Posts Tagged ‘Mercier’

Jason Mercier Leaves Team PokerStars Pro

 Jason Mercier Leaves Team PokerStars Pro

Another American poker pro has left Team PokerStars, as Jason Mercier has announced his departure from his role as a site ambassador. As with fellow pro Vanessa Selbst, Mercier’s stint with PokerStars was effective at the end of 2017.

In a blog post on PokerStars’ website, Mercier explained that the reason for his decision – his contract with PokerStars was up at the end of 2017 and he had to think about what to do about renewal – revolved completely around his family and his newborn child.

His son, Marco Henry, was born three months ago. As any parent knows, having a child changes one’s life and priorities immediately. Said Mercier:

After my son was born, I knew things were going to be different. One of the major things to address was my relationship with PokerStars. My contract was set to expire at the end of 2017, and I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to happen there. I had a lot of questions rolling around my head. Do I even want to travel now? How much can I travel? Should I continue playing poker so much? How’s it going to be on the road with a baby? Does PokerStars want me to do more? Is my wife going to continue to play poker? DO WE NEED A FULL TIME NANNY!!??

Mercier said he “delayed my inevitable contract discussion” with PokerStars, but as the end of the year drew near, he realized it was time to call it quits. He needed to stop traveling full time and be home with his family.

While I have never been and never will be in the sort of position Mercier is in as an extremely successful poker pro, I did make a somewhat similar decision with my career in the poker world, though on a much smaller scale. When I started out in poker, I covered the WSOP live in Las Vegas in both 2005 and 2006. In 2006, my wife was pregnant with our first child, who was born that October. The following year, this site’s ownership (different ownership than today) asked if I could cover the WSOP again. I said no, as I did not want to leave my wife and infant, especially since my wife worked full-time. While I missed being at the Rio, it really wasn’t a difficult decision, and fortunately, my boss was onboard with it.

“The conversation about my contract was short and sweet,” Mercier wrote. “There were no hard feelings and there never would or could be. I was a PokerStars Pro for eight and a half wonderful years. I’m forever grateful that they took a chance on me when I was just a 22-year-old kid who had just captured his first gold bracelet in the summer of 2009. There were times when I thought I might be a PokerStars Pro for the rest of my life… hey, a kid can dream can’t he? Thank you to all of the wonderful people I worked with at PokerStars, your support and friendship has been invaluable.”

At the end of the blog post, Stephen Bartley of the PokerStars Blog staff, added a footnote from the site. He briefly described how they had met Mercier and how one thing that stuck out about him was that “he came across as a man who valued nothing more than the trappings of his family, and his friends.”

“So it was not really surprising to hear that it was his wife Natasha, and young son Marco took priority over a poker career at this stage of his life,” Bartley wrote. “The pride he takes in being a father and husband is clear for anyone to see. So while he’ll be missed as a PokerStars regular, we pass on our thanks and best wishes to Jason and his family, and look forward to seeing him at a PokerStars event soon.”

Cover photo credit: / Jamie Thomson

The post Jason Mercier Leaves Team PokerStars Pro appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Jason Mercier Wins 2016 WSOP POY

 Jason Mercier Wins 2016 WSOP POY

Since early on in the 2016 World Series of Poker, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Jason Mercier was going to claim the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) title and while he did, it was not until yesterday, that he could say the award was officially his. With Paul Volpe’s ouster from the 2016 WSOP Main Event on Day 6, Jason Mercier clinched the WSOP Player of the Year.

Mercier, to put it bluntly, was out of his mind during this World Series. He cashed eleven times and put the pressure on everyone else to try to catch him within just the first two weeks of the WSOP. In the span of a week, he won the $ 10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship, was the runner-up in the $ 10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship, and won the $ 10,000 HORSE Championship. Other players had nice runs as the WSOP went on, but realistically, there was no way anybody was going to catch Mercier.

Mercier finished with 2,195.57 Player of the Year points, based on the Global Poker Index’s revamped points system. Paul Volpe was a distant second with 1,923.66, while Max Silver, who was also eliminated from the Main Event on Sunday, ended with 1,687.67.

Volpe finished in the Main Event in 29th place, earning 449.19 points in the POY standings. In order to overtake Jason Mercier, Volpe would have needed to win the entire tournament, a feat which not only would have earned him $ 8 million and worldwide fame, but also 782.81 POY points. Had he finished second, he would have fallen just a few points short of Mercier’s total.

One person who can be happy for Mercier and at the same time relieved is Vanessa Selbst, who came this close to owing him a huge chunk of change. In a well-publicized drunken prop bet, Selbst gave Mercier 180:1 odds on him winning three bracelets this summer. Since he didn’t pull off the feat, he owes Selbst $ 10,000. If he would have nabbed three, she would have owed him a stunning $ 1.8 million.

