Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
We know that every successful poker player needs stamina but we didn’t think that the WSOP Main Event winner would have to show Mo Farah levels of endurance. Greg Merson showed just such strength in claiming the 2012 title after a marathon final day at the Rio.
It took the 24-year-old over 11 hours and almost 400 hands to see off the challenge of first Jacob Balsiger and finally Jesse Sylvia to walk away with the first prize of over $8.5m.
Merson sealed his second WSOP bracelet of 2012 and his propulsion into poker superstardom at 5.45am with an unlikely holding of Kd5d. The final hand saw Merson make a 4 million button raise which Sylvia three-bet to 9.5 million. Merson four-bet shoved leaving his 21-year-old opponent with a tricky decision. Call and win and regain the chip lead, call and lose and go broke.
After going into the tank, Sylvia did eventually make the call, revealing QsJs. The 9d 6c 3h 6s 7c board helped neither player to give the Baltimore native the bracelet and poker immortality.
And if that wasn’t enough, the win saw Merson pip Phil Hellmuth to the Player of the Year title too.
"I feel pretty good — got all the tears out so now I feel relaxed,” the tired but elated winner told ABC News.
Runner up Sylvia wasn’t too disappointed either, “I think I’m going to travel and play a bunch of tournaments and stuff. I’m definitely going to go to film school which is something I have always wanted to do, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m moving to California with my girlfriend in less than a week.
The final day payouts were as follows:
1. Greg Merson – $8,527,982
2. Jesse Sylvia – $5,292,889
3. Jacob Balsiger - $3,799,073