Martin Jacobson: London Lockdown, Letting Loose And Grinding Online

2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Martin Jacobson.

With the postponement of the World Series of Poker, and live poker taking a back seat in general, we decided to check in on some of the 888poker ambassadors to see how they are coping with quarantine, how they are passing the time away from the live felt, and what they are most looking forward to when the coast is finally clear.

There’s no doubt about it, Martin Jacobson would love to be gearing up for another run at the World Series of Poker. After all, the 2014 WSOP Main Event champion’s final table performance is widely considered one of the best in recent history. In late 2017 Jacobson joined the 888poker roster of brand ambassadors and has spent the better part of the past three years representing the online poker room at events all over the world.

In addition to his dedication to the game, Jacobson is well-known for taking the same mental discipline he has for poker to his intense workout regimen. After making deep runs at the WPT Montreal and 888poker LIVE Barcelona last year, Jacobson has eclipsed over $17 million in total live earnings.

Other than poker, what activity have you missed the most since the lockdown began?

Socializing with friends and being surrounded by other people. They recently eased the restrictions here in the UK so you’re now allowed to stay outdoors and meet up with one other person outside of your household. Since then we’ve been going to the parks around London a lot more and it made me realize how much I have actually missed those simple experiences.

What’s the best TV show or movie you’ve discovered during lockdown?

Russian Doll on Netflix. It’s really weird but unexpectedly great. It feels more like an HBO production than Netflix. Ozark season 3 and the Last Dance with MJ I really enjoyed as well.

What is the biggest frustration you’ve had during lockdown?

Not being able to party. I live a very strict and dedicated lifestyle to poker, health, and fitness which are all things I love but every now and then I just need to let loose and have a good party together with my friends. That balance is extremely important to me and something that this lockdown has prevented me from having.

What’s the one thing about live poker that used to tilt you that all of a sudden you miss?

The smell of the Rio hallway. Haha, I don’t know to be honest. It’s definitely not seeing the majority of the field not washing their hands after they’ve taken care of their business in the bathroom!

What have you found to be a silver lining surrounding quarantine?

A few things. A better appreciation for things that I would normally be taking for granted, for example spending time with friends, family, or going out for dinner.

I have also realized how important it is to have human interactions and feeling connected to other people, even outside your immediate circle. This might be naive and only have a short term effect but I would like to think that we, as a society, will show more appreciation for one another once things do go back to normal.

How are you using this time to work on your poker game?

I’m mostly playing right now as there are a ton of online action, like the XL series on 888 poker. For studying I have mainly been watching replays of the major online final tables on YouTube together with instructional videos on Run-it-once, and going through my own hand histories with the help of solvers. 

What is something new that you have learned or are trying to learn during lockdown?

Spanish and guitar. I’ve dabbled with both in the past so I have some experience but definitely far from perfection. I especially struggle with the guitar, mainly because my fingers feel too big, and it can be super frustrating at times. 

What’s the first place you’re going to travel to once we’re able to?

Probably either Stockholm or Spain to see my family. I had loose plans to visit sometime in the spring but that was before this thing escalated to where it is now. I plan to travel less than I have in the past and make sure I prioritize seeing the people that matter the most.