And as mentioned, he came extremely close, with two wins and a second place finish in a week. Just days after his second bracelet win of 2016, he made another final table, likely causing Selbst to sweat profusely, but he bowed out in 8th place. Hell, he followed THAT up with an eleventh place finish just a couple days later. Just six players have ever won three bracelets in a single year and only five have ever won them all at the traditional World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

It seems that the Player of the Year who won two bracelets, made four final tables, and cashed eleven times should be the biggest money earner at the WSOP (prior to the Main Event), but surprisingly, Mercier is only fifteenth, which just under $ 1 million in earnings at the 2016 WSOP. Fedor Holz tops that list thanks to his $ 5 million win of the $ 111,111 High Roller for One Drop.

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Jason Mercier Threatening Runaway with WSOP Player of the Year Race

 Jason Mercier Threatening Runaway with WSOP Player of the Year Race

With only about two weeks to go (and another 19 or so tournaments in the canister), poker professional Jason Mercier is threatening to make the race for the 2016 World Series of Poker Player of the Year a runaway.

Mercier has been a runaway train since the start of the 2016 WSOP, fired in part by the prop bets he made on whether he would win three bracelets during the run of the Series (many people, including his largest bet with Vanessa Selbst, have allegedly bought out of that one now!). Within the first two weeks of the schedule, Mercier had racked up two wins, a runner-up finish and another final table spot on his way to earning 2121.69 points. Along with the current lead on the POY table, Mercier has also accumulated 10 cashes for a grand total of $ 958,518.

To demonstrate how much of a crushing lead Mercier has in the WSOP POY competition, another double bracelet winner is currently sitting in the second position. The United Kingdom’s Benny Glaser has picked up two bracelets (both in Omaha Hi/Low Split-8 or Better, oddly enough) but has only been able to put four more cashes together with that achievement. Thus, Glaser’s 1352.3 points lags far behind what Mercier has put on the board to this mark of the WSOP.

Demonstrating it isn’t always about finishing first in a tournament (but, let’s be honest, it really is), only three of the next eight places are covered by players who have been able to corral a 2016 WSOP bracelet. Max Silver, for example, has been cashed in nine events so far at the WSOP, with none of them being a finish higher than 12th place. Those finishes have given him enough points to capture the third slot on the standings with 1345.39 points, however (and watch how close the POY race would be if you removed Mercier’s outlier performance).

2016 WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy from Belgium has added a second place finish to his resume (with the two tournaments separated by a week and in two different disciplines, Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Lowball and Six-Handed Texas Hold’em) to push himself into the fourth place position with 1280.91 points, with the Top Five rounded out by the U. K.’s Stephen Chidwick (1278.09). Canada’s Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson (1273.05 points), Randy Ohel (1256.91), bracelet winners Loren Klein (1234.78) and Martin Kozlov (1214.87) and Michael Semenov (1214.69) finish off the Top Ten.

Just to repeat Mercier’s dominance:  he currently has a 769.39-point lead over Glaser; the gap between Glaser and the 10th place Semenov is only 137.61 points.

Looking deeper into the POY rankings, John Monnette has been able to push his way into the 11th place slot, lurking less than 10 points behind Semenov with his 1204.77 points. Justin Bonomo is having another impressive WSOP with his 1197.99 points, but it is Ryan Laplante who might just steal the show. Laplante has been able to rack up 10 cashes so far at the WSOP, with one of them a bracelet win (Event #12, the $ 565 Pot Limit Omaha tournament) and sits in 13th place with 1192.58 points. More importantly for Laplante, he is one cash away from tying the record in one summer in Las Vegas and three away from tying the record in one calendar year (one of the many players who are benefitting from the expanded payout schedule at the 2016 WSOP). The rest of the Top 20 has Paul Volpe (1185.71 points), Daniel Strelitz (1165.98), Eli Elezra (1143.19), Matt Stout (1118.55), Dan Kelly (1115.56), James Obst (1110.44) and Brandon Shack-Harris (1102.54) in 14th through 20th places, respectively (the third double bracelet winner of the 2016 WSOP, Ian Johns, isn’t seen until 22nd place).

To reiterate, remember Mercier’s huge edge on Glaser (769.39 points)…then consider that Glaser’s lead over Shack-Harris is only 249.76 points.

It is going to be pretty difficult to catch Mercier, but there’s still time to achieve the feat. With two more weeks of tournaments in Las Vegas – and the 2016 WSOP Asia/Pacific on the horizon (a time and schedule have not yet been announced) – there will be events that can put some points on the board. If Mercier continues on this blitzkrieg, however, the WSOP Player of the Year may be decided before the cards even hit the air in Australia, let alone the “November Nine” final table for the WSOP Championship Event.

