Poker Players "Hot New Celebrities" for Tabloid Media

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

One desired to have sex with an underage girl in exchange for a skateboard; Another starred in a freaky foot fetish video with an overage grandma. Another - who is participating in this November's final table of the WSOP - could actually face being arrested during the event as he has an outstanding warrant out of Broward County, Florida for trespassing (and he had just gotten through serving probation for a felony/larceny conviction.

These are today's celebrities and the new fodder for tabloid media. They all have something in common. Each plays on the professional poker circuit, amassing small fortunes along the way.

Mike "The Mouth" Matusow is one of the bigger names in today's poker community. This year alone he's accumulated nearly one million dollars.Matusow was arrested in 2003 at his Las Vegas home for selling drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer.

Specifically, Matusow sold the undercover agent cocaine, Percocet pills (a painkiller) and Ecstasy pills (a hallucinogen), the media reports said.

In 2004, in court and facing 10 years in prison on the charges, Matusow copped a plea, admitted to drug trafficking and was sentenced to six months imprisonment in the Clark County Detention Center, a Las Vegas jail, the media reports said.

Matusow began serving his sentence in late 2004 and was released from prison in 2005.

Gambling911.com contributor Tom Somach is quick to point out that Matusow has acknowledged his dark - albeit recent - past, unlike some of the other characters that permeate throughout the tournament sector.
There is even an who attended this year's World Series of Poker who's a main "person of interest" in the brutal murder of his own parents (one of whom was a beloved professional poker player as well).

Gambling911 has learned that there will be a major story appearing in next month's super market tabloid, The Globe, centered around Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

Somach, who also acts as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and a writer for PokerHelper.com, was interviewed for the Globe piece.

"Poker players are the hot new celebrities for the tabloid media," he tells Gambling911.com. "Combine these players' sleazy backgrounds with the national exposure they get from playing poker on television and you've got a tabloid star. These guys have lots of dirt and people know who they are."

The Globe article will detail Matusow's life as an ex-con who appears on NBC's "Poker After Dark". Another ex-con poker pro Shahram Sheikhan, AKA the "Poker Pervert" recently appeared on the same show.

The Globe issue with the article is dated August 4, 2008, and goes on sale Wednesday in New York City and Los Angeles and Friday in the rest of the country.


Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher CCostigan@CostiganMedia.com

Originally published July 22, 2008 10:03 pm EST

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