Matusow Admits Losing Millions to Hamilton on UltimateBet

Mike Matusow may be the highest profile victim of Russ Hamilton.
Mike Matusow may be the highest profile victim of Russ Hamilton.

It appears that former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Russ Hamilton doesn’t have a friend in Mike Matusow. In a radio appearance Wednesday Matusow tore into Hamilton, the key figure in the UltimateBet superuser scandal.

“I know this, the man is 100% guilty. There’s not even 99%, there’s no two ways about it. I know people, I’ve talked to the CEOs of UltimateBet, I’ve seen the evidence and there’s no way I will let this man walk. I don’t care what it takes for him to go to jail.”

Appearing on the Hardcore Poker Show on Hardcore Sports Radio Matusow admitted he may have been amongst the biggest victims of Hamiltons cheating ways, losing to the 1994 World Champion during heads-up matches in late 2005.

“I want him in jail because of what he’s done to me. This man would call me to play him head-up. I would ship $50,000, $50,000, $50,000. All the money I won when I won the ’05 World Series Main Event, when I got to the final table and when I won the Tournament of Champions, I gave all to Russ to put on UB while he was playing me head-up and stealing it from me,” admitted Matusow who won a combined $2,000,000 for his ninth place finish in the 2005 Main Event and his win in the 2005 WSOP┬áTournament of Champions. “The thing about it is I’ve got a couple of issues, of ways around that I think legally, that I can get him put in jail and I’m going to be pursuing it as soon, probably towards the end of the year after my book comes out and after the World Series.”

While the money lost is a significant sum of money it’s not what bothers Matusow the most. He claims that the sessions ruined his confidence and took him from the pinnacle of his game to being a more timid player incapable of making the proper plays.
“It’s not so much what he stole from me, okay, UB gave me a very, very good share back. It’s probably half of what was taken from me. It’s what it did to me mentally. The fact that I was the most feared No Limit poker player in the world up until 2005. I was able to read cards better than any human alive. I could make any move in the world and pick people off at every bluff. And now I have no heart at all,” said Matusow, showing his trademark humility. “Now I play so tight and solid and I’m afraid to pull the trigger because I’m always afraid of getting called because of the fact that every time I made those moves I got called by bottom pair or no pair and all that stuff while I was getting cheated out of all that money. With the mental aspect … it’s basically a lot of what my lawsuit is possibly going to be about.”

Matusow wasn’t the only one cheated though and he mentioned another well-known high stakes online poker player who was taken for a large score and had his confidence destroyed at the same time, “Spirit Rock”.

“The two people that got beat the most was Prahlad Friedman and me. We were the ones that at the time, this is before I was with Full Tilt, that played on UB 24/7. And we got probably the most money back. I mean Prahlad got destroyed, he completely … me and him talked for four hours. What they did to him was just brutal.”

The three-time WSOP bracelet winner also called out other players who may have been cheated for not being vocal enough about the situation. Matusow hopes his high profile will help generate more momentum as the poker community seeks a way to bring Hamilton to justice.

“The thing is most poker players are a bunch of pussies and they’re scared and they don’t want to be involved. See, I’m a big name player that got screwed over. All these other players are no name players and they don’t really care. See you put somebody who’s one of the top three names in poker out there and that changes a lot.”

By: Lance Bradley (1277 Posts)

Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, ThePokerBiz.com in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.


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