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2016 WSOP Preliminary Events: Jason Mercier Takes Second Bracelet of the Schedule, Calvin Lee Wins His First Ever

 2016 WSOP Preliminary Events: Jason Mercier Takes Second Bracelet of the Schedule, Calvin Lee Wins His First Ever

The 2016 World Series of Poker’s latest two bracelet winners went to both sides of the coin to claim their trophies. In one event, it was a rather rapid affair (although it HAD been extended from the previous day), while the other tournament wrapped up early Saturday morning.

Event #21 – $ 3000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em

Originally scheduled to conclude on Thursday, five men had to come back on Friday due to the WSOP curfew rules regarding play of events. Will Givens was absolutely crushing the field with his 6.03 million chip stack, while Calvin Lee (4.25 million), Mark Herm (2.77 million), Martin Kozlov (1.555 million) and Steven Thompson (835,000) looked to get back in the match.

The early action saw Thompson get a big double up against Givens to get healthy again, which became a theme for the early play. Kozlov would double through Herm, Thompson through Lee, Herm through Lee…it seemed nobody wanted to depart the festivities. It wasn’t until 150 minutes of play had passed before a double up chance was defeated.

In a blind-versus-blind battle, Lee moved all in from the small blind and Kozlov, squeezing his hole cards, found something to his liking and called. Kozlov’s pocket nines were good against Lee’s Q-J off suit, and the 2-2-4 flop kept Lee in the lead. A Jack on the turn, however, changed the fortunes of the men, leaving Kozlov looking for a nine or a spade to complete his four-flush. Alas, a 5 wasn’t what he was looking for as Kozlov headed to the exits with a fifth place finish.

After Kozlov’s departure, the floodgates were opened. A newly revitalized Lee took down Givens in fourth and, after Thompson dumped Herm from the tournament in third place, the heads up showdown was set with Thompson holding a decent lead (8.82 million to 6.625 million) over Lee. Now the real fight was on, however.

Over a two-hour battle, Lee and Thompson shuffled chips back and forth, neither willing to give up the WSOP bracelet without a fight. The key hand proved to be Hand #169 of the final table, when Lee doubled through Thompson to take over the lead, and Lee would not look back. He slowly and methodically ground down the stack of Thompson, leading to the penultimate final hand.

After Lee limped in and Thompson checked his option, a seemingly innocent 7-5-2 flop hit the baize. Thompson bet out and, after Lee raised all in, Thompson took a moment to ponder the situation before making the call. Lee’s “computer hand” (Q-7) had struck gold against Thompson’s 8-7 and, once another five and a four rolled off on the turn and river, the tournament was over with Lee claiming the gold.

1. Calvin Lee, $ 531,577
2. Steven Thompson, $ 328,487
3. Mark Herm, $ 224,805
4. Will Givens, $ 156,281
5. Martin Kozlov, $ 110,389
6. Alex Queen, $ 79,246*

(* – eliminated on Thursday, member of official WSOP final table)

Event #24 – $ 10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship

In what would prove to be one of the longest days of this year’s WSOP, Jason Mercier picked up his second WSOP bracelet of 2016 in defeating a difficult 171 player field – and James Obst heads up – to claim the H.O.R.S.E. crown.

Mercier was lording over the 14 men who remained in the tournament on Friday, his 1.597 million stack threatened by Jesse Martin and Nick Schulman, who were also over the million chip mark (1.244 million and 1.170, respectively). Others, such as Viacheslav Zhukov, John Monnette, Bryn Kenney and Yuval Bronshtein, also were waiting to take a piece of Mercier.

There was only one problem with that “taking a piece of Mercier” thought…Mercier didn’t want to cooperate. He would crack the two million mark in taking a pot off of Adam Friedman in Seven Card Stud and barreled past 2.5 million in winning with the Wheel against Kenney in Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo. By the time Monnette was eliminated on the final table bubble by Martin, Mercier was the only player above (WAY above) two million in chips.

Things would only get better for Mercier. He eliminated Kenney in eighth place in Razz and knocked off Bronshtein in seventh place in Limit Hold’em before Mercier saw his first adversity. Obst would cut 800K out of Mercier’s stack in Omaha Hold’em Hi/Lo, then Obst would push Mercier under one million chips in taking a huge Razz pot right after dinner. Mercier would come back, however, taking down Friedman in fourth to regain some of his former prestige.

The problem was that Obst was now the one wrecking the field. Obst took out Schulman in Seven Card Stud to enter heads up play against Mercier with more than a four million chip lead. Over the span of 45 minutes, however, Mercier would eat into that lead until it was just over a million chips. Another 15 minutes of play saw Mercier reclaim his lead and he wouldn’t look back.

