The 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was an event to remember for all the players who either won a bracelet, made a profit, or simply got the best experience of playing at the world’s greatest poker festival. However, WSOP 2023 will be a lot special for Ian Matakis, who won the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year (POY) title.
Matakis earned 5,203.89 points to outpace Shaun Deeb, who finished with 4,276.12 points in the runner-up spot. Chris Brewer (4,127.62) grabbed the third spot, with Josh Arieh (3,938.62) and Jesse Lonis (3,865.70) completing the top five.
Matakis recorded 22 cashed at the 2023 WSOP, with nine of those cashes coming in online events, with his biggest cash worth $205,696 coming for a third-place finish in Event #82: $3,000 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha.
With a one gold bracelet for clinching Online Event #2: $500 No-Limit Hold’em Bankroll Builder, Ian Matakis pocketed $120,686 in prize money. He had six top 10 finishes and 10 top 20 finishes which pushed Matakis’ WSOP total cashes to $869,791.
Citing such an excellent run, the 25-year-old was awarded the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year title. Tweeting about the same, Ian Matakis called it an “honour” to join the ranks while thanking everyone who cheered for him.
He wrote,”2023 WSOP player of the year! What an honour to join such a prestigious group of people, I had a blast battling and meeting many new friends along the way. Time to go home and spend some time with friends, family, and girlfriend. Thanks to everyone who rooted for me this summer!”
2023 WSOP player of the year! What an honor to join such a prestigious group of people, had a blast battling and meeting many new friends along the way. Time to go home and spend some time with friends, family, and girlfriend. Thanks to everyone who rooted for me this summer!
— Ian Matakis (@IMatakis) July 18, 2023
The poker community showered well wishes for the newly crowned POY, with the likes of Rob Kuhn, Dutch Boyd, David Uvaydov, Pat Moore, Wade Fink, and Benjamin Valder congratulating the youngster.
However, Mike Matusow had different ideas. Nicknamed ‘The Mouth’ Matusow is notoriously known for trash-talking at the poker table. The Nevada-based American poker player did what he does best, threw a sarcastic jog at Ian Matakis by retweeting the player’s tweet about his POY title.
Displaying anger on Matakis’ success in WSOP online events, Matusow wrote, “Congrats even though winning poy was propped up by mostly online events which I think is an embarrassment to the Wsop brand you won fair and square and deserved it! Well done, sir; maybe next yr we just don’t play at Paris or horseshoe and just play online poker!” (sic)
Congrats even though winning poy was proped up by mostly online events which I think is an embarrassment to the Wsop brand you won fair and square and deserved it! Well done sir, Maybe next yr we just don’t play at Paris or horshoe and just play online poker! https://t.co/Amfda6usEE
— Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow) July 19, 2023
Shaun Deeb, who finished as the runner-up in the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year title race, came to Ian Matakis’ defense. He commented on Matusow’s tweet by saying, “Shut the fuck up mike if it was me winning poy with his results from online+live, you wouldn’t say shit. He’s an elite player from what I’ve seen and will be considered a top player if he stays in the game.”
Shut the fuck up mike if it was me winning poy with his results from online+live you wouldn’t say shit he’s a elite player from what I’ve seen and will be considered a top player if he stays in the game
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) July 19, 2023
Despite being a highly competitive sport, it is nice to see other players defend their fellow grinders when one is being wronged. It also goes on to show how the poker community is getting tighter, with a lot of friendships forming across events. And as for Matusow, you can try your hand at online poker, who is stopping you really?
Smit is a sports writer at Gutshot Magazine. After completing his Bachelor’s in Mass Media, and a Master’s degree in Sports Management, this sports fanatic uses articles as a tool to express his opinions. Bring up cricket or football and you will find this usually quiet guy speak for hours! He also co-heads the official supporters club of Chelsea FC in Mumbai, wherein he hosts screenings, football meets and other such events.
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