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Long-time Pro Martin Finally Nabs Bracelet
Cash-game pro Lenny Martin has been playing poker for over 20 years and decided to start playing tournaments a few years ago to finally get some hard-earned recognition.
Last night Lenny Martin finished off Event 49 $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw (Limit) by outlasting a stacked final table and then beating fellow pro Justin Bonomo heads-up to claim a WSOP bracelet and $189k in cash.
“This is the ultimate,” he said. “This baby means a lot to me. I can go home and show my family the bracelet.”
The 55-year-old outlasted a field of 309 players including big-name pros Jason Mercier, Eli Elezra and David Bach at the final table.
Martin lived half his life in the Ukraine but immigrated to the United States 30 years ago.
He lived in L.A. and soon picked up an affinity for poker and started playing in the local card rooms. Eventually he moved to Las Vegas to be closer to the games.
No player had as great an effect on Martin’s poker career as author/poker player David Sklansky.
“I was fortunate enough to meet him early in my career,” said Martin. “He’s a dear friend and mentor. He’s a genius.
"I call him for any reason and every reason. He’s the smartest man I know.”
Martin is the fourth player born in the Ukraine to win a WSOP bracelet this summer. He joins Eugene Katchalov, Arkadiy Tsinis and Oleksii Kovalchuk.
When asked why Ukrainian-born players have been so successful at the 2011 WSOP Martin couldn’t really put his finger on it.
“I don’t know,” said Martin. “It might be because chess is a very popular for kids in the Ukraine. It helps develop special thinking and logic.”
Primarily a cash-game player Martin only plays two or three WSOP events a year. His recent win is giving him a reason to reconsider, however.
“I might start playing more tournaments now,” he laughed.