Brian Hastings-Mike Matusow Spat could result in Heads-up Match

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When looking at poker’s greatest feuds, Brian Hastings vs. Mike Matusow doesn’t exactly register with Daniel Negreanu vs. Annie Duke. However, there appears to be some recent drama between the two after Matusow blasted Hastings about his play in the 2012 WSOP Event #24 Omaha Hi-Low tournament. As you’ll see below, he certainly didn’t hold back in his criticism of Hastings either!

A Fu**ing Idiot

Over the years, Mike Matusow has rightfully earned his nickname “The Mouth” for being one of the loudest, brashest, most obnoxious poker players in the world. This being said, it should come as little surprise that he blasted Brian Hastings when given a chance to do some commentary with the regular WSOP livestream hosts.

Shortly after busting out of the aforementioned Event #24 Omaha Hi-Low tourney in eighth place, he set his sights on Hastings who’d finished 16th place in the same tournament. A couple of choice comments indicated that Hastings is a “fu**ing idiot,” “super-spewey,” and has no clue on proper (8 or Better) Omaha Hi-Low strategy. Following Matusow’s attack, commentator Jean Robert-Bellande tried to smooth things over and bring some order back to the conversation; however, the damage had already been done.

Poker Heads-up Duel coming?

While The Mouth may have little respect for Brian Hastings’ skills, it’s pretty obvious that Hastings knows a thing or two about poker. This is especially the case when you look at his online poker career, which has seen “$tinger 88” earn almost $5 million in profits on both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. And a large portion of these profits have come in Omaha games, which makes it further puzzling as to why Matusow would attack the Pennsylvanian’s Omaha play.

But Hastings obviously has enough confidence in his Omaha Hi-Low skills to issue a heads-up challenge to The Mouth. Upon hearing Matusow’s comments about him being an idiot and super-spewey, he tweeted, “@themouthmatusow can we play HU O8 soon? Bellagio or Aria, stakes negotiable but not for peanuts.”

It’s unclear at this point whether or not Matusow is willing to accept the challenge. But if he is willing to play Hastings at the Bellagio or Aria, it would definitely be a fantastic matchup. For evidence of this fact, let’s look at what both Matusow and Hastings have done throughout their poker careers.

Mike Matusow Profile

If live tournament results were the sole determinant of skill in this proposed HU match, The Mouth would easily have the advantage here. After all, the California native has been playing live tourneys since 1996 and has managed to amass $7,907,302 in poker tournament winnings along with three WSOP bracelets.

Of course, what Hastings is proposing is a heads-up cash game match, so it’s worth looking at what Matusow has done in this arena. Much of his known ring game experience revolves around TV shows such as High Stakes Poker, where he appeared in seasons 2, 3, 4 and 6. Other TV appearances include Poker After Dark and Poker Superstars III.

Brian Hastings Profile

Seeing as how this duel would be HU cash, Hastings definitely has the advantage on his proposed opponent. After all, the Hanover Township, Pennsylvania native has made his living playing plenty of heads-up and short-handed cash games, which gives him lots of experience in this area. As we mentioned before, Hastings has managed to accumulate close to $5 million in ring game profits; a large portion of this comes from the miraculous $4.2 million session he had against Viktor “Isildur1” Blom in 2009.

As for his known live experience, Hastings has recently been branching out into the tournament scene since Black Friday. So far he’s made $760,744 total, with notable wins in the 2011 WPT Summer Splash Main Event ($213,877) and 2012 WSOP $10k NLHE Heads-up tournament ($371,498).

It’s also worth mentioning that he made an appearance on Poker After Dark in Season 7 (Episode 5). This was the first time ever in the show’s history that action centered on a Pot-Limit Omaha cash game, and the cast included Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond and Patrik Antonius. Seeing as how this cast featured some of the best Omaha players in the world, it’s a testament to Hastings’ ability that he too would be invited on the show.

Who has the Poker Edge?

While Mike Matusow has a wealth of experience within the poker world, we’d have to give the edge to Brian Hastings if this heads-up match were to happen. He’s been grinding against the best Omaha cash competition for years now, and he also has enough confidence to challenge Matusow heads-up after hearing the aforementioned slights.

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