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Poker Players Get Heads-Up In World Series Of Poker Event, Fall In Love, And Get Married

Julien Martini Weds Kate Hoang Year After The Two Squared Off At The Poker Table


He may have gotten the bracelet, but she ended up getting the ring.

At the 2018 World Series of Poker, France’s Julien Martini defeated Washington’s Kate Hoang heads-up in the $1,500 Omaha eight-or-better event to win the $239,771 first-place prize, and also, his opponent’s heart.

Despite battling for four days as competitors, the two poker pros hit it off, and a little more than year later, they are now married.

Martini went on to finish third in the $10,000 razz event for another $134,587 before a runner-up finish in an EPT side event put another $377,910 in his pocket. In January, he finished second in the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players Championship for $2,974,000.

Hoang is herself an Omaha eight-or-better specialist. She finished second in the 2016 $3,000 pot-limit version of the event for $182,281, and also final tabled the $10,000 buy-in the next year.

Of course, poker couples battling it out at the tables is nothing new. In 2016, Ivan Luca and Maria Lampropoulos chopped up a Eureka Poker Tour main event together. In April of 2018, Tim Reilly knocked his wife Ness out of a WSOP Circuit main event while both players were already in the money.

Last summer, Kristen Bicknell and Alex Foxen infamously took first and second place in a Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series event, and this year, Igor Kurganov eliminated his girlfriend Liv Boeree from the WSOP main event.