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Mark Martin Wins 2014 Downstream Casino Main Event

Mark Martin

Mark Martin is two-for-two on cashes at tournaments the last two months, but the second one was worth a bit more than the first. He outlasted a field of 262 runners to win the 2014 Downstream Casino Main Event for $36,218 a month after finishing in 24th place for $1,590 in the Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event. Martin also won a seat into the World Series of Poker Main Event next year.

Final Table Results

1Mark Martin$36,218
2Mike Tang$22,334
3Justin Gardenhire$15,091
4Michael Sanders$10,715
5Terry Presley$8,300
6Issac Tucker$6,791
7Terry Karn$5,659
8Richard Moore$4,754
9Ryan Tepen$3,924

Martin sealed the win after a back-and-forth heads-up match with Mike Tang when he busted Tang's aces after an {8-Hearts}{6-Spades}{7-Clubs} flop in a three-bet pot. Tang open-shoved, and Martin snapped it off with the {9-Spades}{8-Clubs} for a straight draw and top pair. He bricked the {q-Spades} turn, but a {10-Spades} river gave him a straight and nearly all of the chips. Martin finished Tang two hands later.

Twenty-six players returned to the venue just outside of Joplin, Missouri, for Day 2, all of them guaranteed to walk away with a cash reward after outlasting 90 percent of their Day 1 fields. Well-known tour pro Bernard Lee was one of those notching only a small cash, busting in 23rd early on when he called the overbet shove of Terry Karn, who had limp-called preflop, on a {4-Spades}{a-Hearts}{q-Clubs} flop. Lee had flopped top pair with the {a-Clubs}{j-Hearts}, but Karn had him dominated and held up with the {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}.

Martin found some early luck when he three-outed Shannan Roberts with the {a-Clubs}{10-Clubs} against the {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}, giving him a stack of 360,000 at Level 17 (3,000/6,000/100).

Lee's fellow sponsored pro, Benjamin Reason, who came into Day 2 tied for the chip lead, busted 14th, and yet another RunGood pro, Chris Conrad, bubbled the final table in 11th. Conrad's elimination was a brutal one, as he called Tang's four-bet shove with the {q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} and was against the {7-Hearts}{7-Clubs}. The board ran out {9-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}, giving Tang a straight.

The final table kicked off with three quick eliminations. Gene Alloway busted 10th, Ryan Tepen went out ninth, and Richard Moore followed them in eighth. Karn bowed out in seventh, giving tour pro Justin Gardenhire a big chip lead by shoving the {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} for more than the pot on a {4-Spades}{j-Clubs}{a-Clubs} flop and running into Gardenhire's {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}.

Issac "Rungood" Tucker was next to go, adding to Gardenhire's wealth by shipping the river on a {8-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{a-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} board with the {4-Clubs}{3-Hearts}, only to be shown the {a-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} for a nut flush.

After Terry Presley went out fifth, Martin busted RunGood pro Michael Sanders in fourth with the {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts} against the {3-Spades}{3-Clubs}. Despite the win, Martin went into three-handed play as the shortest stack, just barely behind Tang, while Gardenhire had about half of the chips in play.

After a bit of three-handed play, stacks were close when the biggest pot of the tournament happened during Level 23 (12,000/24,000/4,000). Martin opened for 50,000 on the button and was called by both Gardenhire and Tang. Everyone checked the {8-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{8-Hearts}, and a {2-Spades} arrived. Gardenhire checked again, and Tang bet 75,000. Martin called, and Gardenhire made it 185,000. Tang came back with 385,000 total, forcing Martin out. Gardenhire tanked for a few minutes, squinting at his opponent's stack before announcing he was all in. Tang called with frightening speed.

"God, he's got queen-eight," Gardenhire said in disappointment.

It was only the {8-Spades}{6-Diamonds}, though, and Gardenhire was ahead with the {2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} for a turned full house. The dealer burned and brought forth the {q-Hearts} on the river, ruining Gardenhire's boat and giving Tang a winning eights full.

Martin was down about two-to-one in chips when heads-up play began, but he had the lead within a few hands, only to give it right back. The two battled for about an hour before the decisive heads-up hand.

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