With over $9 million in tournament winnings and 4 WSOP gold bracelets, Mike Matusow has quite a resume for the Poker Hall of Fame. But Matusow was left off the nominees list this year, and he’s not happy about it.
Recently speaking with the PokerNews Podcast, Matusow says that he offers the combination of strong tournament results, and a dynamic personality that draws people to the game.
“I think if you take Carlos (Mortensen) off the list, I’ve probably won more tournaments combined than everybody else on the list,” says Matusow.
“It’s not really so much about what I’ve won in poker, it’s more or less what I’ve done for poker. I’ve worked hard in the days of helping grow poker … so many people, over a thousand people just come up to me like ‘If it wasn’t for you I’d never be in poker. You make poker what it is. You and Daniel (Negreanu) made poker what it is'”
Matusow adds that he, Negreanu, and Phil Ivey put a lot of work into promoting poker to the masses. And while Negreanu may not think this matters for HOF voting, “The Mouth” clearly thinks that it should be considered.
One really good point that Matusow makes in the episode is that he’s won $9 million in tournaments despite never playing in a high roller.
When asked if he thinks that somebody like Chris Moneymaker, who is mostly up for vote because he helped build poker, should be considered for the HOF, Matusow said not a chance.
“I love Chris Moneymaker, nice guy. But do I think that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Hell no,” says Matusow. “That’s like Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in one year. They wouldn’t even think of putting him in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won a tournament, just because his name was Moneymaker he goes in the Hall of Fame?”
Matusow adds that the Hall of Fame has become both political and a popularity contest. You can hear Matusow discuss all of this and more in the podcast here. The Hall of Fame conversation starts around 25 minutes through the interview.