Jacobson Wins $10 Million Title in World Series of Poker

Martin Jacobson of Sweden won the World Series of Poker’s main event, rising from the shortest chip stack at the final table to claim the $10 million first prize.

Jacobson won his first major live poker tournament in the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

For the second time in the tournament’s 45-year history pocket 10s were the winning hole cards, as Jacobson used them to best Norwegian Felix Stephensen’s ace-9 of hearts. With the flop came 3 of spades, 9 of clubs and 10 of clubs, giving Jacobson a set of 10s and Stephensen a pair of 9s. The final two cards were a king of diamonds and 4 of clubs, making Jacobson the event’s first Swedish champion.

“It’s surreal,” Jacobson, 27, said after the win, according to the WSOP. “I have been so focused the past couple days. I felt comfortable and surprisingly calm. It just felt like it was meant to be.”

He entered the nine-man final table with 14.9 million chips, the eighth-largest stack, and fell to ninth with fewer than 11 million before making his comeback.

The tournament, known as the main event, began in July with 6,683 entrants and played down to the final nine on July 16. Action then paused for 118 days before restarting Nov. 10.

After a 12-hour session, three Europeans, all poker professionals, returned yesterday to crown a champion. Jorryt van Hoof of the Netherlands entered the final session with a chip lead of 89.6 million, followed Jacobson with 64.8 million and Stephensen with 46.1 million. Jacobson had a lead of 142 million to Stephensen’s 58.5 million at the start of head-to-head play.

81 Hours

The entire tournament took more than 81 hours to complete, including the 45 minutes Jacobson needed to oust Stephensen and win his first champion’s gold bracelet.

“This is what I played for,” Jacobson said of his new $500,000 bracelet. “This is all that mattered to me.”

Stephensen, 24, won $5.1 million for his second-place finish, while Van Hoof, 31, earned $3.8 million.

Jacobson, who was born in Stockholm and lives in London, entered the tournament as the most accomplished World Series player among the final three competitors, having been to four previous final tables and earning more than $1.2 million.

(A previous version of this story corrected Jacobson’s chip-stack size rank when beginning final-table play.)

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