The poker community knows the young, dashing, polite wild man as El Matador, with the given name of Carlos Mortensen. Recently, he revealed that his real name is Juan Carlos Mortensen. He explained that he came to America not speaking a word of English, and when asked his name, he said Juan Carlos Mortensen, but he must have spoken too quickly, because the next thing he knew, everyone was calling him only “Carlos.”
Juan Carlos recently burst onto the poker scene and is a force to be reckoned with. He said, “My opponents think I am very aggressive and crazy sometimes. I want to have that image because it gives me an advantage. They don’t want to raise my blind because I will make a move. I might have the best hand or no hand at all, but they will be forced to throw their hand away.”
Coming to America
“When I came here, I didn’t speak a word of English. Because I didn’t understand English, I really had to pay attention to people. If you are a good reader, you can almost feel what people are doing; you can look in their eyes and see it on their faces.
“Sometimes I think, ‘There is no way you can have a hand. It has to be a value bet or a bluff.’ Reading people is very important. When I was new, I just watched and analyzed. I did not get in conversations at the table. I …