As close to perfection as we’re likely to see
I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen every WSOP Main Event final table of the November Nine era from up close, inside the Penn & Teller Theatre. I have some pretty distinct memories from each of those years, one or two moments from each final table that stood out to me.
Joseph Cheong’s six-bet shove against Jonathan Duhamel while John Racener, who seemed destined for a third-place finish, looked on in amazement.
Craig Marquis busting out in ninth as Kelly Kim sat a few feet from him with just a few big blinds in front of him.
The juxtaposition of Darvin Moon and Joe Cada, heads-up for the title, each representing a very different demographic at what turned out to be an important time for online poker in the United States.
Phil Ivey busting out — then busting ass to get out of the Rio without taking some time for a few questions from media — the only player in seven years to do that.
And finally, Greg Merson showing real emotion after being presented with his bracelet live on ESPN.
But what I’ll remember most about 2014 wasn’t really just one moment — it was 950 of them, consecutively. That’s how many minutes the final table took, and for each and every one of them, Martin Jacobson played as close to perfectly as I’ve ever seen.
Jacobson humbly admitted in interviews following his win that he didn’t think perfect was possible, but to come all the way from eighth place when the final table started to WSOP Main Event Champion when it was all done requires something close to it.
Jacobson left the Rio that night with $10 million and the most important title in poker — World Champion. Those watching at home — or those lucky enough to be in attendance for it all — were left with an impression of what perfect looks like.
Editor in Chief