Kevin Martin Crowned as The Winner of ‘Big Brother Canada’

4 months ago
Kevin Martin Crowned as The Winner of ‘Big Brother Canada’
16:37
19 May

The poker community has a new champion away from the felt as Team PokerStars Online Pro Kevin Martin took home the title in Season 5 of 'Big Brother Canada.'

The second time was the charm for the 24-year-old Calgary native who was bounced from the competition in Season 3 of the popular reality TV show, but was invited back to try again this season. The victory comes with a grand prize of $100,000, a $30K The Brick gift card, and a brand new 2017 Toyota ’86.


Poker Prowess Pays Off

Martin leaned on his poker skills in beating out runner-up Karen Singbeil of Victoria and the other 14 house guests. The 16 contestants were holed up in the Big Brother house since March and allowed no contact with outsiders.

"Every morning I would wake up and do nothing but strategize and study,” Martin told the Toronto Sun. “I came here with one goal and one goal only - to make it to the end.”

And make it he did, receiving all nine jury votes in his favor. On the way to securing the championship, Kevin won power of veto four times, head of household twice, and was on the block three times.


All By Myself

Toward the end of the competition, Martin stated frequently his feelings of  aloneness, lacking the benefit of camaraderie among his fellow houseguests. That's a far cry from his regular gig as a Twitch streamer and PokerStars-sponsored pro where his popularity level is high among fellow poker players.

“I haven’t had a single ally in the house for the whole second half of the game," Kevin said. "I am alone, isolated and targeted.”

During one of those moments of solidarity, Martin gave a bunch of shout outs to his poker homies, including PokerStars. He was admonished by Big Brother and told to "stop talking about brand names."


Big Brother is Big Business

Big Brother was first shown in the Netherlands in 1999, becoming a huge hit when the popularity of reality TV took off. The concept has since been copied in over 54 countries, including the U.S. where poker pro and aspiring music mixer Vanessa Rousso competed in 2016, finishing in 3rd place.

Contestants reside together, competing in challenges that test their teamwork skills and typically result in forming alliances. House guests are voted off the show by each other until one is left standing as the champion. During the entire time, the housemates' moves are chronicled by microphones and cameras under the watchful eye of show producers - hence the name Big Brother.

Martin was evicted early in Season 3 in 2015, similar to entering a huge poker tournament and getting KO'd within the first few blind levels.

“I went home ninth out from the end," he told Globalnews.ca.

Not so in Season 5 where he used that previous Big Brother experience and his poker strategy acumen in emerging victorious. Congratulations to Kevin for a job well done!


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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more

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