In between the news of the Ultimate Gaming shutdown, California Tribes signing deals and Lame Duck speculation, there was actual poker being played. Martin Jacobson is poker’s newest golden boy after winning the WSOP Main Event. Meanwhile, Jesse Wilke takes down the Lake Tahoe Circuit title and qualified for the National Championship. Finally, Ryan Van Sanford just turned 21 and celebrated by winning a WPT title.
Martin Jacobson Wins 2014 WSOP Main Event
Poker has a new world champion and he has 10 million reasons to celebrate. Martin Jacobson of the Netherlands took down the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event on Tuesday to become the new world champion of poker. He also received $10 million in prize money, the second largest Main Event prize in history.
Jacobson started final table play as the second shortest stack and played patient poker to put himself back into contention. Heading into the final table, the big story was Mark Newhouse. Newhouse had made back-to-back November Nine final tables, the first player to do so. He started the final table in third place but picked a bad spot to race against a larger stack. As a result, he finished in ninth place.
Jorryt Van Hoof started the final table as chip leader and retained that lead heading into the final day. Jacobson was second in chips with Felix Stephensen the short stack. Van Hoof struggled on the final day and ultimately fell in third place when he ran Ad-5d into the As-10c of Jacobson.
Jacobson took a nearly 2.5 to 1 chip lead into heads-up play against Stephensen and regularly applied pressure to the short stack. Stephensen was unable to get anything going and eventually decided to take a stand with Ah-9h. Jacobson woke up with pocket tens and it was “Tens for Ten” million. A ten on the flop sealed Stephensen’s fate and Martin Jacobson is the 2014 WSOP Main Event Champion.
In addition to the title and $10 million, Jacobson won a bracelet from Jason’s of Beverly Hills worth over $500,000.
Jesse Wilke Wins Lake Tahoe Circuit Event – Steve Foutty Qualifies for National Championship
While Jacobson and company were busy playing the November Nine final table, the Main Event final table played out at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe. Four Californians made the final table but it was Washington poker pro Jesse Wilke that took the title.
Wilke came into the final table as the chip leader and held onto that lead for much of the final table. His heads-up opponent was Barry Kay of Incline Village, NV. Kay went on a rush at the final table and chipped up from being a short stack to playing Wilke heads-up for the title. Ultimately, the two tangled in a monster hand where both caught a straight, but Kay had the sucker end of the straight and had to settle for second.
Wilke’s win earned him $125,401 and pushed him over $245,000 in career earnings, most of them coming this year. Back in February, he finished 8th in the Main Event of the Tunica circuit stop and cashed twice at the World Series of Poker. According to Wilke, he was chip leader at one point during Day 4 but went cold and failed to make Day 5. He finished in 374th.
Wilke’s circuit Main Event win also earned him a spot in the WSOP Circuit National Championship to be held at the end of the season. Also earning a spot in the National Championship final was Steve Foutty. The Mill Valley native cashed three times during the Tahoe circuit stop, making two final tables and winning one gold ring. The National Championship awards a WSOP bracelet and will have a prize pool of up-to $2 million.
Van Sanford Celebrates 21st Birthday With WPT Title
How do you celebrate your 21st birthday when you’re a poker player? With a major tournament victory, of course. Ryan Van Sanford won his first major poker title just three days after his 21st birthday after taking down the World Poker Tour bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville, FL.
Van Sanford came into the final day of play as the chip leader, one that featured three poker pros, a businessman, an Ophthalmologist and a wine consultant. The featured player was Jason Helder. The Pennsylvania pro earlier this year won The River Poker Series Main Event at the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma for a cool $1 million. He was easily the most experienced player at the final table with over $1.4 million in earnings.
Helder’s experience wouldn’t help him at this final as Van Sanford was a virtual terminator, eliminating four of his final five opponents. He knocked out Helder in fifth place when Helder’s Ks-Qs failed to outrun Ah-10d.
Ultimately, it was Van Sanford against Chris Bolek for the title. Van Sanford had a nearly 3 to 1 chip lead and proceeded to win the majority of the hands played heads-up. In the final hand, the pair saw a flop of Th-9s-6s and Bolek bet 150,000. After a Van Sanford raise to 400,000, Bolek shoved.
Van Sanford quickly called and turned over Ts-8d for top pair and a gutshot straight. Bolek turned over Td-7h for the same pair and also a gutshot straight. The 2s on the turn eliminated the chance of a chop between the two, meaning Bolek needed an eight to win. The river fell the Qc and Van Sanford won the title. Ryan Van Sanford is the latest World Poker Tour champion, earning $421,068 in prize money.