Fans of Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow have been waiting for a treatment of his life for quite some time. A ghost-written autobiography in 2012 told the story from Matusow’s perspective, but it seemed that the four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner was still hiding some things. Fast forward a decade later and a documentary will attempt to tell the full story, warts and all, of the polarizing Matusow.

Documentary Premieres Sunday at South Point

The South Point Casino in Las Vegas will be the place to be to check out the documentary on ‘The Mouth,’ simply called Matusow. A red carpet walk and drinks will be served from 3 PM to 4:30 PM at the Grandview Bar in the casino. Seating for the screening will begin at 4:30 PM and run until 5 PM at Theater #13 on the grounds of the casino.

The documentary looks to be a lengthy one. The screening time of the film will be from 5 PM until 7:30 PM, presumably because there will be a Q&A (with the subject matter?) following the film. After the screening and any extras, there will be a celebrity poker game held that has been organized by the founder of the Charity Series of Poker, Matt Stout.

Plenty of Subject Matter

Many could think that there are more entertaining subjects for a documentary treatment (Phil Hellmuth? Phil Ivey? The Full Tilt fiasco?), but Matusow’s life provides plenty of subject matter that would fuel a doc.

After demonstrating his desire to gamble at an early age (he was in Gamblers’ Anonymous meetings while in high school), Matusow struggled as a gambler until he helped to back Scotty Nguyen at the 1998 World Series of Poker. After Nguyen won that year’s World Championship, Nguyen cut Matusow some of the winnings that gave ‘The Mouth’ a bankroll. That bank would be critical for Matusow, as it funded his first WSOP bracelet win in 1999.

The next 25 years would be a mix of highs and lows. In 2001, Matusow would make the final table of the WSOP Championship Event and win his second bracelet in 2002. 2005 would bring another final table trip for Matusow and a victory in the Tournament of Champions, making Matusow the first person to win two million-dollar paydays from poker tournaments in the same year.

At the same time, however, Matusow’s personal life was off the rails. He did six months in jail for selling drugs to an undercover Las Vegas police officer and, along with his treatment for gambling addictions, has also had several incidences where he became addicted to prescription painkillers. Bankroll management also has not been his friend – there have been several periods in his life where Matusow has admitted he was broke.

There is also the polarizing nature of his personality that comes into play. His acerbic style, needling his opposition by berating them both personally and for their card play, has worked for and against him (remember Matusow’s devastation after needling eventual World Champion Greg Raymer in the 2004 WSOP). He has also been a divisive personality on social media, embracing right-wing and conspiratorial thinking that has alienated him from much of the community.

Matusow has also been devastated by health issues over the last decade, which may indicate why he has gone without a WSOP bracelet win since 2013. At times in his career, he has literally been unable to sit at the poker tables, which put a damper on him earning any money. According to the Hendon Mob database, Matusow has earned over $10 million in his tournament poker career, but it is very unknown as to how much of that he has been able to hold onto over the years.

With all this material, the documentary should be an intriguing examination of the life of Matusow. After its premiere on Sunday, Matusow is expected to be released to yet unnamed streaming outlets. After that, we will find out if not just the poker world, but also the cinematic community, is interested in the life of one of poker’s transfixing figures, Mike Matusow.

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO)

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