Mike Matusow: Poker Mind In Depth Part XIV

[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]

I spent some time with Mike Matusow on Day 1A of the Main Event. Mike was at the Rio to sign books and greet the WSOP fans at the PokerPalooza extravaganza. Our conversation wound around the book signing, some time in the VIP lounge talking with Mike while he harangued the Chinese poker game, which he apparently took for $50,000 the day before. And we had some off-the-cuff discussions about post-Series book promotion. Finally, Mike registered for his seat for today's Day 1B. Here is cobbled together coverage of Mike's preliminary event WSOP and his preparation for his start today in the main event.

Why Day 1B?

That was a Full Tilt request made just the night before, they actually wanted Mike to play Day 1A but they made that request at the party the night before and Mike told them that was too late to ask him to play the next day, so he agreed to Day 1B. Why all the moving about? Well as you all know, the Day One television coverage is all about "who" ESPN chooses to focus those cameras on. And they always give a lot of coverage to the players seated at the two feature tables. Yesterday on Day 1A, Mike would have definitely been selected to sit at one of those tables, the field was very lite in poker celebrities, particularly entertaining ones. Today is a toss-up but don't be surprised if Mike is featured on Day 1B. Those table selections are not random.

And you thought the WSOP was all about poker. No folks, this is show biz!

[Update: Yeppers, feature table for Mikey]

The preliminary events you played?

Mike entered 16 of the 54 preliminary events he was eligible to play, which means just on a numerical basis, he played more tournaments this year than in previous years. He was happy with the number of events he chose to play but not so much with the results.

"You can't be happy with only one cash in 54 events or one in 16 for that matter. But I played well and was just not getting cards or opportunities. Last year, I got locked up in several big events, particularly in the main event, with really tough, tight tables. This year it was more the cards and the opportunities. I did what I could with what I was dealt, sometimes that is not enough."

This year feels a bit like 2005.

"Well in '05, I monied in event #1 and then was blanked until the main event. I made the final table in that one and won a million bucks and got a seat in the Tournament of Champions, which I won for another million. Yeah, we could certainly do something like that again."

How are you feeling?

"You know I like to take some time off before a big event, I want to rest and not play poker. I also want to get off some of the medications and then restart the prescription regime fresh for the main event. So it has been six days since I played any real poker. I was at the Ante Up for Africa tournament but that was about fun not poker. So coming into the main event, I am as ready as I can be, now we have to hope for some cards."

Phil Hellmuth plays Day 1C tomorrow.
Daniel Negreanu has not picked his Day 1 yet.