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  1. Five years ago, longtime PocketFiver Jason treysfull21 Mercier (pictured) took home a World Series of Poker bracelet in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event and cashed for $237,000. In 2011, he added a second piece of hardware in a $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max event for $619,000. Now, Mercier will be looking to add to his $2 million in career WSOP earnings starting later this month at the Rio in Las Vegas. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- Mercier told PocketFives that his tentative plans are to play all of the higher buy-in events at the WSOP, and by "higher buy-in," we mean $5,000 and up. "I'm looking forward to the new $10K events," Mercier said. "Generally, those fields are tougher, but I like the smaller field, bigger buy-in events with higher prize money and a better chance to win a bracelet." Mercier is eyeing two $10K disciplines in particular: Triple Draw and Razz. "I have only ever played a $2,500 or $3,000 event in those disciplines," Mercier admitted. "They are two of my favorite games and it's rare you get to play a tournament in that form, let alone a $10K event." The Floridian has 38 WSOP cashes to his name. Speaking of non-Hold'em games, Mercier began diversifying from the quintessential poker game in 2004 and started dabbling in Mixed Games in 2010. On what kind of group he foresees showing up for $10K Razz and Triple Draw events, Mercier commented, "I would imagine the Razz event will get 150-ish people. The Triple Draw event will probably get 100 people or so. Generally, they will be pretty tough fields with a lot of the regular Mixed Game players and the atmosphere will be pretty electric when I win one of them," he said with a smile. If Mercier manages to get a third bracelet, he'd become one of only 63 players ever to accomplish that feat. "Winning a third one would mean a lot to me," Mercier told us. "There aren't that many guys who have three bracelets, and to get to three when I'm still in my 20s would definitely be a cool accomplishment. I missed out on winning one in 2012 and 2013 and definitely don't want to go a third year in a row without winning one. I'm hungry to win a bracelet this summer." Mercier earned $1.4 million one year ago after taking second in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller in Monaco and has booked a pair of $200,000 live scores since then, one of which came in the WPT Alpha8stop in South Africa in February. "Going to South Africa was pretty incredible," Mercier relayed. "It was definitely unlike anywhere else I had been before and I'm looking forward to going back there eventually." One of his foes at the Alpha8 event was none other than Dan Cates (pictured), who won the tournament for $500,000. "Dan Cates played well in South Africa. I also played against him in the $100K in Monaco," Mercier said. "He has gotten a lot better since he first started playing live." Last week, Cates took second in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller for $1.7 million and is #5 on the 2014 money list thus far, according to the Hendon Mob; Mercier is #48. Online, Mercier won a PokerStars WCOOP event for nearly a half-million dollars in 2010, one of three WCOOP titles he has amassed over the years. He has $1.5 million in tracked scores total and is a sponsored pro at PokerStars, the largest online poker site on the face of the Earth. The 2014 WSOP begins on May 27 with the annual Casino Employees Event as well as a $25,000 Mixed-Max No Limit Hold'em tournament. The Main Event starts on July 5 with the first of three Day 1s and the winner of that tournament will pocket at least $10 million. Players in New Jersey and Nevada can qualify for $1,500 events and the Main Event at WSOP.com. Click here for WSOP.com Nevadaand click here for WSOP.com New Jersey. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Chalk up the first PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker(SCOOP) title for Jason treysfull21Mercier (pictured). The longtime PocketFiver won a $215 Eight-Game event on Thursday and now needs a TCOOP victory to become poker's third Triple COOP champion. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "It feels good," Mercier told PocketFives on Friday about his SCOOP win. "I am happy to get another title under my belt." The tournament had 559 entrants and more than doubled its $50,000 guaranteed prize pool. Mercier is an avid Mixed Game player and typically plays Eight Game cash online. "I'm very experienced in it," Mercier said. In fact, one of his two WCOOP titles came in an Eight-Game event. His other was in a $1,050 No Limit Hold'em tournament. Thursday's Eight-Game final table was stacked with the likes of Michael benvo123Benvenuti (pictured) and Eugene Katchalov. Perhaps not coincidentally, Mercier, Benvenuti, and Katchalov finished 1-2-3, respectively. "Michael and I had all the chips going into the final table," Mercier said. "I predicted I'd be facing him heads-up with two tables left. He played very well and Eugene did a good job to get third, allowing the others to get knocked out before him." We asked Mercier to break down the Eight-Game skills of Benvenuti and Katchalov. He responded, "I wasn't really even aware Michael played, but I was very impressed with how he was playing from what I could see. Eugene is very skilled at Mixed Games." Entering the final table, Mercier and Benvenuti had 