After two days of grueling final table action, Swedish poker pro Martin Jacobson has emerged victorious from the 2014 World Series of Poker. Jacobson adds $10 million to his live tournament winnings, along with the most coveted prize in the history of the sport, the WSOP Championship bracelet. Although fellow European poker pro Jorryt van Hoof was the favorite coming into the November Nine on Monday, it was Norway’s Felix Stephensen that took on Jacobson in last night’s epic heads-up duel.
When the final table of the 2014 WSOP Main Event reconvened on November 10th after a four month hiatus, it took 12 hours to whittle the field down to three. First out was American Mark Newhouse (9th, $730,725), who amazingly finished in the exact same position in last year’s WSOP. Next to hit the rails was Brazilian Bruno Politano (8th, $947,077), followed by American Dan Sindelar (7th, $1,235,862), Spaniard Andoni Larrabe (6th, $1,622,080), and Americans Billy ‘Pappas’ Pappaconstantinou (5th, $2,143,174) and William Tonking (4th, $2,848,833).
When the final three returned on Tuesday, Jorryt van Hoof still held a sizable lead, with Martin Jacobson in second and Felix Stephensen trailing. 49 hands into the day (hand #293 of the 2014 WOSP final table), Jacobson, who started yesterday’s action as the second smallest stack, was responsible for the elimination of the November Nines’ majority leader.
Van Hoof opened with 3.6mm from the button, raised 9.2mm by Jacobson. Stephensen folded and the Dutchman hit the tank before shoving his remaining 46.2mm into the pot. Jacobson snap called, tabling As-10c to van Hoof’s Ad-5d. The board played out 10h-5s-2h, keeping the Swede in the lead with the higher pair. Silence overcame the arena as the Qc came on the turn, ultimately changing nothing. Van Hoof would need a 5 to save his tournament life, but a Qs fell instead. Jorryt van Hoof claimed $3,807,753 for the 3rd place finish, leaving Martin Jacobson (142mm) well ahead of Felix Stephensen (58.5mm) going into heads-up.
Martin played the next 35 hands fabulously, never coming close to giving up the lead in a duel that lasted just over an hour. On what would become the final hand, #328 (the 84th of the day), Felix bet 3.5mm from the button just before Jacobson announced he was all in with 170mm. Stephensen acquiesced, putting his last 28.3mm into the pot. Jacobson turned over 10h-10d, Stephensen Ah-9h.
Martin was already in the lead and both competitors’ rails were on their feet. From Jacobson’s side, a steady chant of “Ten for Ten!” could be heard, while Felix’s fans called “Ace! Ace! Ace!” The flop favored the Swede, bringing 3s-9c-10c, much to the delight of his rail. After a brief hesitation for the crowd’s sake, the dealer tabled a Kd turn. That left no outs for the Norwegian, who was already drawing dead when the 4c river was dealt.
Stephensen, whose disappointment was still worth a massive $5,147,911, shook hands with Martin Jacobson as the Swede’s friends and family rushed the stage to celebrate his 2014 WSOP Championship and $10 million victory. “This is what I played for, this is all that mattered to me,” Jacobson told reporters as he clutched the prestigious WSOP Championship bracelet. And with that, Martin Jacobson has become the first Swedish poker pro to ever win the World Series of Poker Main Event; the first since 2006 to even make an appearance at the final table.