Melbourne Resident Bags the First Aussie WSOP Bracelet in 2016

The World Series of Poker is one of the biggest, if not the absolute biggest poker tourney in the world, and for the 2016 championship, it seems that Australia has failed to claim the gold bracelet through any of its players. This curse ended when finally, a professional cash poker player from Melbourne, Martin Kozlov, was able to bag home the gold bracelet of the World Series of Poker 2016, marking the first Aussie gold bracelet this year.

Martin Kozlov who is a cash poker player by trade was able to outlast a total of 293 other players in order to claim the crown in Event number 39, the $10000 No Limit Holdem 6-Handed Poker championship. The ring also comes with a total of 665,709 in cash. In winning the gold bracelet, Martin Kozlov has managed to secure the 22nd Aussie gold bracelet win in the WSOP. This puts Australia in the 5th place behind Germany’s players who secured a total of 26 gold bracelets throughout the years.

Martin Kozlov, after the win, has joined the list of great poker players from Australia who won that prestigious reward such as Jeffrey Lisandro, who is a 6-time gold bracelet winner as well as Joe Hachem, the 2005 WSOP champion who won the main event.

Following a steep buy-in into the table with 10,000 dollars, which is the same price that was paid by another great champion, Hachem, 6 years ago, the championship condensed the traditional 9 handed poker down to only 6 players for each table. The result of the 6 handed format is an action packed and a more frenetic poker gaming experience because players are forced to place blinds more frequently.

After two full days of poker playing, the field starting to get clearer as the unofficial final table was created with 7 players in Day 3, with Martin Kozlov securing the 4th place on the board with 2.1m chips. Players who joined him in this final table included a set of poker professionals, four of them who already claimed a WSOP gold bracelet before. The table included 5 time winner Chris Ferguson, Davifi Kitai (3 time winner) and Nick Petrangelo and Justing Bonomo, both are single time winners.

Jack Salter the Londoner exited in the 6th place, following a big pot, Petrangelo was the next player to exit, leaving in the 5th place.  Kozlov then was able to dispatch Chris Ferguson, the former head Full Tilt Poker, leading to a what many thought would be a prolonged 3-way battle. That didn’t happen, as after 20 minutes, Kozlov had the dream play, as he held pocket Qs, opposing pocket 9s and pocket 6s, where Kitai and Bonomo committed all of their chips. This led to a safe run of 5 community cards that ensured Kozlov his first WSOP bracelet after a rare and a dramatic double knockout.