1.77 million in chips; the rest of the table had just one million combined. Also on Thursday, Mercier finished seventh in a $2,100 SCOOP Eight-Game tournament, telling us, "I was kind of hanging on for a while in the $2K, but eventually got knocked out of that one. I was trying to finish the heads-up quickly so I could focus on the $2K because there was a lot more money on the line there and the heads-up was taking much more of my focus." Here's how the mid-stakes Eight-Game event's final table looked: 1. Jason treysfull21Mercier - $21,242.00 2. Michael benvo123Benvenuti - $15,652.00 3. Eugene "E.Katchalov" Katchalov - $11,459.50 4. Ceegee - $7,826.00 5. st0nebluff - $5,590.00 6. Eric tightlines Pratt - $3,577.60 Mercier has his sights set on winning the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship at the upcoming World Series of Poker. The tournament takes on an Eight-Game format and Mercier joked, "That one would have a little better payout." Finally, we asked Mercier whether he gets a rail when he is running deep in tournaments online. After all, he has had a considerable amount of success over the years for people to get behind, including two WSOP bracelets and $1.5 million in tracked online scores. "I have some close friends and family back home watching," Mercier said, "and I get a lot of mentions on Twitter from fans that tell me they are rooting me on and sweating, which is pretty cool." If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and get a 100% up to $600 deposit bonus along with one free month of PocketFives Trainingwith no sign-up fee. Sign up here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Six hours after heads-up play began in Event #44 of the World Series of Poker, a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em tournament, Jordan iMsoLucky0Morgan (pictured) and Evan McNiff "were exhausted and decided to call it quits for the day after playing through 10 long levels," according to coverage on WSOP.com. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- "With less than 20 minutes remaining in Level 31, Morgan and McNiff started discussing, and quickly agreed, that they should just finish their battle the following day." Incredibly, it took just 78 hands for the nine-handed final table to get to heads-up play. However, nearly 200 hands have since taken place without a winner being crowned. Morgan entered heads-up play with a 4:1 advantage, but the tournament nearly ended with him all-in with A-K against K-K. As luck would have it, he spiked an ace on the river on the 199th hand of final table play to stay alive. The event marked Morgan's first WSOP final table since 2007. He also won a Circuit ring that year in the Grand Casino Tunica Main Event. PocketFiver Ray WirdPairFoley (pictured) exited in fourth place from the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event after shoving from the small blind with K-9 and getting a call from Morgan, who tabled A-4 of diamonds. An ace hit on the flop to give Morgan the lead and no help came on the turn or river. Foley, who won a bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event in 2009, earned $147,000. The Michigan resident is up to nearly $1 million in career WSOP earnings. Here's how the chip stacks look entering the final day: 1. Jordan iMsoLucky0Morgan - 4,445,000 2. Evan McNiff - 4,170,000 Also at the Rio, Jason treysfull21Mercier (pictured) leads the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship, which has 55 players remaining from its starting field of 102. Mercier has 802,000 in chips, slightly ahead of Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel, who has 783,000. Speaking of Duhamel, if you didn't hear, the woman charged with masterminding his assault (his ex-girlfriend) recently asked to stay behind bars, but a parole board is letting her go. Let's get back to the tournament now. One of the final eliminations of the night on Monday went to Joe Hachem, who was eliminated in a No Limit Hold'em hand after calling all-in on a board of 9-3-A-7. Hachem showed A-Q for top pair, while Brian Stinger885 Hastings flipped over 7-3 for two pair. The river was a 10 and Hachem, who won the Main Event in 2005, was sent packing. Here are the top 10 chip stacks in the Poker Player's Championship entering Day 3: 1. Jason treysfull21Mercier - 802,600 2. Jonathan Duhamel - 783,000 3. Shaun shaundeeb Deeb - 724,400 4. David Steicke - 711,100 5. Gary Benson - 534,700 6. Scott Seiver - 529,700 7. Matt Glantz - 522,800 8. David Oppenheim - 425,000 9. Roland Israelashvili - 404,700 10. Eli Elezra - 397,300 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. Jason treysfull21Mercier (pictured) continues to dominate the poker world. On Wednesday, he won his third World Series of Poker bracelet after taking down a $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Six-Maxevent. He now has 43 WSOP cashes and 13 final tables that account for almost $3 million in career WSOP winnings. