A few days ago, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow was hit with an excessive celebration penalty in a 2014 WSOP $2.5k Omaha-8/Stud-8 event. Since then, many poker pros like Daniel Negreanu have jumped to his defense, saying that big personalities are good for the game and the penalty was uncalled for.
As for The Mouth himself, he innocently describes the situation as him winning a $200k pot, followed by him walking around the room and yelling “Yes!” Okay, so are we to believe this boy scout recollection from one of the brashest poker players in history?
Not according to WSOP bracelet winner Allyn Shulman, who wholeheartedly agreed with the penalty. Shulman was actually at Matusow’s table when the scene went down and wrote about his constant stream of profanities in her CardPlayer blog. The entire post is a good read, but here’s one especially telling excerpt:
After Mike won the pot, he started screaming he was the greatest F***ING player in the world, no one F***ING deserved this like he did, etc. He pounded on the table making the chips shake and then started running around the room whooping, hollering, yelling, jumping and swearing.
A number of players at the table who were obviously fed up with Mike’s shenanigans eventually called the floorman and asked about Mike’s excessive celebration.
IT WAS THE PLAYERS WHO COMPLAINED. Now why would the good folks at the table do that? Clearly Mike had been out of line since the redraw. So after he won the pot and continued his loud, foul-mouthed unruly behavior, some players finally had enough and complained.
When floor man Dave Lamb came over to assess the penalty, after already issuing a warning mind you, Matusow got up in his face and started cussing him out. The Mouth seemed to think that because rules changed to be more lenient about profanity at the table, he could say the F-word as much as he wanted, provided it wasn’t directed at anybody in particular.
However, Shulman points out that Rule 45 of the 2014 WSOP handbook states that the Rio prohibits players from using foul language in public areas of the casino. Moreover, players can be assessed penalties for violating this rule.
It’s highly, highly unlikely that Shulman is making all of this up and just taking a shot at Matusow. The more likely scenario is that a bunch of pros are jumping to Mike’s defense that really didn’t take in the whole scene, nor did they know that Lamb had already given Matusow a warning.