He's never won a major live poker tournament. He's second to last in chips to start the final table. He's too quiet to become the leading poker ambassador.
Those were all rumblings heard throughout the poker world about Martin Jacobson in the months leading up to the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table. When it was all said and done, though, the man from Sweden proved to be the last player standing, topping poker's greatest event to win his first WSOP gold bracelet and the massive $10 million first-place prize.
After Monday's return of the November Nine, Jacobson was one of three players remaining along with fellow Europeans Jorryt van Hoof and Felix Stephensen. As fate would have it, van Hoof's chip lead wouldn't last, and the Dutchman would soon fall to the smallest stack of the three. The trio battled for 49 hands before van Hoof was sent to the rail in third place.
On Hand #293 of the final table — the 49th hand of Tuesday — van Hoof opened and then four-bet shoved with the after Jacobson had three-bet him. Jacobson snap-called with the , and van Hoof was in a world of hurt. The board ran out , and van Hoof was off to collect his payday of more than $3.8 million.
At the start of heads-up play, Jacobson had 142 million to Stephensen's 58.5 million. The Swede had the chip lead, he had the momentum, and he had the skills, and it seemed as though nothing was going to stop him. It proved true as he kept the pressure on his Norwegian opponent to grind Stephensen down to under 30 million in chips. Interestingly, Stephensen seemed to be winning most of the pots heads up to start, but all of the big, meaningful ones went to Jacobson.
Then, on Hand #328, all of the money went in for the final time.
Stephensen opened with a raise from the button, Jacobson moved all in, and Stephensen called with the . While a medium suited ace isn't a bad hand to go with when in the position Stephensen was in, Jacobson had a powerhouse with the .
The flop delivered Jacobson with top set of tens and really gave him a stranglehold on the hand. The turn was the to leave Stephensen drawing dead. Jacobson's supporters began to rush the stage as the dealer completed the board with the to make it official.
With that, Martin Jacobson was crowned the champion of the world's greatest poker event — he secured his first major live poker tournament victory, and it proved to be the biggest and baddest of them all. Since Joe Cada in 2009, no player had gone from beginning chip leader of the event to champion, but Jacobson did so after finishing on top of the counts way back on Day 1a.
Final Table Results
|3||Jorryt van Hoof||Netherlands||$3,806,402|
|4||William Tonking||United States||$2,848,833|
|5||Billy Pappas||United States||$2,143,174|
|7||Dan Sindelar||United States||$1,235,862|
|9||Mark Newhouse||United States||$730,725|
Congratulations to Jacobson on winning the 2014 WSOP Main Event and cementing himself in the poker history books!