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Interestingly, the $5K marked Mercier's first bracelet win in Hold'em. His previous two WSOP titles both came in Pot Limit Omaha. He told WSOP staff following the tournament, "It feels great. I was really down on myself. I was getting beat up in cash, busting every tournament. This is the first tournament I made Day 2 of. It feels really good just to go deep, make the final table, and to win is just the cherry on top." Mercier was in 17th place out of 20 entering Wednesday's restart. However, by the time the final table rolled around, he knocked out three players in the span of 11 hands, including sending fellow PocketFiver James Andy McLEOD Obst to the rail in sixth place after hitting a four-outer. To sum up that hand, we'll turn to Mercier's Twitter feed. He Tweeted, "Omgggggoodness. Binked AKs vs QQ for a huge pot!!! T36... Q... Jack!!! 5.8 mill and massive chip leader with 5 left. Let's gooooooooo!" Obst (pictured) was the chip leader with 20 players remaining out of the starting grid of 550. The final table had three bracelet winners, while the other three players had 27 WSOP cashes for a combined $1 million. When Mercier won, he Tweeted, "Won it! 3rd bracelet in the books! #ScoopJardine." That Tweet got over 500 Likes and over 100 re-Tweets. Online, Mercier has $1.9 million in tournament cashes, including two WCOOP bracelets, four SCOOP wins, and an FTOPS jersey. It's hard to believe that he's only 28 years old. He earned three SCOOP titles this year. Congratulations for Mercier poured in on Twitter. Darryll DFishFish Tweeted, "It seems as though @JasonMercier knows a thing or two about winning poker tournaments." Bertrand ElkY Grospellier added, "Congrats @JasonMercier!!! Is it me or did it just end??? #sosick." Heads-up, Mercier beat Simon x1deadman1x Deadman. The latter, 27 years of age, hails from the UK and has $128,000 in online tournament winnings to his credit. Here's how the final table of six cashed out: 1. Jason treysfull21Mercier - $633,357 2. Simon x1deadman1xDeadman - $391,446 3. Mike Gorodinsky - $246,867 4. Dario Sammartino - $163,604 5. Igor Dubinsky - $111,672 6. James Andy McLEOD Obst - $78,428 Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  5. The start of the annual PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Pokerhas been mighty kind to PocketFiver Jason treysfull21 Mercier (pictured). He managed to score two SCOOP wins in the first eight events. His first title came in Event #5, a $2,100 Fixed Limit Badugi tournament. There were only 56 players, but the prize pool still swelled to $112,000 and the top seven left with cash. Mercier was fourth in chips entering the eight-handed final table, but built a 2:1 lead by the time heads-up play against Adam AdamyidOwen began. In the end, Mercier's title was worth $39,000; it was the first Badugi win of his career. One night later, Mercier was back at it, winning a $2,100 No Limit Five Card Draw tournament. There were 43 entrants in that one and Mercier beat out Russia's berserk64 heads-up for $34,000. The final table also featured the likes of Mike SirWattsWatson and Vladimir GVOZDIKA55 Schemelev. Mercier told PocketFives on Wednesday, "I feel good about it. I am happy to have a chance at winning the SCOOP Player of the Year title. I have never played a full SCOOP or WCOOP schedule and this time I actually am, so I'm hoping I can win it." Mercier has $1.6 million in tracked online tournament winnings, including WCOOP wins in 2010 and 2012 for almost three-quarters of a million dollars combined. He has seven SCOOP, WCOOP, and FTOPS titles under his belt. In the live arena, Mercier has $13.8 million in winnings, according to the Hendon Mob, and is #12 on poker's all-time money list. He hit it big back in 2008, introducing himself to the mainstream poker world with a win in the EPT San Remo Main Event for $1.3 million. His largest live cash was worth $1.6 million and came last year in a Super High Roller Event in Las Vegas. He was the EPT Champion of Champions in 2011. Congrats to Jason Mercier on his SCOOP run! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  6. You have to be kidding me. Less than a week after winning two SCOOP events in two days, Jason treysfull21Mercier (pictured) was back at it, taking down a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Four-Maxevent for $178,000 following a heads-up chop. It was his third SCOOP win of 2015. The Four-Max event spanned two days and attracted a field of almost 400 entrants. Mercier contended with some of poker's most successful players at the final table, including Calvin Cal42688Anderson, who recently won a record-setting sixth SCOOP title, and Ryan HITTHEPANDA Franklin, who is approaching $4 million in career online tournament scores. Mercier was second in chips when the final table began and was seeking his sixth COOP title. He busted Anderson in third place with kings against K-Q to take a 3:2 chip lead into heads-up play against Franklin. Franklin and Mercier agreed on a chop and, two hands later, Mercier won his third SCOOP title in the first 20 events. As the PokerStars Blog explained, "This $170,457 victory in Event 20-H also gives Mercier six total COOP titles to tie him with Dan djk123Kelly and George Danzer. He is one behind Shaun shaundeeb Deeb and Anderson [who have] seven overall COOP wins." Here's how the final four looked: 1. Jason Mercier (Canada): $178,457 2. Ryan "HITTHEPANDA" Franklin (Canada): $152,789 3. Calvin "cal42688" Anderson (Mexico): $68,408 4. TransSib (Russia): $42,315 Mercier is up to $1.8 million in career online scores along with another $13.8 million in live scores, according to the Hendon Mob. His six COOP titles add up to over $1 million. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  7. Twenty players remain in Event #32 of the 2015 World Series of Poker, a $5,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament. A familiar face leads the way with a stack of 1.9 million: James Andy McLEOD Obst (pictured), who has almost double the stack of the next closest player. