Martin Jacobson (Poker Player) Biography, Early Life and Personal Life
Martin Jacobson Biography
For the average person, we’re probably more likely to recognize the likes of James Murray walking down the street than Martin Jacobson. But if you’re an avid poker fan, then you’ll know that this guy is a pretty big deal.
Martin Jacobson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on the 30th June 1987. His dream was to become a chef and so he took up his studies in a local culinary high school. He graduated with flying colors and then spent a year in the navy doing his military service.
Once he left the navy, Jacobson started to work in the local restaurant industry where he quickly established himself as a talented young chef with a lot of potentials. Although his long-term ambition was to work and open his own restaurant in Barcelona, poker nights with his friends would lead to an even more rewarding career.
Introduction to poker
Jacobson’s first taste of poker was playing home games with friends at the age of 18. He found that he had a knack for playing the right hand at the right time and so decided that he wanted to improve his skills against other players. He joined an online poker platform and started out playing low-stakes cash games.
These games allowed him to qualify for table tournaments and before he knew it, he was making a nice side income from his poker skills. He still had dreams to work in Barcelona and when a job offer fell through, he decided to change tack and focus on his poker skills.
A chance to fly to Vegas
Jacobson’s skill in online poker led to him winning a qualifying tournament with a top prize of $12,000 in cash or a trip to the 2008 World Series of Poker in Vegas. After much soul-searching and a little advice from his mother, he decided to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly to Vegas.
Unfortunately, he was eliminated on the third hand and was likely one of the first players to leave the tournament. However, he maintains that the experience was something he would never forget and one of the main reasons he stayed within the game.
A major windfall in Europe
Just a few weeks later, Martin qualified for another live event, this time in Budapest. Although his only real experience in live tournaments saw him eliminated on the third hand, he held his nerve to fare considerably better this time around. In fact, he placed third in the tournament and came home with an astonishing €280,000.
This win set him up financially for the foreseeable future allowing him to focus on his live game. He would continue to play on the live and online poker circuit for the next few years racking up impressive cash prizes along the way. During this period he became the only player to reach three European Tour main event final tables in one season. This saw him become the online qualifier of the year and finish as runner-up in the EPT player of the season.
From second to first
In December of 2017, Jacobson joined 888 as an ambassador. 888 is one of the biggest online poker and casino providers boasting a huge range of casino games and some of the best online slots. It was a huge move for Jacobson and was likely mostly down to his incredible performance in Vegas just three years prior.
Although he played some phenomenal poker on the European Tour, Jacobson gained something of a Phil Mickelson reputation for always underachieving. This all changed in 2013 when he won his first live event in London. The win gave him the confidence to take the next step and in 2014 he once again found himself at the World Series of Poker. However, this time around, he made the final table of the main event. For those that don’t follow poker, this was like making the Super Bowl.
All of his hard work on the European Tour paid off and Jacobson found himself victorious on the final day. He went home with a nice $10 million paycheck for his troubles.
Not only was he a world champion but by 2017, he was tied to the world’s biggest online poker provider. A move that the younger Jacobson would never have anticipated when he lost that third-hand way back in 2008.
Where is he now?
Jacobson moved to London in 2011 where he now lives permanently. He still practices his poker skills both online and in live tournaments. His total live earnings from poker tournaments stand at $17 million which places him a creditable 37th on the all-time money list.
Although he only has one bracelet for a world series, he is by no means a flash-in-the-pan player that disappeared after a big win. Still only 32, Jacobson has come into his own at a fairly young age for a poker player so we can expect to see a lot more from the Swede in the coming years.
Jacobson is known for being quite charitable and has worked with many foundations and charities over the years. He famously donated a percentage of his huge $10 million win to Raising for Effective Giving. He is still active with the charity and pledges to donate more of his winnings in the future.
Jacobson is an avid lover of outdoor activities and spends a great deal of time working out and maintaining his fitness. He is a keen martial artist and loves nothing more than to work out and push his body to its limits.
Plans for the future
Although he remains active in the poker scene, Jacobson hasn’t lost his love for food. He follows a holistic and healthy-eating lifestyle and spends a lot of his time studying nutrition. This has led to his dream of one day opening a chain of healthy fast food stores. It’s a big dream for a man who left the culinary world behind to focus on poker. But his fortunes on the table have allowed him to make the connections and secure the finances that could make his restaurant dreams come true.