The Third Rail: Martini Not Shaken; Certainly Stirred; Takes Down Event #5: $10,000 Big Bet Mix

James Bond will tell you there is only one way to enjoy a Martini.

“Shaken, not stirred.”

A stark contrast to poker’s Martini {Julien}, because when you see him play, you get the impression that nothing can shake him.

In the summer of 2018, Martini was down to less than a big blind during his involvement in a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8-or-Better event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Unshaken, Martini doubled and doubled until he had enough chips for hope to stir. The Frenchman went on to win the 911-entrant event for $239,771, and yesterday, Deja Vu. 

Martini is one of the most improved players on the live tournament circuit, in recent years. That or he’s one of the luckiest.

Check this out for progress.

2017: $76,984
2018: $905,502
2019: $3,496,705

“I came to the Poker Masters because even though I’m having an incredible year I didn’t have a single win and I really wanted one,” Martini told reporters after tying up loose ends in Event #5: $10,000 Big Bet Mix. 

It’s the third win of his career, and all three have been different variants, showing his ability to understand all poker’s protocols. His two previous wins came in 2018, winning a 30-entrant $5,200 No-Limit Hold’em during the WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championships, and the aforementioned bracelet win. 

Martini had a decent showing at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) finishing fifth in the €25,500 Mixed Games Championship, and seventh in the €10,300 WSOPE Main Event. The bulk of his earnings came in January, finishing runner-up to Ramón Colillas in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) for $2,974,000.

The Final Table

The final table attracted a host of assassins looking to give someone a good pistol-whipping. 

Kahle Burns is having the best tournament year of his life. The Australian won two bracelets in the WSOPE (€2,500 Short Deck, and €25,500 No-Limit Hold’em), made two final tables in Triton Million London (£25,500 & £50,000 No-Limit Hold’em), finished runner-up to Anuj Agarwal in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Max Championships at the WSOP, and won an Aussie Millions side event.

Van Hoof was making his fourth final table since August, including a fourth-place finish in Event #3: $10,000 Short-Deck, an event that Erik Seidel also finished ITM. 

Sam Soverel is the 2018 Poker Central Player of the Year, and the odds-on favourite to win it in 2019, Yuri Martins won his first bracelet in the summer, and Stephen Chidwick is the Global Poker Index (GPI) World #1.

The Nutshell Action

The ‘official’ final table began after Erik Seidel and Yuri Martins Dzivielevski departed in 8th and 7th respectively. Chidwick held 65% of the chips in play, but started disastrously, losing double-ups quicker than the flap of a hummingbird’s wing.

Burns eliminated Pedro Bromfman in the sixth position during a hand of No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw. Then Soverel sent Chidwick to the library to find a book on how to deal with crushing disappointment after his AQ beat J9s when all-in pre-flop in a hand of No-Limit Hold’em. 

Soverel took command of the final table after eliminating the World #1, but it wasn’t long before he had Chidwick’s IV drip hanging out of his vein. 2-7 Single Draw was the game, and Soverel failed to hit when drawing to an 8-6 low, against the J-8 low of Burns.

Burns voluminous chip stack continued to grow as we entered three-handed play, leaving Martini and Van Hoof to fight it out for the right to face the Australian, heads-up, for the title. 

Then came the critical hand. 

Van Hoof moved all-in with a 10-7 draw, Martini moved all-in with J-8, and Burns called with J-8. Burns stood pat. Van Hoof drew two cards to draw to a 7-5-4. Martini drew one card to an 8-7 and got there to knock Van Hoof out and double through Burns.

Heads-up action lasted an hour before Martini was able to tell the valet to get his Aston Martin out of the garage. The final hand saw the pair clash with Martini holding A8, and Burns K3, in a hand of No-Limit Hold’em. Burns check-called a small bet on a T54 flop before the action checked through to the river after a jack and deuce turned up. Burns moved all-in for 3m (double the pot), and Martini called with ace-high for the win.

ITM Results

  1. Julien Martini – $166,400
  2. Kahle Burns – $109,200
  3. Jorryt van Hoof – $72,800
  4. Sam Soverel – $52,000
  5. Stephen Chidwick – $41,600
  6. Pedro Bromfman – $31,200
  7. Yuri Martins Dzivielevski – $26,000
  8. Erik Seidel – $20,800

2019 Poker Masters Championship Standings

  1. Chance Kornuth – 420 points
  2. Isaac Baron – 300
  3. Ryan Laplante – 300
  4. JulienMartini – 300
  5. Jared Bleznick – 300