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The tournament restarts at 1:00pm Pacific Time on Wednesday. Obst made waves throughout the day on Tuesday, including in a hand that was 3bet to see a flop of 7-2-10. Obst called a continuation bet from Maxx Coleman, who bet again when a queen hit on the turn. Obst raised and Coleman relinquished his hand, pushing Obst's stack to over two million. Obst has $300,000 in career WSOP winnings and is seeking his third final table. The closest he's come to winning a bracelet was a third place finish in a $10,000 Stud event last year. He claimed the chip lead on Wednesday after doubling up with A-A against A-K. Nacho Barbero (pictured) is in second place with a little over one million in chips. In one of the final hands of Tuesday's play, Barbero 5bet all-in before the flop with K-Q and was in a race against 8-8. Barbero, from Argentina, hit a queen on the flop to pull ahead for good and double up. Tuan Le, who already has two WSOP bracelets, is in sixth place in the $5,000 Six-Max event with a stack of 736,000. Le won this year's $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship. In fact, the last two WSOP tournaments he's cashed in have been for bracelets. He won a $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball tournament last year, becoming the first repeat WSOP champ since 2009. Le was the second person to hit one million in chips, showing A-4 on a board with two aces and two tens for a full house. His opponent folded and Le's stack skyrocketed. Jorryt van Hoof, who finished third in the 2014 WSOP Main Eventfor almost $4 million, is in 11th place entering Wednesday's restart. Van Hoof sent Georgios Sotiropoulos to the rail in 23rd place after calling the all-in of Sotiropoulos with K-K on a flop of 8-8-6. Sotiropoulos rolled over 7-6, but the kings held. Van Hoof already has two top-ten finishes at this year's WSOP. Finally, we haven't mentioned his name much during this year's WSOP, but Jason treysfull21 Mercier is in 17th place with 328,000. He finished 29th in the $1,000 Hyper Hold'em event and is a two-time bracelet winner. First place will make $633,357, while everyone left is guaranteed $20,000. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. [caption width="540"] Fabian Quoss won the Aussie Millions 0K Challenge[/caption] After a four day break in action, the stacked final table of the 2016 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge final table resumed play on Friday night with Ben 'Ben86' Tollerene leading over Jason Mercier, Fedor 'CrownUpGuy' Holz, Fabian Quoss, Connor Drinan and Sam Greenwood. It took just five hours to play down to a winner with Quoss outlasting Tollerene heads-up to win A$1,446,480 ($1,024,000 US). Holz, who won Super High Roller events in December and January, wasn’t able to overcome the short stack he started the day with. On just the sixth hand of the day, action folded to Drinan on the button and he moved all-in with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] before Holz tank-called from the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="qs"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="as"][poker card="9s"] to keep Drinan in the lead and eliminate Holz in sixth place for A$281,260 for his tenth six-figure score in the last year. Just six hands later Greenwood became Drinan’s second victim of the day. From the cutoff Drinan raised to 40,000 before Greenwood moved all in from the small blind for 235,000. Drinan called and tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"] while Greenwood was ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2c"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] flop was safe for Greenwood, as was the [poker card="4d"] turn, but the [poker card="9d"] river gave Drinan a pair of nines and sent Greenwood home in fifth place. Despite adding the stacks of Holz and Greenwood to his own, Drinan’s run was cut short. After dropping pots to Mercier and Quoss to get short, Drinan doubled through Mercier before finding himself in a tough spot. Action folded to Quoss on the button and he raised to 55,000 with [poker card="ac"] [poker card="2c"] and Drinan called from the big blind with [poker card="qc"] [poker card="9s"]. After the [poker card="jc"][poker card="td"][poker card="7c"] Drinan check-called Quoss’ bet of 75,000. The [poker card="9c"] turn completed Quoss’ flush and after Drinan checked, Quoss bet 135,000. Drinan called. The river was the [poker card="6c"] which gave Drinan a flush of his own. Drinan bet 165,000 and Quoss responded by moving all in. Drinan went into the tank, eventually using the time bank chips players are given to extend the shot clock on any given hand. Drinan called, was given the bad news and was eliminated in fourth place. While the first three eliminations came in the first 26 hands, the next one took some time. It took 31 more hands of play to get to heads-up action. Holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="8h"] Mercier button-raised to 60,000 and Quoss re-raised to 160,000 with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"]. Mercier moved all in and Quoss called. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="3s"][poker card="3h"] flop gave Quoss top pair. He improved to two pair after the [poker card="kh"] turn but Mercier was now drawing to the nut flush. The [poker card="2d"] missed Mercier and he was eliminated in third place. When heads-up play began Quoss had 2,500,000 in chips to Ben Tollerene’s 1,100,000. The pair played over 60 hands before Quoss conquered the highs stakes cash game specialist. Short-stacked after over two hours of heads up play, Tollerene called off his last 250,000 holidng [poker card="js"][poker card="td"] after Quoss moved all in with [poker card="kh"][poker card="jh"]. The board ran out [poker card="6h"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5h"][poker card="5d"], completley missing Tollerene and leaving Quoss with the third super high roller title of his career. Final Table Payouts Fabian Quoss - A$1,446,480 Ben Tollerene - A$924,140 Jason Mercier - A$602,700 Connor Drinan - A$441,980 Sam Greenwood - A$321,440 Fedor Holz - A$281,260
