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Brandon Cantu (pictured) reportedly nearly came to blows with another player at his table during a heated incident in Event #41 at the World Series of Poker late last week. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- The argument went down during a hand of 2-7 Triple Draw in the $1,500 Dealer's Choice Six-Max event. According to witnesses, a miscommunication took place when Cantu checked his hand to high-stakes pro Matt Szymaszek. Believing his opponent had checked behind, Cantu began to flip his cards over when suddenly Szymaszek shouted that he hadn't, in fact, checked. "I had a 9-8 something, so obviously I don't want to face a bet," Cantu told PokerNews. "I mean, he probably didn't mean to check, but he did. It's happened to me; it's happened to everybody." Then, according to Cantu's version of events, Jesse Martin, a friend of Szymaszek's, started yelling at Cantu, calling him an "angle shooter" and saying that "no one liked him." "If you call someone an angle shooter, especially a poker player, most people are going to get cracked right in the face," he added. That's when those near the table saw Cantu rush at Martin, with some saying that the pro actually landed a blow or slap to Martin's face. Security quickly rushed in and broke up the melee, penalizing Cantu for one round with the stipulation that he apologize to Martin. "If I apologize to him, I'm not really sorry. I'll have to say it to stay in the tournament," he said. "He's truly just a piece of shit, he really is," continued Cantu. "He's such a scumbag." But Martin's recollection of the event put Cantu as the one who started screaming and hurling insults at Szymaszek. Martin(pictured with Sarah Grant of PokerNews) described his friend as an honest and mild-mannered high-stakes cash regular who is not as comfortable playing tournaments as someone like Cantu, a two-time bracelet winner. When Cantu began screaming at Szymaszek, calling him an angle shooter and a liar, Martin came to his defense, shooting back the same insults. "He has a terrible reputation in poker," Martin told PokerNews in his own interview. After referencing Cantu's own interview where he admitted to shooting an angle five years ago, Martin brought up the pro's past affiliation with Ultimate Bet. "He backed Ultimate Bet for many years, and while not all who did are bad, it's still a huge stain against your record," he said. He also claimed that Cantu owes a lot of money to people in the poker community. "All I was doing was defending a very good friend of mine because he needed defense, everyone was crowding around him, and I know he's right," he continued. Martin then implied that Cantu was the one who was trying to angle shoot with a mediocre hand by taking advantage of their dealer's inexperience dealing Draw Games. "She's a very good Texas Hold'em dealer, but unfortunately doesn't understand well the mechanics of the Draw Games. It was clearly her mistake," he said. Martin was resolute in his belief that his friend would never have made the mistake of accidentally checking in that situation due to the fact that he has so much experience playing Draw cash games. You might recall that Cantu has already reportedly been in a scuffle during the 2014 WSOP, exchanging words with Jeff Lisandro (pictured), allegedly over an unpaid debt. In a TwoPlusTwo thread, poker players were largely on Martin's side. "Poker world needs more Jesse Martins and fewer Cantus for sure," said "Scary_Tiger". "Cantu has been involved in numerous incidents at WSOP over the years and is always the instigator," posted "abracadabrab". Martin confirmed that Cantu ended up apologizing, but it was clear he didn't mean it. "That's fine. I can exist in the Rio without talking to him again, not that we ever really talked before." Check back to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
[caption width="640"] Daniel Strelitz beat out a stacked final table to win the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic (WPT photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Former World Poker Tour One to Watch Daniel Strelitz lived up to the billing Thursday night in Los Angeles. The 27-year-old overcame a final table that included a poker living legend and two other WSOP bracelet winners to take down theWorld Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic and walk away with just over $1,000,000 in prize money. It took just seven hands to go from six players to five. The action opened with Strelitz raising to 85,000 from the button. Action folded to Richard Tuhrim in the big blind and he moved all in for 545,000. Strelitz called and showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"] but was behind Tuhrim's [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="7d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3d"] flop didn't change anything and neither did the [poker card="9h"] turn but the [poker card="kh"] river gave Strelitz top pair and sent chess prodigy Tuhrim to the rail in sixth. The next elimination came in a blind vs blind battle almost 60 hands later. Action folded to Jesse Martin in the small blind and he moved all in for 745,000 and Jared Griener called from the big blind. Martin showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="6c"] and Griener tabled [poker card="8h"][poker card="8s"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"][poker card="4d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ah"] to eliminate Martin. Coming in to the final table all eyes were on WPT commentator Mike Sexton. Just a few short months after winning his first WPT title in Montreal, Sexton was at the LAPC final table seeking a second victory but it was snuffed out by Strelitz. Sexton moved all in from the button for 670,000 and