Marty Mathis wins the partypoker MILLIONS South America Main Event after beating the local lad Bruno Volkmann heads-up for the title and $873,700 in prize money.
partypoker and the hundreds of people who exchanged coal mines, mushroom farms, and impotence treatment centres for the poker tables of MILLIONS South America have now left after Martin Mathis became the latest champion of the new world order.
It’s the first partypoker pow-wow since Rob Yong and the gang decided to turn old school with $10,000 buy-in, $5m Guaranteed MILLIONS Main Event freezeouts, and only the metric makers will know if it was a success.
The event attracted 439-entrants, resulting in an overlay, and the American Mathis took most of that free money, defeating Bruno Volkmann and Matas Cimbolas in the aftermath of carving up a three-handed deal.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for twelve years,” a tear-stained Mathis told partypoker reporters after his win.
It was a lesson in patience and persistence, as in Mathis’s own words, he ‘barely snuck into the money,’ and began the final day fifth from sixth in the chip counts.
But he made it.
He won the inaugural MILLIONS South America, the first time he has won a poker tournament since locking up a side event at the Aussie Millions back in 2012.
Let’s take a look at his path.
Day 5 Chip Counts
1. Bruno Volkman – 146,400,000
2. Samuel Gagnon – 91,500,000
3. Matas Cimbolas – 82,700,000
4. Vlada Stojanovic – 66,900,000
5. Martin Mathis – 29,900,000
6. Caio Hey – 20,300,000
With a million USD to play for, you had to fancy Matas Cimbolas for the title. Volkmann had all of the chips, but experience and heat wise, Cimbolas was the man.
The former World Poker Tour (WPT) Champion came into this one on the back of a runner-up finish to David Baker in the WPT LAPC Main Event earning $646,930, and nobody had more live tournament earnings than the man when this thing began.
The first player to leave the arena was the man with the shortest stack. With blinds at 600k/1.2m/1.2m Samuel Gagnon opened to 2.6m from late position, and Caio Hey moved all-in from the small blind for 17.9m. The big blind folded, and Gagnon called holding pocket sevens; Hey showed pocket deuces and was as dead as a dead dormouse when a third seven hit the flop.
Then a critical moment for our eventual winner.
With blinds at 700k/1.4m/1.4m, the chip leader Bruno Volkman opened for 2.8m in the first position, Martin Mathis moved all-in from the cutoff for 37.6m, Matas Cimbolas also shoved for 85.1m, and Volkman folded. Cimbolas showed pocket tens, but Mathis was way ahead with pocket jacks, and none of the cards that planted their faces in the middle of the table changed that fact.
It was at that same level that we lost our second player.
Bruno Volkmann opened to 2.8m from the cutoff, Martin Mathis called from the button, Vlada Stojanovic moved all-in from the big blind for 20.8m, Volkmann folded, and Mathis called. It was a race with Mathis needing to hit with AK v TT and hit he did as the board ran out to give Mathis a heart flush sending Stojanovic to the rail.
Moving into the next level, and Mathis took the lead for the first time before Matas Cimbolas doubled through Bruno Volkmann. The Brazilian opened for 3.2m holding KdQs and then called the Lithuanian’s 26.1m shove holding AdKs. The turn gave Volkmann an open-ended straight draw, but the 3s on the river ensured Cimbolas would win the hand, and double up.
Martin Mathis began to pull away from the crowd before Samuel Gagnon pulled him back by the neck hair. With blinds at 800k/1.6m/1.6m, Gagnon opened to 3.5m under the gun holding AcJd, and then called after Mathis moved all-in holding pocket jacks. Gagnon needed an ace, and it duly arrived on the flop to double the man up.
Gagnon’s next choice of player to feel his ‘double-up’ wrath was Matas Cimbolas. With blinds at 1m/2m/2m, Gagnon limped from the first position holding AdKh, Bruno Volkmann followed suit with pocket sevens from the button, Martin Mathis made up the difference in the small blind holding 9s6h, and then Matas Cimbolas squeezed out a 12m raise from the big blind holding AsQh. Gagnon moved all-in for 40.1m, and only Cimbolas called. AK beat AQ, putting some daylight between the two players.
Gagnon’s luck finally expired a few hands later when he opened to 4.5m from the first position holding Qh7h and tangled with Bruno Volkmann who called on the button with two black fours. The dealer slapped 8c7d3h onto the flop, to give Gagnon the lead with middle pair, and he check-called a 5.5m Volkmann bet. The 4h gave the Brazilian a set, and Gagnon turned into the aggressor firing out a bet that Volkmann swallowed up. The final card was the Kc, and Gagnon checked, Volkmann moved all-in, and Gagnon made the call that would ultimately see his life force extinguished in fourth place.
After the elimination of Gagnon, the remaining three players carved out the following deal:
1. Bruno Volkmann – $687,100
2. Martin Mathis – $661,700
3. Matas Cimbolas – $559,200
$212,000 to fight for.
A heads-up encounter between Bruno Volkmann and Matas Cimbolas was confirmed after the WPT Champions Club member fell in third.
With blinds at 1.2m/2.5m/2.5m, Cimbolas opened to 5m from the button holding Ac5d, and Martin Mathis called from the big blind holding KhTh. The dealer put a little something out for both players with a TcTs5s flop, Cimbolas bet 4m, Mathis check-raised to 11.1m, and Cimbolas called. The 9s hit the turn and Mathis bet 40m. It was a tournament-defining bet for Cimbolas, who had 42m remaining, and he moved all-in; Mathis called. Cimbolas was drawing dead. The meaningless 9s ended the action, and we had arrived at the end zone.
The elimination of Cimbolas ensured that Martin Mathis would begin his heads-up encounter with Bruno Volkmann holding a 238,900,000 v 198,800,000 chip advantage.
The pair would wage war for more than three hours with Volkmann only taking the chip lead once during that period.
The final hand saw Volkmann move all-in holding Qd2s, and Mathis calling with the dominating Qc8c, and the better hand held to give Mathis his first major title.
Here are the final table results.
Final Table Results
1. Martin Mathis – $873,700*
2. Bruno Volkmann – $687,100*
3. Matas Cimbolas – $559,200*
4. Samuel Gagnon – $370,000
5. Vlada Stojanovic – $300,000
6. Caio Hey – $250,000
7. Michael Sklenicka – $200,000
8. Andre de Oliveira – $150,000
*Indicates a three-handed deal.
Three other pristine steamboats who also chugged their way to the end of this thing were partypoker ambassador, Patrick Leonard (10th), Triton Poker Series Main Event winner, Manig Loeser (13th), and the former European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event winner, Tom Middleton (18th)
The next time yours truly will be writing about a MILLIONS event will be May 22-27 when the MILLIONS North America hits the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Canada where once again the CAD 10,000, CAD 5,000,000 Guaranteed MILLIONS Main Event dons its party frock.