You can forgive Kevin Martin for thinking the Royal City Curling Club is his own private bank machine.
For the seventh time in the 13 times the tournament has been contested, Martin cashed the winner's cheque - this time $14,000 - beating B.C. product Andrew Bilesky 8-6 in a heartstopping back-and-forth Monday afternoon final.
Bilesky had fallen behind 5-2, but with steals of two and one in the fifth and sixth ends, the B.C. product took the lead over the current Olympic champion.
Martin's deuce in the seventh meant Bilesky was down one but had hammer coming home. After missing a raise takeout with his first, Bilesky had to draw to the four-foot to force an extra end.
"We thought he'd made it," Martin said after Bilesky's rock went long. "Marc and Benny were telling him 'Good shot, skip'. ... I knew it was fast back there because I had a draw go long earlier."
Bilesky admitted that the ice conditions were challenging, but he wasn't going to make excuses.
"We played really well all week and we gave them everything we had," said Bilesky, whose squad takes home second-prize money of $9,000. "A shot here or there and it might've been a different result."
Martin agreed, saying this was the toughest final he's ever played at the Westcoast Curling Classic.
"If he makes his first, he wins," said Martin. "And he almost stole three (in five). I'm glad we won, but they definitely made us work for it."
Martin won twice in 2002 and 2005 before his super team of third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert came together in 2006. Since then, the squad has practically owned the Royal City, winning the tournament in 2006, 2008 and three times consecutively, in 2010, 2011 and now 2012.
Bilesky played inspired curling all weekend and got great shots out of third and Burnaby SFU graduate Steven Kopf, second Derek Errington and lead Aaron Watson.
In the Monday morning semi-finals, Martin avenged his 9-2 round-robin loss to hometown favourite Brent Pierce by winning 5-2 in a match where neither team could score more than one point in any end.
After the teams exchanged points in the first three ends, Martin stole a single in the fourth, forced Pierce to settle for one in the sixth, and added singles in the seventh and a single steal in the final end for the final margin of victory.
Pierce had a chance to send the match into extra ends, but his tough tap-back for two came up light.
"Maybe I shouldn't have lit him up on Friday," Pierce joked on Monday afternoon. "The thing is, in the semi, Kevin made every shot and Johnny only missed one shot. You'll be hard pressed to beat those guys when they play like that."
Pierce said the roles were reversed in the Friday match, as he shot 100 per cent.
"You don't have many chances to beat Kevin and there aren't many people who can say they've beaten Kevin twice in the same spiel," said Pierce. "We knew they'd be up for us when we played again."
Martin agreed: "Piercy throttled us on Friday. We were completely 100 per cent up for the rematch."
In the other semifinal, Bilesky dispatched former world champion Kevin Koe 6-5 by using the hammer in the final end to make a quiet hit for the deciding point.
In the junior finals, Tyler Klymchuk's South Surrey squad beat junior girls champion Shawna Jensen 10-5. Klymchuk started with a triple in the first and five in the third to handily dispatch Jensen's Delta squad.
"It's pretty cool to win," said Klymchuk, a Kwantlen business student. "It's nice to be able to cash a cheque."
Klymchuk's team will share $2,000 while Jensen's squad will share $1,200.
Jensen said she was happy with how her team played and she even had time to watch the Martin-Bilesky match on the adjacent sheet.
"It was really cool to hear them talk strategy," said Jensen. "We had such a great time here."
Martin opened the week by taking the Oct. 4 Skins Game $1,000 to $200 over B.C.'s Jim Cotter.
The teams were unable to win any money in the first two ends, but Cotter's failed triple in the third gave Martin the first $300 on the night.
Cotter made a tough double in the fourth for his only $200 on the night and after a carryover, Cotter was lying four before Martin's final stone hit and stuck, forcing Cotter to make his final shot for the last $700 on the night.
Cotter wrecked on a front guard, giving Martin the money and the match.
"We got a bit lucky," said Martin. "I think Jimmy's rock picked and we got away with one."