Martin Jacobson, who tops Sweden’s all-time poker money list with more than $16.5 million in tournament earnings, is currently the only 888poker Ambassador who has won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

In 2014, Jacobson navigated a field of 6,683 players to make that year’s November Nine, albeit as the short stack. He worked his magic, spun it up, and went on to win poker’s most prestigious title for a cool $10 million.

Jacobson, who was born June 30, 1987, is a No Limit Hold’em expert, who has developed a reputation for discipline both on and off the felt. Jacobson, named 2015 Player of the Year by the Swedish online site, previously studied to be a chef, and he still harbours a passion for food and healthy living.

At the 2018 WSOP, Jacobson worked on striking a balance between poker and health, which seemed to pay off. Leading up to the Main Event he notched six cashes including $155,062 for finishing fifth in Event #24: $2,620 Marathon and 426h in Event #21: $1,500 Millionaire Maker for $4,038.

“I busted the $5K close to the money right before and registered Day 1A of the Millionaire Maker,” Jacobson said of the latter tournament. “I did it with 30 minutes left in registration. I managed to run it up to 70,000, so that went well.”

Hitting the Gym

Team888's Martin Jacobson Hits the Gym

Unfortunately for the Swede, his “Milly Maker” run came to an end early, but that just freed up time for him to accomplish some things off the felt.

“I think I’m going to go to the gym here,” Jacobson revealed. “That was my plan for the dinner break. Now I busted right before, so I’m still going to do that. After that, I’ll play the Marathon.”

He continued: “I work out and eat right when I’m home, even if I’m not playing, but it definitely helps with your motivation to play and take things seriously. Usually, I just go to the gym wherever I stay. Right now, I’m staying at Panorama Towers. Normally I stay at Vdara and exercise there, but I also like to go to the gym here at the Rio during the dinner breaks.”

That’s right, while most players are hitting the restaurants and chowing down, Jacobson heads to the gym for a workout. Pretty impressive considering most people struggle to find the motivation to go to the gym at all, let alone during a dinner break in a poker tournament. As for food, Jacobson cooks when he can, but otherwise relies on a popular food option at the WSOP.

“Sometimes I’ll cook, usually on days off. Maybe, if I have a late start I’ll do breakfast at home,” he shared. “Otherwise it’s quite time-consuming. It’s a lot easier to order All-American Dave at the table.”

Jacobson’s Daily Routine

“Preferably, I like to wake up a few hours early before I play, but that’s not always possible,” Jacobson said of his routine. “If I had a late night the night before, then it could affect that. If you go deep in a tournament, it could turn into a 12-hour day. I like to sleep as long as possible but have to wake up at least an hour before the event. I usually don’t have breakfast, I just make coffee and head to the tournament. Meditate before. Then I work out during the break.”

Meditating is a big part of Jacobson’s success, and like many other pros, he takes advantage of technology to help him.

“Using an app is the only way I do it,” he said. “I’m not disciplined enough to do it on my own. Right now, I’m using either HeadSpace, or I’ve been working with a performance coach lately. He actually created a personalised meditation for me, which is 14 minutes and 26 seconds long. It’s supposed to be equal to one per cent of the day, so if you do that you’re only sacrificing one per cent of a day to feel a lot better.”

Like fellow 888poker Ambassador Jacobson doesn’t have a driver’s license. Instead, he relies on rideshare.

“I don’t have a driver license, actually. I’ve never really needed one because when I grew up in Stockholm, the public transport is so good. I moved to London and over there it’s even better, plus it’s almost impossible to have a car there.”

At the end of each night, Jacobson heads back to his temporary Vegas home to unwind.

“It usually takes a good few hours to let your brain relax,” he said. “I like to eat something like a light meal, and maybe a have some tea. Sometimes I take an Epsom salt bath. I’ll also do some stretching, use a foam roller, stuff like that. Sometimes I’ll watch an episode of something on Netflix, nothing too hectic.”

What the Future Holds

2014 WSOP ME Champ Martin Jacobson Hiking

During the summer, Jacobson didn’t limit himself to playing just WSOP events. Instead, he took advantage of other lucrative events about town.

“I’ll play mostly here because I like the prestige of the WSOP, but the Venetian has some decent tournaments this year too, so I’ll definitely play there,” he said. “Maybe some at ARIA or Bellagio later on. The Wynn too; they have a very nice poker room there. I’d say that’s the nicest poker room right now.”

While Vegas offers many different types of tournaments, Jacobson is content to stick with what he knows.

“I only play tournaments and only no-limit events,” he continued. “I’ve been tempted to play mixed for sure, it seems like fun. At the same time, there are so many no-limit tournaments I don’t even know when I’d have any time to play other games. You almost have to cut out no-limit stuff if you want to play mixed games too. Otherwise, you just don’t have any days off.”

After the WSOP, Jacobson plans to play in Barcelona before heading home to London. From there, he will attend his sister’s graduation and then take a short mini-vacation to Greece.

To keep on top of all Jacobson’s adventures follow him on Twitter @Martin_Jacobson.

About the Author
Chad Holloway is a 2013 WSOP Bracelet winner who has previously worked for PokerNews as a managing editor and live reporter