action folded to Strelitz in the big blind. He called and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"] while Sexton showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] flop was bad news for Sexton though and neither the [poker card="9c"] turn or [poker card="as"] river were any help and Sexton was out in fourth. Three-handed play lasted 65 hands. Strelitz opened to 225,000, Simeon Naydenov called from the small blind but Jared Griener moved all in from the big blind for 1,755,000. Strelitz got out of the way before Naydenov called and showed [poker card="8s"][poker card="8h"]. Griener had [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and needed help. The [poker card="as"][[poker card="9c"][poker card="8d"] flop paired Griener's ace but gave Naydenov a set of eights. The [poker card="js"] turn gave Griener extra outs to a straight but the river was the [poker card="qc"] and he was out in third place. When heads-up play began Naydenov had 8,475,000 in chips to Strelitz's 7,150,000 but a key full house over flush hand early on changed the dynamic and paved the way for Strelitz's win. On the 38th hand of heads-up action, Strelitz raised to 260,000 and Naydenov called. After the [poker card="qs"][poker card="7c"][poker card="6s"] flop, Naydenov check-raised to 975,000. The [poker card="8h"] turn got Naydenov to check, Strelitz bet 1,350,000 and Naydenov raised all-in to 3,860,000. Strelitz called and showed [poker card="5h"][poker card="4s"] tor a turned straight while Naydenov had [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"] for top pair. The [poker card="4d"] river changed nothing and Strelitz picked up his third elimination of the final table to win the first major title of his career. Final Table Payouts Daniel Streliz - $1,001,110 Simeon Naydenov - $672,190 Jared Griener - $431,340 Mike Sexton - $300,690 Jesse Martin - $230,380 Richard Tuhrim - $191,490
[caption width="640"] Doug Polk earned his third career bracelet after taking down the 1,111 One Drop High Roller Monday (WSOP photo)[/caption] Doug Polk and Jesse Martin both took home World Series of Poker bracelets on Monday with Polk winning the $111,111 One Drop High Roller and Martin showing off his Triple Draw skills. Monday also saw another busy day in Colossus III and a completely unknown storming to the top of the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event after Day 1. Colossus III Inches Closer to a Champion Just 41 players remain out of the 18,054 that entered Colossus III, with Raul Martinez Requena enjoying the view from the top of the chip counts after Day 2. Requena put 5,270,000 in the bag, which put him barely ahead of Erkut Yilmaz, who wound up with 5,150,000. They were the only two players to bag more than 5,000,000 at the end of the day. Other notables still in the field include Matt Affleck, WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown winner Tony Sinishtaj, Luke Vrabel, Ralph Massey and Alex Masek. Day 3 begins at 2 pm PT Tuesday. Top 10 Chip Counts Raul Martinez Requena - 5,270,000 Erkut Yilmaz - 5,150,000 Pojana Jenne - 4,700,000 Christopher Mitts - 4,680,000 Taylor Black - 4,275,000 Thomas Pomponio - 4,265,000 Hugo Perez - 3,935,000 Ardavan Yazdi - 3,735,000 Gavin O'Rourke - 3,000,040 Matt Affleck - 2,890,000 Doug Polk Outduels Bertrand Grospellier for One Drop High Roller Bertrand Grospellier entered the final table of the $111,111 One Drop High Roller with the chip lead and his eyes clearly set on the $3,686,865 first place prize money. Doug Polk had other ideas. Starting the day with just the sixth biggest stack, Polk worked his way through a final table that included Andrew Robl, Rainer Kempe, Martin Jacobson, Dario Sammartino and Grospellier to win the third bracelet of his career. Last summer Polk and Upswing Poker business partner Ryan Fee teamed up to win the $1,000 Tag Team NLHE event. In 2014, Polk won the $1,000 Turbo NLHE event. This one was a little bit different though. "In those events, the money was really not a very big deal," said Polk. "Whereas this is huge for me. This is a lot of money. Just the fact that it's... I'm sorry, I'm struggling for words right now. It's surreal. To win that much more money against tough people in a real, world-class event. It's way different." At one point during play, Polk and others at the table stopped play over concerns the cards they were playing with were marked. Defending champs Doug Polk and Ryan Fee still managed to find some time to play the event even though Polk was busy winning a bracelet on his own. While they were unable to defend their title on Monday, they did put up a min-cash in the event. From the "You've Got to Be F****** Kidding Me" department, Andy Bloch teamed with Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer on one team. The trio finished the day with 23,000 chips. Top 10 Chip Counts John Hulett - Deepinder Singh - 146,000 Brian Yoon - Michael Gagliano - 130,400 Kiryl Radzivonau - Mikhail Semin - 116,600 Ben Yu - Jacob Wilson - 115,600 Allyn Shulman - Jessica Horan - Barry Shulman - 109,000 Team Dees - 102,000 Team Green - 90,000 Team Mariz - 80,000 Timothy Rhoda - Errol Massey - 79,900 Brian Pinkus - Michael Pinkus - 71,600 Troy Evans On Top of Dealers Choice Event Giving players their choice of 19 different games to play means only the best all-around players should rise to the top as the $1,500 Dealers Choice event advances. It seems Troy Evans either didn't know this or is the best-kept secret in poker. Evans, who apparently has no previous tournament results at all, bagged up the biggest stack at the end of Day 1, finishing with 76,200. There are fewer surprises in the other 90 players who survived from an original 364. Justin Bonomo is second in chips, defending champ Lawrence Berg is fourth, Marco Johnson is fifth. Others still in contention include Chip Jett, Jeff Madsen, Mark Gregorich, Jon Turner, David Benyamine, Robert Mizrachi, Brandon Cantu, John Racener and Justin Young. The 91 players get back at it 2 pm PT on Tuesday Top 10 Chip Counts Troy Evans - 76,200 Justin Bonomo - 70,900 Raol Encinas - 68,000 Lawrence Berg - 63,300 Marco Johnson - 61,300 Chip Jett - 59,500 Kyle Bowker - 55,400 Jeff Madsen - 49,600 Alan Richardson - 49,500 Mark Gregorich - 49,000
