A Short Talk With Julien Martini, Runner-Up in the PSPC for $2,974,000
"When you win ace-queen suited versus aces in the first orbit, you're saying to yourself, 'This is mine.'"
Frenchman Julien Martini started the final table of the PokerStars Players Championship in the best way. He eliminated Talal Shakerchi, arguably one of the more experienced players at the table and also the one outlier who wouldn't be fazed with the experience of playing for millions.
"The only difference is I'm just richer after this one!"
"It helped [that] the most experienced players busted early."
Last night, Julien Martini won $2,974,000. The player he lost to, Ramon Colillas, took home $5,100,000. Even though the "wound" was still fresh — we talked to Martini minutes after he finished runner-up — Martini didn't feel like he had lost $2,126,000. He felt like a winner.
"I had the same feeling when I got second in EPT National," Martini said about his runner-up score, referencing that time last August when he finished second to Jean-René Fontaine in the €1,100 National at EPT Barcelona for €323,000. "The only difference is I'm just richer after this one!"
Martini seemed at peace with his second place; "It's OK, I can accept what happens. I'm not sad. Trophies will come."
The crucial hand, the one where Martini flopped a flush but saw his opponent turn over a (runner-runner) full house, was brutal. It made all the difference. Martini was still phlegmatic over it; "When he snap-called, I knew he had at least a flush. It's a big cooler, but it happens every day in poker."
"It's a big cooler, but it happens every day in poker."
With the final table having finished just half an hour before or so, we already asked him to look ahead. What does the monster score mean for his poker career? "My goal is to win two bracelets this summer. I'd be happy with one, of course, but my goal is two."
Winning more bracelets is what he's after, so much was clear instantly — playing bigger buy-in tournaments, not so much. "The level of play in most $25Ks is far above where I am. I'm going to stick to $10Ks and $5Ks, tournaments where I know I have EV. I am playing poker for the EV, and I don't have any EV in these $25Ks. I'm picking tournaments because of the value."
Martini, with a big smile on his face, instantly added: "If there was a $500K tournament tomorrow and they brought in 1,000 players, I'd be in it."