Entering Level 41 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, it seemed as if Martin Jacobson was pulling away – but few could imagine him eliminating both of his remaining opponents in just over an hour to capture the most coveted Championship in poker.
When the last level of this tournament began, all three players were distinctly separated.
- Martin Jacobson – 97,400,000
- Felix Stephensen – 68,100,000
- Jorryt van Hoof – 35,000,000
Jorryt van Hoof struck back on the very first hand of Level 41, taking a big pot off of Jacobson with one pair to bring the three stacks as close as they’d been all day; Van Hoof was still the short stack with 56 million, but Jacobson wasn’t all that far ahead at 76 million.
After taking pots from both Felix Stephensen and van Hoof, Jacobson re-established a sizable lead while his two opponents lagged behind at around 50 million apiece. Van Hoof dropped one more pot, and then opened again for a raise to 3.6 million on the button. Jacobson three-bet to 9.2 million from the small blind, Stephensen gave up his big blind and action returned to van Hoof.
He spent a long moment contemplating his options and eventually opted to four-bet all in for 46.2 million (29 big blinds). Jacobson snap-called, and while he had van Hoof’s ace outkicked Jacobson’s A T brought audible gasps as van Hoof responded by showing A 5.
The T in the window was a disheartening card for van Hoof to see, but it was followed by the 5 and 2 – still leaving the Dutchman with some tangible outs. The Q turn left van Hoof with just two outs going into the river, and the Q sealed the 95 million pot – and the elimination for Jacobson.
“I feel better than I thought,” said van Hoof just after his elimination. “I can’t really complain, I feel really good.”
Van Hoof defended his shove against Jacobson, and the aggressive way he played on the tournament’s final day.
“Against really good players you can’t really wait patiently to exploit edges in smaller pots,” said van Hoof. “I guess I had to go with it there – I don’t know. You definitely have to go with it in some of those spots.”
Heads-up play began with Jacobson holding a lead of over 142 million to 58.5 million over Stephensen, but the Norwegian chipped away a bit after taking the first three pots of the match. Jacobson soon countered, and the pair traded small pots for a stretch as they blew past the 300 hand mark at this final table.
With the blinds at such a high level, seeing a few flops and folding cost Stephensen dearly. He quickly slipped to a 4-to-1 disadvantage, and then a 5-to-1 disadvantage as his stack slipped to just over 20 big blinds.
Stephensen continued to fight, but a four-bet shove from Jacobson put Stephensen in an even deeper hole – one he wouldn’t recover from. On the 328th and final hand of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, Stephensen raised to 3.5 million on the button, Jacobson put him all in and Stephensen called it off with A 9.
Jacobson’s T T was strong and he found himself just five cards away from the title. “Ten, four ten! Ten, four, ten!” shouted Jacobson’s rail, and they were given almost everything they could have dreamed of as the T 9 3 flop made him top set. While the window was still open a crack for Stephensen – with running nines or aces still a possibility – the K turn (and meaningless 4 river) led Jacobson’s rail to rush the stage and mob him as Stephensen was left to settle for second.
Stay tuned to BLUFF.com for a full recap of the final day of the 2014 WSOP Main Event, and reactions from both the newest World Champion and the runner-up.
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