Jesse Martin is considered to be one of the best all-around poker players in the world, with tournament results from a variety of formats to the tune of more than $3.2 million, two World Series of Poker gold bracelets, and respected high-stakes cash game prowess. His latest score, worth $2 million, was the largest of his gambling career but it didn't come from poker. On Sunday, Martin, playing as '180DegreesMiami,' won the DraftKings $10 million Fantasy Football World Championship for $2 million, and it might just be the major non-poker win that puts him in the conversation as one of the best all-around gamblers in the world, no matter where he's placing his bets. "I've had some poker wins where I didn't totally understand the concept of having it not sink in," Martin said. "I feel like the poker stuff kind of sunk in right away. This one, I don't know if it was because it was online, or just more money than ever, but It took some time to sink in. Both the money and also just the fact that it's the World Championship of DFS. Not that it's like super mainstream or anything, but it was just kind of weird to think about just playing fantasy football since I was seven years old or whatever. All of a sudden I won. It was pretty exciting. The whole thing is pretty wild. I’m feeling pretty good about it." Martin was one of 180 qualifiers for the FFWC and turned his $55,555 entry into the biggest win of his career. His winning DraftKings roster was led by star running backs Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, but it was the low-owned stack of Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill coupled with the bargain performances of Greg Ward and Boston Scott that truly helped deliver Martin the victory. [caption id="attachment_627999" align="aligncenter" width="827"] Jesse Martin's DraftKings World Championship winning lineup[/caption] In 2013, Martin won his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. He won the $10,000 buy-in WSOP No Limit 2-7 Single Draw event for $253,524. Four years later, at the 2017 WSOP, Martin earned his second gold bracelet and about half the prize money when he won the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw tournament for $130,948. "I would say my first World Series of Poker bracelet, nothing's really ever going to top that as far as an event, as far as getting over the hump," Martin, a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, said. "That, if you go back and look on YouTube, I'm crying during the video. It was a lot of money, it was $250,000, but that felt like the culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of years of poker, kind of just being the grinder and you know, some good finishes, but I never really broke through for that one major title." [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Martin also has a pair of runner-up finishes and a pair of third-place finishes from WSOP events. One of the third-place results is Martin’s biggest poker cash to date, when he won $594,570 in the 2014 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship. Another notable result on Martin’s poker résumé is a fifth-place finish from the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic in 2017, when he cashed for $230,380. As talked about in his post-win interview with RotoGrinders, Martin had a decision to make as to whether or not he’d keep with Mahomes and Hill or pivot to Jameis Winston and Chris Godwin. Had he made the switch, Martin would’ve actually scored more points, although it ultimately didn’t matter. Martin did make the switch for the DraftKings $1,500 buy-in NFL $250K Game Changer and won that tournament for another $50,000 on Sunday. Although Martin can be categorized as a true grinder, both in poker and elsewhere, the massive $2 million win from the FFWC might be just the score he needs to order to pull back and take it a bit easier. "There's poker stuff that I want to work on, but I've always felt like it's hard for me to work too hard on it because playing is more profitable in the short term," Martin said. "Maybe I'll set a little time aside to play poker or study poker. I honestly think it'll probably be a bit of a transition in my poker career where I’ll 100% keep playing, but maybe will be a little more part time than I used to be, maybe not go out to the World Series for seven weeks. Instead, take three separate one-week trips or something like that, and maybe not play poker." It’s hard to blame Martin for wanting to kick back a little bit after hitting such a big score, but we shouldn’t expect him to give up poker altogether. He might dive into DFS more, he might not, but at the heart of it he’s always going to be a poker player, he said. "I was really playing poker four, five times a week up until a couple weeks ago," Martin said. "Maybe I turn that into one or two times a week, hopefully, or maybe start studying the solvers and become a great no-limit player and then maybe start doing that a little bit more. I don't really know, but it came at a really good time for stuff like that, because I was ready for a little bit of a transition. I'm always going to be a poker player, I love poker, but I was grinding really hard." For more on Martin's win and he process from start to finish that led him to FFWC triumph, check out his feature interview on RotoGrinders.