  9. [caption width="640"] PokerStars pro Jason Mercier is looking forward to defending his SCOOP Player of the Series title.[/caption] It's two o'clock in the afternoon in the principality of Monaco. As punctual as ever, PokerStars pro Jason Mercier waltzes into the hip Blue Gin Bar at the Monte Carlo Bay Resort wearing basketball shorts and a black, long-sleeved Miami shirt. His white baseball cap is flipped backwards, he's showcasing jet black glasses, and he's adorned with PokerStars patches. He speaks with the same casualness he spoke with eight years ago when, donning a lucky collared shirt, he took down the European Poker Tour's San Remo Main Event. He's as laid back as it gets despite the fact he's about to register for a Single-Day High Roller event with a Є50,000 buy-in. And a few days after that, it'll be time to avenge his PokerStars SCOOP Player of the Series title. 2015 was a banner year for Mercier at SCOOP. He took down his second, third, and fourth SCOOP titles in the span of a couple weeks. He found victory in a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em event, a $2,100 No Limit Draw event, and a $2,100 Fixed Limit Badugi tournament, capturing SCOOP Player of the Series honors. "I'm not sure I can repeat getting three wins again," Mercier said from the comfort of a fluffy blue couch. "That was pretty tough. But, I think I can win Player of the Series again." It'll be all about volume for Mercier during this year's SCOOP. "I'm going to play pretty much every event," the Floridian said. "Last year, I didn't play most of the low events because they're so small relative to the larger events. And I was playing on a small laptop last year. This year, I brought a monitor, so I might have some of the low ones going so I can get some min-cashes for points to give myself a better chance of winning." All told, Mercier reached five final tables during the 2015 SCOOP, which also ran in May. "I'm not going to be disappointed if I don't win a SCOOP title – they're hard to get," said Mercier. "But I look forward to doing well. Winning Player of the Series this year is meaningful because I won it last year. It would be that much more impressive if I were to win it two years in a row. It's like defending my title." He'll come into SCOOP more determined than ever to repeat. And if he walks the walk, he'll get a trophy and $20,000 in cash. Maybe he'll drop the mic too. Like other pros, Mercier must exit the United States in order to play on PokerStars' dot-com site. Rather than moan and groan like some players do, Mercier sees it as an opportunity to travel the world. "It forces me to go to different places," he said. "This year, I went to Amsterdam and Aruba to play poker, two places I probably wouldn't have gone to otherwise. It's given me an opportunity to see more places and spend more time in places I want to for weeks at a time." When he does arrive at his grinding pad, he'll be able to battle in a series with 55 events and over $40 million guaranteed. "I'm looking forward to all of the Mixed Games," he said, trying to remember the schedule off-hand. "It's nice that there's at least a $2K buy-in for almost every variant like No Limit Deuce and Five Card Draw. But, I'm also looking forward to the $21K Eight-Max because a lot of times the biggest buy-in is a heads-up event, and I'm not crazy about heads-up tournaments, especially in WCOOP or SCOOP because they're really, really tough." The big $21K Eight-Max event will take place on May 14. You can expect many of the poker world's elite to show up. Speaking of showing up, volume will mean an aggressive SCOOP schedule. Otherwise, an encore performance will be hard to come by. "It usually depends what happened the night before," Mercier said of his daily schedule. "If I'm up super late, I'll usually have time to wake up and hop in the first event at the last moment. If I got knocked out of everything early, I might wake up and try to do something during the day and eat lunch or go to the beach. The first event of the day during SCOOP, I'll probably late register so I can do something earlier in the day. I'll register for all of the medium and high events during the day and potentially play some cash games on the side if they're good." Most of the time, he'll have seven or eight tables open at a time. Up to 15 SCOOP tournaments can happen in a single day. Whatever happens online, Mercier surrounds himself with the very best. Imagine having access to all of the following brainpower. "I still talk to Dan O'Brien a lot and Kyle Julius," Mercier said. "In the last year or two, I've started hanging out with Mustapha Kanit and Dario Sammartino. Mustapha is pretty unbelievable in what he has been able to do in the last couple of years." SCOOP runs for two weeks beginning Sunday, May 8.
