumped to the top of the list – Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, Dan ‘Jungleman12’ Cates, and Brian Hastings just to name a few.
One player that no one was mentioning was Mike Matusow.
The 64 participants arrived at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on January 24th, and 3 days later NBC reached a final match which must have had NBC’s executives jumping for joy – Phil Hellmuth vs. Mike Matusow.
Matusow reached the final by defeating Michael Mizrachi, Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, Barry Greenstein, John Hennigan, and lastly Scott Seiver.
The final match between Matusow and Hellmuth was loud and intense. In the third game of a best-of-3 match, Hellmuth moved all-in holding top pair, and Matusow called off with a flush draw. Matusow’s much-needed diamond hit the board, and his victory scream was loud enough to be heard for miles around.
The $750,000 first-place prize is Matusow’s largest score since winning the 2005 WSOP Tournament of champions. It’s his first 6-figure score since March of 2011.