While the band may be based out of Montreal, blues/psych-rock outfit Alexei Martov is undeniably Australian thanks to the talents of frontman Martin Bradstreet. The gifted vocalist and guitarist (he also plays piano) is joined in the group by two brothers, Matthew and Jonah Dorfman, who hold things down as the band’s rhythm section.
They have been kicking around for several years with releases such as Scent of a Wolf and Way of the Crow, but it feels like they’re due for a breakthrough soon with the recent release of their self-titled EP. And there’s a good reason for that, beyond the fact that the music on the eight-track project is some of their best to date. Bradstreet seems to be focusing more on the band than he had in the past, something that’s become evident through digging into his history.
The Australian native’s background doesn’t only include playing music since his teenage years; it turns out the guy has been pretty involved in online poker too. Bradstreet claims that he took on the pseudonym for musical reasons, according to the band’s Facebook. But it turns out that he also frequently used it as his online poker handle, along with the name MagicNinja, since sometime in 2007.
Instead of playing the wildly popular Texas Hold’em—the poker variant that led to the game’s online boom in the early aughts—Bradstreet sticks to the somewhat-lesser-known Pot Limit Omaha. As it turns out, though, it’s apparently a lot like its much more popular cousin. As pointed out by Betfair Poker, “Pot Limit Omaha is structured exactly the same as Texas Hold’em–but players are dealt four cards instead of two.” And if you’re wondering just how he’s faired in playing the game, it looks pretty good for Bradstreet. Although he lost several hundred thousand playing under the MagicNinja name, he looks to be doing just fine as Alexei Martov (per his profile on HighStakesDB).
As for that aforementioned focus shifting solely to music, the proof is all on the web. According to the aforementioned HighStakesDB page, he hasn’t played online since the summer of 2013. Although, to be fair, it’s hard to say if he’s completely kicked poker to the curb. Chances are he’s introduced his bandmates to the game and the three are enjoying some Pot Limit Omaha in their downtime between shows and recording sessions.
You can listen to Alexei Martov’s new self-titled EP below and buy it on iTunes.
Image used with permission from Total Marketing