ESPN hasn’t ‘really’ covered poker since Poker’s Black Friday online shutdown in 2011. The sport was hurt and numbers began to dwindle, in players and ratings. ESPN would show it from time to time, but without much fanfare.
The 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table was covered ‘live’ on ESPN (with a 30 minute delay). The drama was intense. Sweden’s Martin Jacobson, 27, won his first WSOP bracelet and took home $10 million dollars.
Jacobson defeated Felix Stephensen with pocket tens. He was quick to call Stephensen after going all-in. He ended up winning with three tens.
Jacobson had the chip lead for the last few hours, but only had seven big blinds left early on in the final table. It’s not exactly ‘a chip and a chair’, but it’s pretty darn close.
Texas Hold’em poker is becoming a game mastered by those outside the United States. The last two Main Event winners were American, there’s no doubt the U.S. online poker ban hurt American depth in the sport.
Poker is huge in Scandinavian countries, but Jacobson is the first Swede to ever win the Main Event.
We wish Jacobson best of luck and we hope to see him more on television. He played near-perfect poker at the final table. He does yoga and eats clean. I bet more poker players will adopt that lifestyle before the 2015 World Series of Poker.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.