|The big news at Full Tilt Poker
is the launch of the World Series
of Poker promotions, collectively
called Main Event Mania™.
These exciting tournaments are
designed with one thing in mind
– getting players into the WSOP
Main Event. As you know, the
WSOP is the granddaddy of all
poker tournaments. It's grown
from just a handful of players in
1970 to 5,619 in 2005. This
year, the WSOP capped the
number of players at 8,000, and
the media attention is expected
to be intense.
|Mike Matusow wins
the 2005 WSOP
It’s official: Mike “the mouth” Matusow has won the World Series of Poker
2005 Tournament of Champions. In doing so, he triumphed over a field of 113
of the top poker players in the world and took home a prize of $1,000,000.
Mike is a familiar and colorful figure to fans of ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP.
Although he asserted that he was a changed man in interviews aired during
this year’s WSOP telecast, he remained true to form, baiting his opponents
with a running commentary on their play. At the final table of the TOC, he
bantered continuously, declaring war on third-place finisher Phil Hellmuth. Phil
himself is not known for being reticent at the poker table.
This victory is especially sweet for Matusow, whose personal problems in the
past year have been well documented in the poker press. His win reconfirms
that he has put those problems to rest. Mike finished ninth in the WSOP main
event in Las Vegas in July.
According to published reports, the final table mixed seasoned pros and
successful amateurs. Coming in to the final table, Hellmuth was the chip
leader with 281,500, Matusow was next with 179,000, and relative
newcomer Brandon Adams was third with $135,500. Adams was perhaps the
sentimental favorite, as an amateur who had qualified in New Orleans prior
to sustaining heavy losses during Hurricane Katrina. Rounding out the final
nine players, in descending order of chip position were Tony Bloom, Steve
Dannenmann (who finished second to Joseph Hachem in the WSOP main
event), Keith Sexton, Hoyt Corkins, Grant Lang and David Levi. Regrettably,
Doyle Brunson busted out on the bubble, finishing tenth while short-stacked.
Hellmuth and Matusow had held the chip lead for most of the three-day
tournament, but Hoyt Corkins, whose chip stack fluctuated throughout the
event, proved a force to be reckoned with at the final table. More than once
he held dominant hands. At other times he suffered crushing defeats, for
example, losing with A-K to Matusow’s A-Q when play was down to the final
three. Facing elimination, Corkins relied on savvy, aggressive play, which
enabled him to steal his way back into contention. Through it all he
maintained a calm demeanor while Matusow and Hellmuth exchanged verbal
It was all over for third place finisher Phil Hellmuth when he couldn’t get past
Corkins. First he held A-Q against Corkins’ pocket Aces. Several hands later,
Hellmuth tried to muscle Corkins out of a pot with no pair. After careful
thought, Corkins called the last bet and took the pot with a pair of eights.
Hellmuth was finally defeated soon after when he went all-in before the Flop
with 10c-8c. Corkins called with Ks-5d. Neither player improved his hand, so
the high card took the pot. Hellmuth won $250,000.
The final confrontation happened in hand #209. With blinds at
$15,000-$30,000, Corkins, on the button (which is also the small blind in
heads-up play), called the big blind. Matusow, the chip leader with over
$600,000, raised to $60,000 with Kd-9d; Corkins called with Qc-10c. On a flop
of Ks-Js-4d, Matusow bet $60,000, Corkins moved all-in and Matusow
immediately called with his pair of Kings.
With a 2h on the Turn and a 3h on the River, Matusow secured his victory
and the million. Hoyt earned $325,000 for second place.
Order of top nine finishers:
1. Mike Matusow - $1,000,000
2. Hoyt Corkins - $325,000
3. Phil Hellmuth - $250,000
4. Tony Bloom - $150,000
5. Steve Dannenmann - $100,000
6. Grant Lang - $75,000
7. David Levi - $50,000
8. Keith Sexton - $25,000
9. Brandon Adams - $25,000
Play at the final table lasted more than 11 hours. According to Nolan Dalla,
the WSOP’s reporter of record, “The 2005 TOC concluded in a way which will
be the yardstick of all future televised tournaments. Some events, such as
the World Series of Poker, may be considerably bigger, but no major poker
tournament has ever offered so much human drama as this three-day
invitational event. Fortunately, ESPN was there to capture it all for posterity -
the special three-hour telecast will air on Dec. 24 from 1-4 pm EST.”
The full text of Dalla’s article can be found on the WSOP official website at
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|Mike Matusow wins the WSOP
Tournament of Champions
World Series of Poker News