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  1. [caption width="640"] Sweden's 'C Darwin2' has been #1 seven different times in his career.[/caption] Imagine being #1 in the world at…well, anything. It’s an impressive feat, particularly in highly competitive and financially lucrative fields. This has been a regular reality for Sweden’s 'C Darwin2' over the past few years. He’s been hanging around at the top of the online tournament poker world for some time, and after another incredible stretch of consistent results, finds himself ranked #1 on PocketFives yet again. “It is indeed very special to be number one at something,” he said. “The first time I reached it, it felt very amazing and I was very proud. It also keeps me motivated to put up more scores and show that I deserve to be there.” Those scores have amassed the Stockholm resident more than $7 million in tournament cashes in just six and a half years of recorded results. With SCOOP ($226K) and WCOOP ($89K) titles under his belt, that figure has been reached despite only four six-figure scores in his career. C Darwin2’s consistency is quite astonishing to an outsider, but to him not so much. “Obviously, I have spent tens of thousands of hours on this and learned some things along the way. In the beginning it was mainly about the money. Making lot of money playing a card game you enjoy is very appealing for an 18-year-old about to quit school," said 'C Darwin'. But once he was comfortable financially, it was good old fashioned competitiveness that kept him hungry. “I always want to compete, even in the most silly things,” he said. “I hate losing more than most people. In poker that has really helped me. “I have never accepted downswings as 'something that just happens' to everyone, even though it’s partly true. Instead, it has had me looking at my own game questioning what I am not doing well enough, and (then I) do something about it. I think it is extremely important to always be critical of your own game in order to improve.” While most of the players who now reside at the top started their poker journey’s with home games, 'C Darwin2' began his poker-playing on the virtual felt right from the get go. “At first I tried to grind up a bankroll via SNGs while also taking some shots in MTTs looking for a big score,” he said. “When I thought I had a big enough bankroll, I switched entirely to MTTs, because that was what I always wanted to do and found most exciting.” You’d never guess it from his consistent results, but it turns out a lack of motivation was his biggest bump in the road on the way to #1 “I wouldn’t say it has been a smooth ride (to the top), but I have been able to avoid going totally broke while playing MTTs, and always did at least decent. “Although, a couple of years after I started playing I kind of lost a bit of motivation. (Poker) went from being the only thing I wanted to do, to times when I didn’t even feel like playing on big tournament days for a few years, and even when I did, I didn’t give it the 100% it takes to be a top player. “I’m not sure what turned that around again; possibly that I had a decent live score that boosted my confidence. But now these past two to three years I have been really motivated and loved every second of the grind, and when you really enjoy what you are doing the success comes way easier.” Oh yeah, did we not mention? Not only is 'C Darwin2' a beast online, he’s also racked up almost $1.15 million in live cashes too. His most notable results include an EPT final table (5th for $292K), and a recent PokerStars Championship side event win for $337K - his biggest score to date. All this success has obviously brought acclaim and recognition from his peers and up-and-comers alike. “It would be a lie to say it’s not important,” he admits. “It goes together with the competitive drive. I want to be the best, and I want others to think I am the best.” But who did 'C Darwin2' admire when he was coming up in the game? “When I started playing MTTs I used to look up to Chris 'Imdanuts' Oliver. He had this totally crazy style, seemingly running everyone over and I just could not understand how he did it. It was an inspiration. “Also I have to mention Calvin 'Cal42688' Anderson, who I played a lot with later when I had been coming up in the MTTs. I still can’t understand how he could play that style and just crush everyone, playing like 40% of the hands while no one else plays over 25%. He was also a big inspiration because I understood that there are things these guys have figured out that no one else has, and that there must be more things like that to come up with.” There are still some things out there 'C Darwin2' hopes to capture. “A big Main Event title,” he said. “That would be really nice to have one day looking back at my career.” Yet he also admits the game is getting tougher. “There are a lot of good players out there nowadays. I think PocketFives shows who the toughest opponents are right now.” As he’s a seven-time #1, right now nobody is tougher than 'C Darwin2'.
  2. Martin Jacobson's 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event win confirmed him as one of the best live tournament players of his generation. In the time since his $10 million victory, Jacobson's results suggest his game has remained sharp. Jacobson made three final tables last summer including a sixth-place result in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. The process for preparing for the summer grind does not wane for Jacobson. He is ready for the chance to win a second bracelet. Jacobson, who recently became an 888poker ambassador, jumps at the bit to map out his summer plans upon the release of the WSOP calendar. "As soon as the schedule gets released I start getting excited as I plan on which event I'm looking to play," Jacobson said. "My favorite part is obviously the Main event but I also love the feeling of playing in the first event each year. It gives me a short flashback of the very first time I played a WSOP event before every day rapidly becomes very repetitive." The plan for Jacobson is to play as many No Limit Hold'em events as possible. Those events are usually at the Rio but Jacobson took his show to the strip and the Venetian a few times in 2017. Jacobson wrapped up last year's campaign with a second-place finish in a chop deal in the Card Player Poker Tour $5,000 Main Event for $398,303. Overall, Jacobson racked up six cashes. This summer fills with more anticipation than usual for Jacobson. The four-year time-span since his Main Event triumph coincides with another major global tournament. "I will say that for some reason I feel extra motivated this year. Perhaps it's because it was now four years ago I won and it was also the year of the World Cup, which brings back memories and sparks some additional excitement." Jacobson notes that the monotony of the daily grind becomes cumbersome early on. Once the redundancy kicks in, the "excitement" reduces. When the endgame arrives, Jacobson is able to leverage his experience and work ethic. "It's all part of the game though and it's also what makes the reward so much sweeter, knowing that all that hard work and grind paid off in the end." How does Jacobson keep himself fresh for the summer? The Swede says he tries to set up as many mini-vacations as possible to remove himself from the casino environment. The destinations Jacobson prefers are Lake Mead, Los Angeles, and Red Rock. Finally, Jacobson tries to simulate a culture similar to where he lives in London. Cashes in four countries so far in 2018 equal weeks on the road. The one-city nature of the summer in Las Vegas means different routines. "I try to create some sort of home environment," Jacobson said. "A huge part of it is staying in a hotel or apartment complex without a casino and having the ability to cook my own meals." Jacobson's play sets him apart from his peers along with the banner that hangs in the Rio. Four years is a long time for poker players and the 30-year-old Jacobson is looking forward to the opportunity to cash big once again with another major title in his sight.

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