Martin Jacobson of Sweden didn’t wear sunglasses or a hoody at any point during this year’s 2014 World Series of PokerMain Event. Instead, Martin preferred to make direct eye contact, seemingly peering into the souls of his opponents to discover the strength of their hands. He played swiftly, accurately, and downright perfectly on both Monday and Tuesday nights.
Jacobson started the November Nine with the second smallest stack (trailing first by 23.475 million), but was also the only player of the bunch with more than $1 million in previous WSOP earnings.
His 15 career cashes were 13 more than big stack leader and eventual third-place finisher Jorryt van Hoof. While the odds weren’t in his favor, Jacobson rose to the occasion and won the gold bracelet and $10 million grand prize in his first $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event entry.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Jacobson was born on June 30, 1987, and originally aspired to become a chef. Food took a backseat to poker, however, after he discovered the sport watching television at the age of 18. Refining his craft online after making a deposit and playing small-stakes games, Jacobson took his skills to single table tournaments soon after. During his ascent to becoming one of the game’s premiere players, the Swede sat down at tables around the world. He now calls London home, where he lives with his girlfriend.
Already holding an impressive resume, it was that one live victory that Jacobson so desperately desired. He had found success at the WSOP, most notably the 2013 $111,111 Big One for One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold’em event, where he finished 6th out of 166 entries for a payout of $807,427.
Although his total career WSOP winnings had surpassed $1.2 million, Jacobson’s 2014 campaign were somewhat ho-hum before winning $10 million in the Main Event. He cashed just two times in his previous 26 events for a combined take of $69,888.
Martin entered the November Nine with 14.900 million chips, which was just 7.4 percent of the total pot. He worked his way up the chain during Monday’s play as six were eliminated, including all four Americans and back-to-back finalist Mark Newhouse. As the table moved to Tuesday, Jacobson still trailed van Hoof by over 24.8 million chips, but as we all know, the game of poker is anything but predictable.
Tuesday’s finale was thrilling from the first hand. The intensity seen the previous night from Jorryt seemed to dissipate when he put on the sunglasses. Both Felix Stephensen and Jacobson took advantage and van Hoof was eventually eliminated in third place, taking home $3,807,753. After a series of head-to-head hands in which Martin only extended his commanding lead, he won on pocket tens that became a set on the flop.
6,683 entrants ponied up the $10K for the 45th annual World Series of Poker No-Limit Hold’em Championship, the fifth-largest field in the event’s history. The $10 million guaranteed first-place prize was the second-biggest behind 2006’s $12 million reward.