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Cigars, Beer & Poker Ground >> Winner of the Headup NBC Championship (SPOILER)


1/29/13 2:39 PM
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joesonshuevos
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Mike Matusow thrust his hands and the air with a flying leap after the QDiamond Suit hit the river, completing his flush to win the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Jumping up and down, the man known as “The Mouth” screamed, “You gotta go for it, baby!”

For the win Matusow earned the $750,000 first-place prize and 504 Card Player Player of the Year points. Perhaps most special of all for Matusow was being able to play in the finals against his good friend, 2005 champion of this event Phil Hellmuth.

Runner-up Phil Hellmuth

“It means a lot to have Phil alongside me. All you hear from the young kids is ‘Mike and Phil used to be good, but they can’t keep up with us kids, with our generation.’ But where are they standing today?” Matusow said in his post match interview for NBC, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Indeed, out of a field of 64 invited players that included many of poker’s most lauded up-and-comers, two of poker’s best known “old-school” pros were able to find a way through to the final. Matusow had to beat some of the best young-guns and established names on the road to the title. First he defeated three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and two-time World Poker Tour champion Michael Mizrachi. In the second round he dispatched online nosebleed cash game phenom Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

In the third round he topped three-time WSOP bracelet winner Barry Greenstein, setting up a quarterfinal battle with two-time bracelet winner John Hennigan. In the semi-finals he overcame an in-form Scott Seiver, fresh off a $2 million win at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure super high roller just weeks ago. Seiver earned $100,000 and 294 POY points for his semi-final showing, moving into 10th place in the overall standings.

With that Matusow set up the fan-favorite final clash with Hellmuth. Throughout the tournament matches had been single elimination, but in the finals the format changed to best of three. Matusow won the first major hand of the meeting when he flopped a set of sixes against Helluth’s pocket queens and then turned quads. After re-raising preflop and betting every street, Hellmuth moved all-in on the river. Matusow snap called and quickly revealed that he had the nuts, taking a huge chip lead as a result. Although Hellmuth briefly mounted a comeback, Matusow was able to seal the deal and take a 1-0 lead in the final.

Matusow was then able to build a lead of roughly 2-to-1 in the second match when the next key hand came up. Mike Matusow raised 60,000 from the button and Hellmuth three-bet. Matusow moved all-in, and Hellmuth called with the ASpade SuitKClub Suit. Matusow was in a commanding position with the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit, and was looking good to make a clean sweep after a 7Spade Suit5Club Suit3Diamond Suit flop. The AClub Suit on the turn turned the tables, however, and Hellmuth doubled up after the 9Spade Suit landed on the river. Hellmuth was able to close out the second match to tie the score at 1-1.

Matusow celebrates his win

The decisive match was the quickest of the three. Matusow took the lead right awya, and roughly 25 minutes into play the final hand arose. With a 3-to-1 lead, Matusow min-raised on the button to 32,000. Hellmuth called and the flop fell KDiamond SuitJSpade Suit2Diamond Suit. Hellmuth check-called a bet of 30,000 and the 6Spade Suit hit the turn. Hellmuth once again checked, prompting a 105,000 bet from Matusow. Hellmuth went deep into the tank, eventually saying, “I’m thinking of making one of the worst laydowns of my life.” Because of that statement, it was a bit of a surprise to Matusow when a moment later Hellmuth announced that he was all-in. After some consideration Matusow elected to call with the 8Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit for a flush draw. The QDiamond Suit hit the river, and just like that Matusow became the eighth champion of this event, while Hellmuth walked away with $300,000 for his runner-up finish.

“I’m on top of the world right now. There is nothing that feels better than winning a tournament. Nothing,” said Matsow after play ended. “I hadn’t won one since 2008. I have only played about 40 since then, and these guys play about 40 a week. But, you know man, I feel good.”

2/1/13 10:33 AM
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Koma
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Guaranteed the entire $750k has already been bet on the Super Bowl.

2/5/13 2:42 PM
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joesonshuevos
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And lost.

The buy in was 25k. Hellmuth in the past staked Mikey. Would be interesting to see if he staked him in this 1.

3/16/13 12:16 AM
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joesonshuevos
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Edited: 04/03/13 11:34 AM
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Airing on NBC and versus/NBC sports

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