As the clock closed in on 4AM in the Amazon Room, the end of the event came. During the Limit Hold’em segment, Mercier raised off the button and Obst would call for the remainder of his chips (hey, it took Mercier a bit to grind him down). Mercier was completely playing his stack as he showed a 5-3 to take on Obst’s Q-J off suit. The odds improved for Mercier on a 10-4-2 flop, giving him an open-ended straight draw along with his two live cards against Obst’s over cards. An Ace on the turn gave Mercier the Wheel, but it also opened the door for Obst to make Broadway with a King on the river. Instead, an innocent deuce came to give Mercier his second bracelet victory of 2016 and his fifth bracelet win overall.

1. Jason Mercier, $ 422,874
2. James Obst, $ 261,354
3. Nick Schulman, $ 183,779
4. Adam Friedman, $ 131,519
5. Mikhail Semin, $ 95,817
6. Jesse Martin, $ 71,089
7. Yuval Bronshtein, $ 53,729
8. Bryn Kenney, $ 41,383

The latest win by Mercier catapults him into the lead in the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year race and also puts a bit more heat on Vanessa Selbst. According to their prop bet (which has become rather acrimonious), Selbst would owe Mercier a $ 1.8 million payday should he take a third bracelet this WSOP. With more than 40 events remaining (and apparently a highly motivated Mercier), it is going to be a sweat for Selbst (unless Mercier shows some…mercy).

The third event that was supposed to award a bracelet on Friday has been pushed to Saturday. After reaching the WSOP curfew, the $ 2000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, Event #23 on your schedule, saw two men left standing. Thus, Viliyan Petleshkov and Cesar Garcia will return at 1PM (Pacific Time) to resume their fight. Petleshkov will have the advantage over Garcia, 8.715 million to 5.48 million, but neither man is looking like they want to end this quickly (heads up play has already gone for more than 90 minutes). At stake for these men is the WSOP bracelet and a decent payday of $ 447,739 (second place doesn’t earn the bracelet, but a $ 276,660 haul isn’t bad either).

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Jason Mercier Earns Fourth WSOP Bracelet

 Jason Mercier Earns Fourth WSOP Bracelet

Jason Mercier won his fourth career World Series of Poker gold bracelet Tuesday morning outlasting an extremely seasoned field of 99 other players in Event #16: $ 10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship. The victory was worth $ 273,335.

Now, even though the first place prize was more than a quarter million dollars, it sounds like Mercier likely won a lot more from outside sources. Just two weeks ago, he put out a tweet looking for anyone to bet against him winning a bracelet this summer, giving him 3-to-1 odds. Prop bets like this are very common at the WSOP and are a way for players to have more fun rooting for and against each other, as well as providing another avenue for gambling. Mercier did get some takers, but has not said how many and for how much money, but he did say in his post-match interview that the amount he won from the side bets is “more than the first place prize for this event.”

Mercier defeated Mike Watson heads-up for the title. On the final hand, Watson raised on the button and Mercier called. Both men drew one card and proceeded to get it all-in, Watson’s tournament life on the line. Watson showed 9-7-4-3-2, a solid hand, but Mercier revealed 8-6-5-4-2 to give him a lower hand, the pot, and the tournament victory.

As mentioned, this was Jason Mercier’s fourth career WSOP bracelet. He previously nabbed jewelry in Pot-Limit Omaha events in both 2009 and 2011 and then won a No-Limit Hold’em event last year.

In an interview with the WSOP after his win, Mercier said this win only ranked below his first one.

“I’d say this was the second best of the four,” he remarked. “The first one you get is always the most special.  But I have been wanting to win this event for a long time and to get here against this kind of field was really nice.  It also helps that I had lots of side action riding on winning a bracelet this year.”

This fourth bracelet is now getting Mercier close to elite territory in terms of all-time bracelet winners. Amongst the others that have four are Robert Mizrachi, Max Pescatori, Huck Seed, Amarillo Slim Preston, Puggy Pearson, Bobby Baldwin, and Bill Boyd. One more and he will be tied with the likes of Stu Ungar, John Juanda, Scotty Nguyen, and Allen Cunningham. Of course, he still has approximately a lifetime to go to catch Phil Hellmuth, who has fourteen WSOP bracelets.

Needless to say, Jason Mercier is one of the best tournament players in the world. The PokerStars blog even called back to five years ago, when Mercier talked about his WSOP goals after winning his second bracelet:

It’s important to me for people to think I am one of the best. I think I am getting to that level, if I am not already there. Obviously, winning tournaments and winning WSOP bracelets just adds to that.  I feel like if I win a third one, it will do even more for me.  I’m ready to play in as many World Series of Poker events as I can to get as many gold bracelets as I can.

Mercier now has over $ 3.8 million in WSOP tournament earnings and $ 16.7 million in live tournament winnings overall.

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