Rarely does a player go from day 1 chip leader to champion, especially when there’s thousands of players and nine days of play.
But Swedish poker pro Martin Jacobson did just that and won $10,000,000 and the title of 2014 WSOP Main Event champion in the process.
Somehow, Jacobson knew that this was going to be the outcome.
“It was a weird feeling,” Jacobson said. “I was never in doubt, this was meant to be.”
Despite having the chip lead early on and throughout several stages of the tournament, Jacobson reached the November Nine as one of the short stacks.
That didn’t stop the professional poker player though.
“My game plan was always to go for the win without doing anything stupid,” Jacobson said. “I’ve been focused on this since play ended in July.”
And Jacobson stayed true to his plan and said he played a near-perfect tournament even though it didn’t start out as he had expected.
“My gameplan didn’t play out as I expected it to,” Jacobson said. “I didn’t open a lot of pots, I mostly three-bet some spots.
“I was playing kind of tight-aggressive but my plan was to play loose-aggressive because I expected everyone to start out tight.”
But the final table played out in ways few expected, starting with the first elimination.
Mark Newhouse, who started the final table third in chips and was in his second consecutive November Nine, was the first to fall when his pocket tens fell to William Tonking’s pocket queens.
Then Jorryt van Hoof ran through the final table, accumulating a massive chip lead.
When play was five-handed, van Hoof had amassed more than half the chips in play.
At this point, Jacobson was short-stacked again and got it all-in against Billy Pappaconstantinou.
Pappaconstantinou had less than an ante more than Jacobson and the two flipped with Jacobson’s pocket fives going up against Pappaconstantinou’s ace-jack.
Jacobson doubled and made the final three second in chips while van Hoof was still in the lead.
That all changed in day 9 after van Hoof doubled up Felix Petersen. This gave Jacobson the lead and a few hands later, van Hoof became the short stack.
The Final Hand
Without the prowess of his massive stack, van Hoof quickly found himself all-in with A♦ 5♦ against Jacobson’s A♠ 10♣.
The board ran 10♥ 5♠ 2♥ Q♣ Q♠ to end van Hoof’s tournament.
Jacobson started the heads-up match with a 3-1 lead and quickly extended it. The match didn’t last long and ended on the first called all-in.
Jacobson had the lead with 10♦ 10♥ against Stephensen’s A♥ 9♥ and hit a set on the flop.
Sweden’s top-money earner added another $10 million to his live tournament earnings and became the 2014 world champion of poker.
“This means everything to me,” Jacobson said. “There’s been so much pressure leading up to this moment and me, winning it all, it’s just surreal.”