Nearly three weeks after he issued a Twitter tirade against the World Poker Tour and its $500 buy-in Las Vegas tournament, the WPT500, 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Greg Merson (pictured) has responded to critics who thought he took his criticism too far.
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On his Twitter feed from July 6, Merson ripped into the WPT for holding its inaugural WPT500 at Aria in Las Vegas while the World Series of Poker Main Event was being conducted nearby at the Rio. “Can’t breathe on partypoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP Main Event,” Merson wrote in his first Tweet. “Of course you can play both, but very disrespectful, in my opinion.”
Merson went on to Tweet, “The Main Event is our Super Bowl, save your 5 day re-entry money grab for another date.” He concluded his scathing remarks by commenting, “Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slide since 2006.”
Players such as Christian charderHarder, Russell Thomas, and Brian Stinger885Hastings disagreed with Merson’s original Twitter rant, while WPT Tournament Director Matt Savage (pictured below) addressed Merson directly. “We moved our dates from [July] 1-6 out of respect for the Little One for One Drop, as a $1K buy-in is too close to $500,” Savage wrote on Twitter. “No one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn’t expect a single player to skip ME for this.”
Over the past weekend, Merson addressed those who disagreed with him in a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, in part saying, “I think it is very unlikely I would have fallen into poker without the boom in 2003, which was caused predominantly by the Main Event,” Merson continued. “The Main Event blew up poker to another level and keeping the numbers strong for the Main Event is important for the industry as it continues to struggle without Federal legalized online poker in the States.”
“For partypoker/WPT to poach the traffic for the biggest event of the year was a little grimy,” Merson stated. “Let’s see how they would feel about WSOP putting a $500 bracelet event the same days and in the same city as their WPT Championship. It mostly comes down to the fact that the 3 major tours fight for the same players and should be working together and not against each other.”
The statements from Merson come on the heels of signing with the Nevada-based regulated online poker site WSOP.com as its first sponsored pro.