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The World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2018 crowned its fourth gold bracelet winner on Monday, with Julien Martini (cover image) winning the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better event. What was earlier planned as a three-day event saw an extra fourth day added to the schedule, with 911 players registering for the event.
This is the first WSOP bracelet win for the Frenchman who has also bagged the eighteenth WSOP bracelet for his home country. Martini was also the only non-American to reach the final sixteen players, and the extra day saw the final four players including Kate Hoang, Mack Lee and William Kopp battling it out for the bracelet.
Both Martini and Hoang had been riding strong through the past three days of the event and had a nearly equal stack so it was no surprise when the heads-up for the title saw both battling furiously for nearly four hours. The title eventually went to Martini who pocketed $239,771 and the gold bracelet while Hoang had to concede to a runners-up finish and banked $148,150.
“It was a dream when I was 14 years old. What kind of guy can win a $1,500 tournament or a $10,000? I was dreaming about this for seven years, and it is one of the best things in my life. I am very proud and super happy”, Martini said.
On his heads-up with Hoang, he admitted that keeping at it patiently through every hand won him the event. “I played with her a lot on Day 2 and Day 3. She is playing great, actually. She is very unconventional, I am not used to play this kind of player. She is very tough and very hard to play, and a great opponent.
Just being patient and taking my time on every decision, and otherwise tried to take my time on every decision. I was very short once, but always believed in it”, he added. Martini now plans to play in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better that has already begun.
Meanwhile, Hoang who’s a dental office manager by profession seems to prefer the Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or Better event and has six previous WSOP cashes building up to a total of $252,466.
Midway through the Day 2 the money bubble burst and among those who managed to make it in the money included Peter Eichhardt (39th for $4,723), Shaun Deeb (44th for $4,723), Perry Friedman (54th for $4,046), Benny Glaser (63rd for $3,526), John Monnette (67th for $3,127), John Racener (86th for $2,595), Robert Mizrachi (90th for $2,595), Ryan Laplante (133rd for $2,252), and Chris Tryba (123rd for $2,317).
Thirty-six players survived to enter the Day 3 play, but many players of repute couldn’t make it to the final table, including Jeff Shulman (12th for $13,091) as well as former WSOP bracelet winners, Chris Bjorin (17th for $8,296), Mike Wattel (21st for $6,764), Jason Lester (28th for $5,605) and Mike Leah ($30th for $5,605).
Final Table Recap
The final table was to originally feature ten remaining players on Day 3 but the play didn’t bring out a winner and an extra day was added, with the final four resuming the final table battle on Day 4.
The initial eliminations in the last hours of play on Day 3 were quick, and Hoang came out as the dominant player in the ten-player field. The first player to bust out was Errol Massey who left in tenth place. Thereafter Hoang rapidly eliminated Tamer Illcaffas in ninth place and Denny Axel in eighth place.
After some back and forth between Rafael Concepcion and Chad Eveslage, Concepcion lost one big pot. In the next hand, Brandon Ageloff raised and Concepcion moved all in for 90,000 from small blind with . The board opened and Ageloff’s lost to Concepcion’s flush.
In the very next hand, Martini raised, Concepcion moved all-in on the button, Ageloff called in the big blind. Martini and Ageloff checked down to the board . Concepcion showed , Martini won the pot with and Ageloff survived, with while Concepcion was railed in seventh place.
Hoang sent Chad Eveslage packing in the next hand. Eveslage raised and Hoang three-bet from one seat over. Eveslage called, and the flop came on which Eveslage check-raised. Hoang called and Eveslage who had only 40,000 left went allin on the turn . Hoang called and Eveslage’s @2c couldn’t survive against Hoang’s and he busted out in sixth place.
By now, Brandon Ageloff who had folded his big blind the previous hand was left with one big blind. In the small blind he shoved with on which Hoang called with . The dealer opened bringing an ace for Hoang on the turn and Ageloff was out in fifth place.
Day 4 began with Martini and Hoang entering play as the biggest stacks while William Kopp and Mark Lee struggled. Two big hands later, Lee doubled twice and then tripled in the third hand before losing half the stack he had.
Next, Hoang raised from the small blind and Kopp three-bet from big blind on which Hoang called. On the flop, Hoang with check-raised Kopp’s bet and Kopp, with shoved all in for 140,000. The turn and decimated Kopp’s chances and he bounced off in fourth place.
In the three-handed play, Martini kept to his aggressive play and when Lee bet on the flop, Martini 3-bet and Lee jammed for 230,000. With Lee’s and Martini’s up against each other, the turn brought a full house for Martini and river sent Lee packing in third place.
Heads-up, the pots kept going back and forth between Hoang and Martini with Martini first winning two big pots and then Hoang claiming four pots in a row. By the time level 34 ended, both the finalists were nearly evenly matched. However, following this Hoang went on a downward drive.
In the very first hand of Level 35 Hoang bet and Martini called. Both checked on the flop and on the turn turn as well to see the river card . This time, Martini three-bet and Hoang called. Martini showed for full house and, Hoang with lost the pot, also losing a quarter of her stack. The next pot also went to Martini
Hoang whose stack was by now all but depleted went all in for the third consecutive time, the last being for 300,000 on the button and she got called by Martini. With her and Martini’s , the flop came giving Martini a pair of tens. The turn improved Hoang’s hand but the river brought swinging the victory clearly to Martini who won the bracelet and $239,771 for his first-place finish.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Julien Martini – $239,771
2. Kate Hoang – $148,150
3. Mark Lee – $104,016
4. William Kopp – $74,058
5. Brandon Ageloff – $53,482
6. Chad Eveslage – $39,182
7. Rafael Concepcion – $29,128
8. Denny Axel – $21,977
9. Tamer Illcaffas – $16,832
10. Errol Massey – $13,091
Content and image courtesy: WSOP.com.
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