  10. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier has turned the ,000 Championship events at the WSOP into his own personal playground.[/caption] By finishing first, second and first in three consecutive $10,000 buy-in Championship events at the 2016 World Series of Poker events, Jason Mercier etched himself into the poker history books, but a deeper dive into the numbers shows just how special Mercier’s current run really is. These big buy-in, small field events usually feature some of the less popular poker variants like Razz, No Limit Deuce to Seven and Eight Game Mix and tend to bring out only the best players in the world and Mercier is certainly at or near the top of that list. The numbers prove it. Since 2008, when a 21-year-old Mercier was first able to play at the WSOP, there have been a total of 84 $10,000 “Championship” events (including the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, but not counting the Main Event, which has a field size roughly 60X the size, or any High Roller event) and over that time frame Mercier has performed at a level only two or three others have been able to match. 15Number of times Mercier has cashed in the $10,000 Championship events. That puts him alone at the top for number of cashes, one ahead of Nick Schulman and three ahead of Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel and Matt Glantz. 2Mercier’s two wins in $10,000 Championship events this year are the first two of his career, but it ties him for the second most of all-time with Schulman, George Danzer, Brian Hastings, Michael Mizrachi and David 'Bakes' Baker. The only player with more is Daniel Alaei with four different Championship wins. 4Mercier is tied with Alaei for the most Top 2 finishes in the Championship events with four. While Alaei has never lost a heads-up battle for one of the $10,000 Championship bracelets, Mercier is actually 2-2. His two wins this summer (in No Limit Deuce to Seven and HORSE) are offset against being unable to get the better of Alexander Peterson in the 2015 $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship or Ray Dehkharghani in the $10,000 Razz event earlier this summer. Four players –Schulman, Baker, Paul Volpe and Phil Hellmuth – are tied with three top two finishes. 5Mercier is also tied for third for most top-five finishes with five. He’s part of a group of five players that are just one behind Schulman and Danzer. While two of these are wins, and two more are runner-up finishes, his fifth result came in 2014 when he finished third behind Volpe and Negreanu respectively in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. $2,011,952Mercier is one of just four players to have grossed more than $2,000,000 Championship events. The only players to have won more in these events are Michael Mizrachi ($3,527,357), Alaei ($3,028,263) and Scotty Nguyen ($2,011,952) and both Mizrachi and Nguyen have won the $50,000 Poker Players Championsip at least once to boost their earnings. Mercier’s total earnings of $2,011,952 represent 44.6% of his WSOP earnings. 4Mercier’s four cashes in 2016 $10,000 Championship events puts him just one behind Ville Wahlbeck for the most in one summer. In 2009, Wahlbeck cashed five times including a win, a second, a third and a sixth place finish. Mercier is tied with six other players with four $10,000 cashes in a single summer. There are still four more Championship events on the 2016 schedule. Most WSOP Championship Cashes in a Single Year 2009 - Ville Wahlbeck (5) 2008 - Alexander Kostritsyn (4) 2014 - Nick Schulman (4) 2014 - Daniel Negreanu (4) 2014 - George Danzer (4) 2014 - Todd Brunson (4) 2015 - Paul Volpe (4) 2016 - Jason Mercier (4) 2Mercier’s two bracelets in $10,000 Championship events this year marked only the second time that a player has done that in a single year. In 2014, Danzer won the $10,000 Razz and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo events. (Note: Greg Merson won the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em and Main Event in 2012, but given the relative field sizes, the Main Event was not considered for this data).
  11. On Tuesday, Jason Mercier found himself at yet another final table of a $10,000 buy-in event, but this time he wasn't able to seal deal and had to settle for an eighth place finish in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event. Three players, including Benny Glaser, had to bag up at the end of another ten levels and will return on Wednesday to finish. While that event didn't quite reach a conclusion, two more did, including the Super Seniors event and another $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. Event #29: Alexander Ziskin Wins $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em [CAPTION=100%]Alexander Ziskin managed to overcome Jens Grieme's comeback to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career[/CAPTION] Alexander Ziskin managed to avoid being the answer to a WSOP trivia question Tuesday night and in the process won the first gold bracelet of his career. Ziskin beat out Jens Grieme heads-up after action resumed for an unscheduled fourth day. Ziskin and Grieme were originally scheduled to finish up on Monday night, but over 200 hands of heads-up play resolved nothing and the two players bagged up and returned Tuesday. During Monday night's heads-up play, Ziskin