– General Introduction –
Kevin Martin is a Canadian professional poker player and streamer. He was born on January 3rd, 1993 in Calgary, Canada.
Martin has the distinction of having been a sponsored pro for three major online poker rooms: PokerStars, partypoker, and Natural8-GGNetwork. He has a little over 100,000 followers on Twitch, where he streams mainly online tournaments. Despite being best known for playing online MTT’s, unfortunately, his results aren’t tracked by poker sites on any of his accounts.
In live tournaments, he has $313,687 in cashes. He’s also appeared on the live streams of Live at the Bike, a poker content site which streams mid to high stakes live cash games from the Bicycle Casino in California.
Martin was a cast member on Season 3 of the reality show Big Brother Canada in 2015. He was back for Season 5 in 2017 – he ended up winning the series.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2014: He becomes a professional poker player, playing low stakes live cash games in Canada.
- 2015: He starts streaming on Twitch.
- 2018: He finishes 2nd in the $600 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event at Run It Up Reno VII. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
– Kevin Martin’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Martin talked about how he started out in poker to Joe Ingram on the popular podcast Poker Life.
After graduating high school, Martin went through a 2-year post-secondary training for radio and television. At 20 years old, he got a job as a radio DJ at a rock station in Southern Alberta. He was on the air at night when the listenership was low.
Since he had to move to a new town where he had no acquaintances, he decided to go to casinos and play live poker to kill time. He’d played the game casually with his friends before. However, now that he was playing for “real money”, he picked up some poker books to learn some strategy.
Martin was playing $1/$2 NLHE cash games in cardrooms across Alberta. He quickly realized that the little strategy he learnt was enough for him to beat small stakes cash games.
He was charting his poker results, and a few months later realized that he was making more per hour at the poker table (around $20 per hour) than at his radio job. Soon enough, at age 21, he left the station to play cards for a living.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Martin has $313,687 in live tournament winnings, according to his Hendon page. He’s amassed that sum by cashing in 34 different events over the course of 4 years.
The first recorded cash on his page is from November 2015. He finished 10th in the C$330 No Limit Hold’em event at the Calgary stop of the DeepStacks Poker Tour and won C$1,880.
The next year, in May 2016, he booked his first win – he came in first in the $235 NLHE Thursday Thrilla Black Chip Bounty event at Run It Up Reno II for $5,805.
2018 was a very successful year for Martin on the live tournament scene.
He started the year off in January by taking 2nd place in the $1,100 NLHE event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $36,590. In August 2018, he took down the C$1,600 Main Event at the Summer Super Stack in Calgary for C$49,700.
His biggest single live tournament score to date is also from 2018. In October of that year, he made a runner-up finish in the $600 Main Event at Run It Up Reno VII. He pocketed no less than $48,210. Martin lost the heads-up battle for the title to American poker pro Matthew Stout.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Kevin Martin has cashed in 15 World Series events so far. However, 9 of those were from the 2020 online events on Natural8-GGNetwork, when the coronavirus pandemic prevented all live events from taking place. He cashed in 5 more online events in 2021.
His only ITM finish from a live WSOP event is from 2016. He finished 967th in a gigantic field of 21,613 (!) players in the $565 NLHE COLOSSUS event for $2,155.
→ Live Cash Games ←
As we wrote earlier, Martin started his career in professional poker as a low stakes live cash game player, playing $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em in Canadian casinos.
Despite that, he’s only appeared on one live stream or TV show where he played cash in front of an audience. In October 2017, he was featured in a live streamed session of $5/$10 NLHE on Live at the Bike.
Playing 5-10 on Live at the Bike tonight with some awesome poker personalities!
— Kevin Martin (@KevinRobMartin) October 26, 2017
LATB is a popular poker site which streams mid to high stakes live cash games from the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA.
→ Online Poker ←
In the podcast link above, Martin talked about how his transition from playing cash games to streaming online tournaments wasn’t the smoothest. At first, he was being decimated online. However, with the help of some coaching by Max-Valeue.com, he was able to turn things around and become a winning online MTT player at mid stakes.
Despite being a very public online poker figure, his MTT scores are not tracked publicly by PocketFives or SharkScope.
The only exception to this is his WSOP Online scores. He cashed in 9 events in 2020. The biggest one of the 9 was a cash for $3,819, which he got for finishing 139th in the $1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold’em event.
In August 2021, he came in 34th in the $5,000 WSOP Online NLHE 6-Handed Championship event for $13,058 on Natural8-GGNetwork.
You can also keep track of his online tournament results by simply tuning in to his regular Twitch streams. In December 2016, for example, he streamed live while finishing 2nd in the $22 Sunday Mini Million on Poker Stars for $22,000.
→ Internet Persona ←
Martin started streaming on Twitch in 2015. To date, he’s amassed 109,000 followers. You can find him under the name “kevinmartin” on the streaming platform.
He also has a YouTube channel with around 50,000 subscribers where he mainly posts clips from his Twitch streams.
→ On the Show: Big Brother Canada ←
Being an avid reality show fan, Martin finally got cast on the 3rd season of Big Brother Canada on his third try. The show aired on the Global Television Network.
Martin was eventually voted out by the audience on Week 7. However, he was back for season 5 in 2017, and he ended up winning the competition. He took home the C$100,000 first prize money, a brand new Toyota 86, as well as a C$30,000 home renovation package.
While on the show, he started dating fellow contestant Pilar Nemer. In February 2021, the couple got engaged.
Martin is among the handful of well-known poker pros who have appeared on reality TV shows. Jean-Robert Bellande and Garrett Adelstein competed on Survivor, while Maria Ho was a contestant on The Amazing Race.
→ Scandals ←
Folding the nuts on stream
In October 2020, Martin made an embarrassing blunder while playing a $37.50 buy-in NLHE tournament on Natural8-GGNetwork.
While holding , he turned a 9 for a straight. With no flushes or pairs on board, Martin was gifted the actual nuts – however, in a surprising turn of events, he folded to a half-pot c-bet by his opponent.
Playing some really great poker lately! pic.twitter.com/XqgaDqsIB9
— Kevin Martin (@KevinRobMartin) October 16, 2020
Luckily, he had a sense of humor about this blunder. He later followed up with an “advanced strategy” video in which he confirmed it by a solver that you in fact should not fold the nuts on the turn.
→ Sponsorships ←
Kevin Martin joined PokerStars’ roster of sponsored pros in 2016. He left in February 2019 to become a member of Team partypoker. However, he departed from them the next year, in October 2020, and signed with GGPoker. He is now a member of the GGSquad.
Thus Martin has the distinction of having been a sponsored pro for three major online poker rooms: PokerStars, partypoker, and Natural8-GGNetwork.