If there is one poker players against whom it is expected that tournament organizers will take action, then this definitely has to be Mike Matusow. He has quite the personality and will never back off from a fight, picking up on the vibes and jumping in the fray whenever opportunity arises. The thing about Mike is that he makes valid observations, it is just that he sometimes he can’t refrain from saying the right thing on the wrong occasion.
What happened at the World Series of poker 2014 is a bit surprising, because Mike got penalized for a rather awkward reason. He was involved in the heads-up tournament, a competition that he dominated for many years and he felt quite comfortable at the tables. Matusow is rarely rude towards opponents, but he fails to contain his enthusiasm and complaints all the time when things don’t go according to the plan.
This time was different because everything was going his way and the incident occurred at the end of a hand he won. Following a great play from Mike, he ended up winning a significant pot and as a result he felt the need to celebrate this occasion properly. He set out from the table and moved a few paces before letting it out, expressing his happiness in a loud manner that caught everyone’s attention.
Mike Matusow reaction was rather amusing and there were no complaints issued by fellow poker players, not even the one that lost the pot. Professionals and amateurs alike expect their peers to express their happiness in various ways, so they were not too surprised by this incident. The interesting part is that the organizers decided to get involved and the first thing they did was to analyze Mike for a full orbit.
This means that he could play a single hand for a complete round, until the dealer button got in front of the same player. In the latter stage of the tournament, such a radical punishment can inflict a lot of damage on the player involved, because it prevents them from winning a dime. Add to this that two blinds are lost in the process and it comes as no surprise that Mike was particularly upset by this decision.
Under normal circumstances, fellow poker players will refrain from taking sides in such an incident and many of them agree with the organizers. On this occasion, Daniel Negreanu and some of his peers decided that it is worth defending Mike, because they felt that he did nothing wrong. Granted he celebrated victory loudly and that might’ve broken the concentration of players located nearby, the impact was minimal and Matusow didn’t even get a warning prior to this sanction.