had Grieme down to just one big blind and his victory seemed inevitable but Grieme actually battled back from that and entered Tuesday with a chip lead of 7,790,000 - 5,690,000. It took 91 hands On Tuesday for Ziskin to turn the tide and win the bracelet, earning $401,494 in the process. Had Grieme come back from just one big blind, it would have been the first time that a player had done that heads-up. Final Table Payouts Alexander Ziskin - $401,494 Jens Grieme - $248,067 Kam Low - $179,187 Patrick Powers - $130,780 Severin Schleser - $96,452 Craig Mason - $71,891 Marino Mura - $54,160 David Juenemann - $41,244 Aaron Kweskin - $31,754 Event #31: James Moore Wins Super Seniors [CAPTION=100%]James Moore was barely old enough to enter the Super Seniors event, but he did manage to outlast the field to capture his first WSOP bracelet.[/CAPTION] James Moore topped a field of 1,476 players to win the $1,000 buy-in Super Seniors event for $230,626. The 65-year-old radiologist from New Hope, PA barely meets the 65 years or older age requirement for the event but was thrilled to have accomplished something every poker player desires. "This is an unbelievable thrill for me," Moore said. "I had absolutely no expectations. It's every poker player’s dream, and mine just came true." Moore beat our Charles Barker heads-up for the win. Barker earned $142,461. Final Table Payouts James Moore - $230,626 Charles Barker - $142,461 Steven Krupnick - $102,052 Charles Rinn - $73,943 Eugene Spinner - $54,197 Fred Berger - $40,191 Arthur Loring - $30,159 James Parrott - $22,902 Vern Soeldner - $17,604 Event #32: Glaser Leads Final Three of $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship Once again all eyes were on Jason Mercier on Monday as he was at yet another final table of a $10,000 buy-in Championship event - his fourth straight. Mercier was eventually eliminated in eighth place and as the night wrapped up there were still three players remaining including another player going for his second bracelet of the summer. Benny Glaser, who won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event just three days ago, finished up Day 3 with the chip lead over the other two remaining players, Douglas Lorgeree and Matt Glantz. Glaser ended the day with 3,225,000. The day started with 16 players still in contention for the win. Former bracelet winners Andrew Brown, Eli Elezra, Shaun Deeb and Daniel Alaei - the defending champion in this event - were all eliminated before the final table. Mercier was eliminated by Greg Trelski. The event drew 384 players leading to a $896,250 prize pool and $213,186 first place prize. Top Ten Chip Counts Yen Wu = 114,200 Denny Axel - 105,600 Gleb Kovtunov - 97,700 Josh Arieh - 96,500 Hani Awad - 93,600 Bruce Walters - 93,100 Chip Jett - 85,700 Eric Rodawig - 76,600 Jack Duong - 76,500 Dzmitry Urbanovich - 76,000
  12. Don’t look but Jason Mercier is heading to his fourth consecutive Day 3 of a $10,000 Championship event at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The current WSOP Player of the Year front runner is among the final 16 players in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. He’s going to have to overcome a group of talented players, including chip leader Matt Glantz, if he plans to win his third bracelet of the summer on Tuesday. While Mercier was chasing WSOP history, Monday’s action also featured two players winning the first bracelets of their careers, including one player who overcame a record field to win over half a million dollars. Event #27: Johnnie Craig Wins Record-Breaking Seniors Event [caption width="640"] Johnnie Craig is 8,204 richer after winning the Seniors Event (WSOP photo).[/caption] It took an extra day of play, but Johnnie Craig won the largest WSOP Seniors event ever, beating out Jamshid Lofti heads up to win the bracelet, the Golden Eagle trophy and $538,204. “I can’t even describe this feeling. It’s amazing,” Craig said.*“I had the feeling I was going to win, and it worked out.” Craig, who served in both Irag and Afghanistan, finished 140th in this event in 2014. "I felt really good coming into the final table.*I was fourth in chips,” Craig said.*"I lost a pretty big hand off the bat, but I was still in the middle of the pack.*From that point on, I decided I wasn’t going to make any big moves unless I had a really big hand.*I started to chip away and got the chip lead, then once I did that I began to apply pressure.” The 4,499-player field was the largest ever Seniors Event, beating out the 2014 event by 74 players. Final Table Payouts Johnnie Craig - $538,204 Jamshid Lotfi - $332,413 Roger Sippl - $245,389 Joseph Somerville - $182,536 Wesley Chong - $136,829 Paul Runge - $103,366 Eugene Solomon - $78,699 Mike Lisanti $60,392 Alan Cutler - $46,713 Event #29: Two Players Remain in $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Monday was supposed to be the final day of play in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, but Jens Grieme and Alexander Ziskin played 215 hands of heads-up poker before having to bag up for the night. Grieme, who had Ziskin down to one big blind at one point, finished with 7,790,000 chips and a slight lead. Ziskin finished with 5,690,000. Among the 29 players who busted on Monday were Justin Young (18th - $15,490), Matt Stout (14th - $19,457) and WSOP bracelet winner and MasterChef contestant David Williams (12th - $24,718). Grieme and Ziskin resume their heads-up battle at Noon PT. Heads Up Chip Counts Jens Grieme - 7,790,000 Alexander Ziskin - 5,690,000 Event #30: Viatcheslav Ortynskiy Wins $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Bracelet [caption width="640"] Viatcheslav Ortynskiy won his first career WSOP bracelet on Monday (WSOP photo).