2014 Main Event: The Final Episode
It has been a long and dramatic journey since 6,683 men and women from 83 different countries started this year’s WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas back in July.
Tonight we’ll witness the final showdown between the last three men standing: Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof, Norwegian Felix Stevensen, and Sweden’s Martin Jacobson.
Van Hoof is going to try to use his lead over the two Scandinavians to keep them from gaining control of the table, much like he dominated all of last night, but Martin Jacobson proved he’s extremely skilled at patiently waiting and striking at opportune moments with a smaller stack.
The blinds are 600,000/1,200,000, with a 200,000 chip ante. The poker begins.
The first shows van Hoof opening with a 2.6 million chip bet with Q-5 suited. Jacobson raises him to 8 million with 7-7. Van Hoof hesitates and folds, drop below 87 million but bringing Jacobson up to an even 69M.
And we’re off. It continues like this for a while, all three men jockeying around seeking a killer hand. Positions don’t change much for awhile, even the stacks inch back and forth without much a difference.
Finally Stephensen is dealt a pair of Queens. He’s tired of being behind Jacobson, 47 million to 64.3. Jacobson bets 2.7 on K-J offsuit. Stephensen raises to 8.2. The flop is 789.
Stephensen checks, needs to see what Jacobson does before he decides how to play this. Jacobson bets 6.2M. That’s all Stephensen needed, he goes all-in. Jacobson can’t justify it with these cards and flees instantly.
That’s going to shift Stephensen into 2nd with 63 million and put Jacobson in the short stack under 50M.
Not for long
The card reader cuts out for a little due to technical difficulties, fortunately the hands are not that interesting. Jacobson slowly climbs back up behind Stephensen. Van Hoof makes it to 91 million.
Jacobson has 53 million to Stephensen’s 57 when his opportunity comes, pocket Aces. This time it’s Stephensen with K-J off. Jacobson raises modestly. The flop is 7T5. Jacobson bets another 4M, and another 10M after the King turn. The river Queen unsettles them both, too many possibilities when they each just have a pair. The graphics cut out again from the sheer drama of it. Jacobson bets another 15 million, and Stevensen calls. The pot is 65.8 million.
That will elevate Jacobson to 86.3M. Stephensen now has only 24 million chips. A massive shift.
Stephensen now has to play a bit more desperately to try to climb out of it.
The Lead is broken
Van Hoof bets 2.6M from the small blind with J-6 of hearts. Jacobson calls with A-9 of diamonds. 6KA inspires van Hoof to bet 4.8M on the low pair. Jacobson is patient with his top pair. King of hearts on the turn not only gives both two pair, but also means van Hoof has a flush draw. He checks, Jacobson bets 9M. Van Hoof folds.
Jacobson is now the chip leader, he goes from 81M to 89M, van Hoof drops from 91M to 84M.
A short time later Jorryt bets on J-5, with Stephensen calling with 9-8. Stephensen is helped by the 349 flop, both players check.
The turn is a 5, giving van Hoof a pair so he will call Stephensen’s 4 million chip bet. The King on the river is the third club on the table, briefly giving both pause. Stephensen’s gut tells him to shove.
After a heavy hesitation Jorryt calls. The crowd erupts; Stephensen closes the gap rising to 48.6M while van Hoof’s pile decreases to 63.8M.
Van Hoof begins to crumble
Stephensen calls from the small blind with 9-6. Van Hoof raises him with A-8 suited. One of his spades appears in the 357 flop, but that also gives Stephensen a couple possible straights.
Stephensen bets 4.3M. Van Hoof very slowly calls. The 4 of spades arrives. Stephensen has his straight. He bets 8.5M, van Hoof again calls. The river 4 of hearts means the flush has not arrived. Van Hoof only has an Ace kicker to bet with, and that’s not enough to pit against Stephensen’s 15.5M bet. He folds.
Stephensen now commands 58.6 million chips. Van Hoof is suddenly the short stack with 50.1M.
Jorryt van Hoof manages to avoid completely tilting at least, and climbs back over Stephensen. That is until Jacobson knocks him back down again (both players have a pair of Nines, but Jacobson has the better kicker.
Van Hoof and Stephensen are about even, 52M and 53M. Two unfortunate hands will see Stephensen up to 69 million and van Hoof down to 38.4M.
In the last hour van Hoof has slipped from well ahead to firmly behind.
A short break
The blinds have increased to 800K/1.6M.
Van Hoof bets big with a King kicker, taking 21 million chips from Jacobson. That will bring the chip counts to 76.8 for Jacobson, 67.1M for Stephensen, and 56.6 for van Hoof. Now it’s interesting.
It appears that perhaps van Hoof has regained his composure, until he suddenly bets 3.6M on A-5 suited. Jacobson raises to 9.2 with A-T. Van Hoof stares off into the singularity of bad decisions an ultimately says “All-in.”
Jacobson calls without a second thought.
Jorryt van Hoof completely trounced everyone last night, but he’s out in 3rd place. He’s won $3.8 million dollars.
Felix Stephensen now has 58.5 million chips. Martin Jacobson is sitting on 142,000,000. It’ll be over in an hour.
Stephensen takes the first hand with a pair of Fours. The pot is seven million. Jacobson folds the next couple of hands.
None of this prepares Stephensen for the hammering that commences. Half a dozen hands later Stephensen has slipped back down from 65M to 56.6M. That’s when Jacobson opens for 4 million with J-T. Stephensen calls with 6-6.
The flop is T54. Stephensen checks, Jacobson bets another 4 million. The turn is another 4. Both players now have two pair, and both check.
Jacobson takes stock of the King that is dealt. Stephensen bets 8 million. Jacobson calls without getting greedy, that will nourish his garden of now 160 million chips. Stephensen has a quarter of that with 40.4.
You could base a textbook about Heads-up on how Jacobson is playing.
On the next hand, Stephensen opens for 3.5M with A-3. Jacobson calls with K-T. The flop is 4J8. Jacobson calls, Stephensen bets 4.0M.
The turn shows us a 9. Jacobson bets 9 million. Stephensen can’t afford the risk.
It’s now 167.8M to 32.7M.
Jacobson doesn’t take any risks, he lets a few hands pass by and Stephensen is able to crawl back up to 53M, before Martin knocks him back down to 48M.
Jacobson makes a river bet with absolutely nothing that frightens Stephensen, and he’s been whittled down to 41M.
The Norwegian is soon down to 38M. Jacobson bets 4M on 9-9, Stephensen gets bold raising him to Q-8. It is not the right move. Jacobson raises him for his entire stack. Stephensen can’t even think about calling with Q-8.
It’s now 172 million to 28.5 million.
Jacobson pushes Stephensen around for a couple of hands. He drops to 23 million.
Stephensen begins going all-in immediately. This works twice, getting him back up to 28.5, but it’s not a viable strategy for long.
Stephensen is dealt A-9 of hearts, and bets 3.5M. Jacobson has pocket Tens. The Swede raises Stephensen all-in. This is it.
T93. Jacobson has flopped a set. Stephensen has a 0.4% chance to be rescued by the forces of random chance.
The turn is a King. It’s over. The river 4 is just a formality.
Felix Stephensen has won $5.2 million for taking second place.
The first Main Event champion from Sweden, Martin Jacobson will return home with ten million dollars and the coveted bracelet.
He is the 2014 World Series of Poker Champion.
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of ESPN’s coverage of this year’s biggest tournament in poker. See you next time.