Jesse Martin had already come really close to his first career World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet this summer, finishing tenth in two tournaments. He finally made it nine spots farther Tuesday, as he won the 2013 WSOP Event #43: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball, garnering over a quarter million dollars in the process.
The $10,000 Lowball event was small – just 87 players entered – but the thing about expensive, “specialty” games is that they generally have fields dense with strong players. This one was no exception. If you threw a poker chip into the player pool, you’d likely hit a past bracelet winner or at least someone who is very well known for their poker skills. Barry Greenstein, Huck Seed, Andy Bloch, Phil Galfond, Jeff Lisandro, Billy Baxter, Phil Ivey, Mike Wattel, John Monnette, Brian Hastings, Mike Matusow, Phil Laak, Tom Schneider, Layne Flack…the list goes on.
Jesse Martin would fall into that “well known for their poker skills” category. He had 30 previous WSOP cashes, several of which were in non-hold’em events. While it wasn’t a big cash, just last year he finished 15th in the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Event. His best run in a WSOP tourney (besides some cashes in the Main Event) was a fourth place finish in the 2012 $5,000 Limit Hold’em Event, where he won $68,322.
Going into yesterday’s final table, Martin was second in chips with 536,500, trailing Layne Flack, who had 574,000. Flack was one of five players of the seven-handed final table to own a WSOP bracelet. The others were Jeff Lisandro, David “Bakes” Baker, John Hennigan, and Konstantin Puchkov, who also holds the record for the most cashes in a single WSOP (11 times, last year). In the meantime, the other non-bracelet winner, Jon “PearlJammed” Turner, was an online poker star with multiple WSOP final tables on his resume.
Flack took control early, increasing his stack to 800,000 by the time the game was six-handed. Martin, on the other hand, ran into trouble, falling to almost 200,000 within 90 hands. He made a comeback, though, doubling-up then getting very aggressive to quickly accumulate chips. By Hand 120, he had over a million chips, while Flack was down to 302,000 and soon out in sixth place. Martin was the one who nailed him, after which he had 1.33 million chips, more than the other four players combined.
By the time heads-up play rolled around, Martin was dominating, holding 2.157 million chips to David “Bakes” Baker’s 453,000. Baker won the first four heads-up hands, but by hand nine, it was all over. All-in pre-flop with 9-6-5-2, he drew one card, as did Martin, who had 8-7-3-2. Baker drew a King and Martin drew a Ten, giving Martin the lowest hand and all the chips.
2013 World Series of Poker Event #43: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball – Final Table Results
1. Jesse Martin – $253,524
2. David “Bakes” Baker – $156,674
3. Konstantin Puchkov – $99,313
4. Jeff Lisandro – $67,264
5. Jon “PearlJammed” Turner – $47,792
6. Layne Flack – $35,549
7. John Hennigan – $27,644