Europe Wipes out America at World Series of Poker

After five hours of gruelling competition from his fellow European competitors, Swedish poker player Martin Jacobson won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) last Tuesday with a grand prize of $10 million USD and the much envied gold championship bracelet. He’s the sixth European player to win the main event.

Martin Jacobson

The competition’s televised finale began on Monday with nine players. After twelve hours of competition Monday night, three players were left: Dutch player Jorryt Van Hoof, Norwegian player Felix Stephensen, and Jacobsen. For the first time in WSOP history, no American player made it into the final three of the no-limit Texas Hold’em event.

Despite dominating the game on Monday, Van Hoof came in third place, earning $3.8 million USD in winnings. The five hours came to an end when Jacobson, age 27, won the game with three ten’s against Stephensen’s pair of nine’s. Stephenson, for coming in second place, took home $5.1 million USD. All three live in London.

Unlike many of his competitors, Jacobson didn’t wear a hoodie, a baseball cap, or sunglasses to ward off his “tells.” All he wore was his pair of black-rimmed glasses.

After the confetti blasts sounded and his loved ones ran to him to celebrate, Jacobson reveled in his win.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect tournament,’ but this was close to perfect,” said Jacobson.

According to the Associated Press, Jacobson got started with poker playing while training to be a chef. Friends were never awake after late-night shifts, so Jacobson got involved in online poker. Six years ago, at age 21, Jacobson journeyed to Las Vegas to enter the event but lost within a couple rounds. Tuesday’s success denotes a remarkable comeback.

Last July, over 6,700 players entered the WSOP, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment Corps, with each paying $10,000 to compete. Seven days of elimination rounds whittled the competition down to Monday’s nine.