• All in Magazine’s Hand of the Year

    Date: 2014.02.03 | Category: Poker | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    All In Magazine named my showdown with Mike “The Mouth” Matusow their Hand of the Year for 2013!  Check out the full article below, via All In.

    Matusow vs. Hellmuth, NBC Heads-Up Championship


    NBC couldn’t have asked for anything more. On one side of the final table at the first post-Black-Friday edition of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship sat Phil Hellmuth, the number one ratings driver of the TV-poker era. On the other side sat Mike Matusow, Hellmuth’s greatest rival in the polarizing-personality race. These are two undisputed superstars of the game, guys you either love to hate or love to love, both of whom happen to love to talk.

    2013_Awards_MatusowThe best-of-three match between the old friends was guaranteed to entertain. What wasn’t guaranteed was that it would be a classic battle that would end with a suckout for the ages.

    Matusow held nearly a 3-to-1 chip lead when he was dealt 8-4 of diamonds and opened for a min-raise to 32K. Hellmuth called with K-10, then checked in the dark. The flop hit both men with blunt force: JsKd2d. Phil had top pair, Mikey a flush draw. Matusow fired 30K, and Hellmuth called. The turn was the six of spades, changing nothing. Hellmuth checked, and Matusow tried to take it down with a bet of 105K.

    Hellmuth got chatty as he tried to figure out what to do. “I’m thinking about making the worst laydown of my life here,” he said. Instead, Hellmuth shoved. A moment later, he exclaimed, “Yes! He didn’t snap-call!”

    This was never going to be a snap-call for Matusow, who had to put 252K more into a pot of 586K. As an 80-20 underdog, the pot odds weren’t right. But Matusow wasn’t in the mood for sound math. “I’m going for the win,” he declared.

    Matusow made the incorrect call … and the queen of diamonds on the river rewarded him anyway. “You gotta go for it, baby!” Matusow yelled as he jumped up and down in celebration.

    As Hellmuth famously says, if there was no luck in poker, he’d win every time. Whether that’s true or not, if there was no luck in poker, we’d never get to enjoy thrilling moments like this one.

    First Runner-Up:

    Aces vs. Kings vs. Queens, WSOP-E High Roller

    Jason Mercier, Zach Clark, and Timothy Adams were all in pre-flop on Day Two of the High Roller in Paris with pocket queens, kings, and aces, respectively. Then the law of averages really got bitch-slapped. All three hands made sets, and the board didn’t pair—meaning Daniel Negreanu would have beaten them all if he’d played his J-10 suited.

    Second Runner-Up:

    Farber vs. McLaughlin, WSOP Main Event

    After 102 hands of six-handed play at the final table, it took a massive cooler to kick off a string of rapid-fire eliminations. The third biggest stack, Marc McLaughlin, ran his cowboys into the rockets of the second biggest stack, Jay Farber, and the Canadian was shown the door in the sixth place. Amazingly, a mere 14 hands later, Farber and Ryan Riess were ready to play heads-up.