Julien Martini Wins 2018 WSOP $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for First Gold Bracelet

France’s Julien Martini took down Event #4 on the schedule of the 2018 WSOP after an additional fourth day of the tournament and lengthy heads-up battle with Kate Hoang. The young Frenchman collected his first gold bracelet from the series and $239,771 in prize money.

Martini won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. The tournament was scheduled to be played over three days but action extended into a fourth day as there were no signs that a winner would be crowned late into the third day of play.

The Omaha event drew a field of 911 entries who created a prize pool of $1,229,850. The top 137 finishers would leave with a share of the money. Min-cashes were worth $2,252. And each of the nine final tablists were guaranteed a min-cash of $16,832. Martini was the sole non-US player of the nine-handed final table.

As mentioned above, play had to extend into an additional fourth day so that the winner be determined. That fourth day saw four players return at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino to conclude the tournament once and for all.

Martini was the chip leader at the beginning of Day 4, followed by Kate Hong. The two players held quite some stacks particularly when compared to the two short stacks Mack Lee and William Kopp. The latter two were eliminated quite quickly to eventually leave it to Martini and Hoang to play down to a champ.

Heads-Up Highlights

Two-handed action began with Martini holding 4 million in chips to his last opponent’s 2.74 million. However, Hoang did not waste time and quickly doubled shortly after the match began. From that point on, chips were sliding back and forth for hours.

Hoang took the lead quickly after her double-up and then extended that lead to give herself a short while of comfort before her opponent began to build his momentum again. Martini won two key pots to regain his lead and extend it significantly.

It took hours of chips swinging back and forth before the final hand of the tournament was played. It saw Hoang go all in for a third consecutive hand for her last 300,000. The player had [Qs][7c][7h][3h] to Martini’s [Kc][10s][4d][4s]. The board ran out [Jc][10c][3s][Qd][Kd] to send Hoang to the rail. The player scooped $148,150 for her efforts.

Of his heads-up opponent, Martini said that she was a tough player with a very unconventional style, and that patience was what was required to take her down.

The Frenchman also revealed that he was heading into the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship to try for a back-to-back win. The event kicked off Sunday at the host venue and is yet to complete its Day 1. A total of 112 players had already entered it at press time. The tournament will run through Tuesday, June 5.

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