[/caption] Prior to Monday Viatcheslav Ortynskiy had made three WSOP final tables in his career, never finishing better than third. On Monday however, he chased those demons away, beating out Rafael Lebron heads-up to win the $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event and the first bracelet of his career. Lebron had to settle for $212,779. Finishing third was Randy Ohel for $141,187. The mixed game specialist now has four cashes at the 2016 WSOP and all are top ten finishes. Final Table Payouts Viatcheslav Ortynskiy - $344,327 Rafael Lebron - $212,779 Randy Ohel - $141,187 Matthew Humphrey - $95,623 George Wolff - $66,134 Joshua Gibson - $46,727 Event #31: Fred Berger Leads Final 14 of Super Seniors Just over 14 years ago Fred Berger beat Chris Ferguson to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career. He’s had a few close calls since, including four final tables, but on Monday he put himself in position to finally grab the second bracelet of his career after bagging up the Day 2 chip lead in the Super Seniors event with just 14 players remaining. Just two days ago Berger finished 45th in the Seniors Event. Right behind Berger is Eugene Spinner. He finished 114th in this event in 2015. The shortest remaining stack belongs to Maureen Feduniak, who has just 112,000 (7 BBs) to work with. Defending Champion Jon Andlovec started Day 2 with the chip lead but eventually busted out in 20th place, earning $6,955. The remaining players return at 11 AM PT. Top Ten Chip Counts Fred Berger1,751,000 Eugene Spinner - 1,175,000 Charles Barker - 806,000 Arthur Loring - 518,000 Charles Rinn - 496,000 James Moore - 477,000 James Parrott - 449,000 James Ciotti - 408,000 Steven Krupnick - 351,000 David Forsberg - 287,000 Event #32: Matt Glantz Leads $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo, Jason Mercier Still in the Hunt Matt Glantz was the only player to finish Day 2 of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event with a seven-figure but, as has been the case for last 10 days, the story really is more about Jason Mercier. Mercier finished Day 2 with 444,000 - slightly below the 509,000 average - with just 16 players remaining. This marks the fourth consecutive $10,000 buy-in event that Mercier has cashed in. For his part, Glantz finished with 1,066,000 which puts him ahead of Grzegorz Trelski (945,000), Daniel Alaei (828,800), Todd Brunson (745,000) and Eli Elezra (715,000). Mercier might have finished with a less-than-average stack, but his confidence remains high. Alaei won this event last summer for his fifth career bracelet. The final 16 players return at 2 PM PT to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Matt Glantz - 1,066,000 Grzegorz Trelski - 945,000 Daniel Alaei - 828,800 Todd Brunson - 745,000 Eli Elezra - 715,000 Douglas Lorgeree - 650,000 Benny Glaser - 461,000 Jason Mercier - 444,000 Andrew Brown - 390,000 Robert Campbell - 372,000 Event #33: Bruno Vendramini On Top of Summer Solstice Being indoors playing poker on the longest day of the year was just fine for Bruno Vendramini. The Brazilian finished Day 1 of the $1,500 Summer Solstice event with 105,900 chips, edging out Ronald Lee for the end of day chip lead. Lee bagged up 104,825. The event, which has 90 minutes levels instead of the standard 60, drew 1,840 players, down slightly from the 1,914 that played the event in 2015. Just 445 players advanced to Day 2 including some familiar names and faces. Former November Niner Antoine Saout finished with 84,150 - the fourth biggest stack. Olivier Busquet ended up just behind him with 83,575. 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event winner Scott Davies, Ray Henson, Matt Haugen, Adrian Mateos and Jamie Kerstetter also advanced to Day 2. Top Ten Chip Counts Bruno Vendramini - 105,900 Ronald Lee - 104,825 Jason Helder - 96,025 Antoine Saout - 84,150 Olivier Busquet - 83,575 Idan Raviv - 82,150 Austin Hughes - 81,000 Dmitrii Shchepkin - 80,300 Andrew Moreno - 79,700 Shashank Jain - 79,650 Event #34: Bart Lybaert Leads $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw Prior to this summer, Belgian poker pro Bart Lybaert had just four WSOP cashes. He’s already recorded seven cashes this year and may be on his way to another one after finishing with the Day 1 chip lead in the $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. Lybaert finished with 113,100, putting him just ahead of Lawrence Berg’s 110,200. Just 65 of the 358 entrants advanced to Day 2 including Matt Waxman, Terrence Chan, Vanessa Selbst, Greg Raymer, Chris Klodnicki and arguably the greatest lowball player of all time, Billy Baxter. The top 54 players will get paid with the eventual champion earning $117,947. Top Ten Chip Counts Bart Lybaert - 113,100 Lawrence Berg - 110,200 Christopher Kaltenbach - 105,300 Jameson Painter - 97,500 David Snobl - 96,500 Iakov Onuchin - 82,400 Clemens Manzano - 79,700 Matt Waxman - 78,800 Gleb Kovtunov - 76,200 Patrice Biton - 74,000
  13. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier has one WSOP bracelet this year, but narrowly missed out on a second on Wednesday night.[/caption] For the last 72 hours the attention of the poker world has been squarely on Jason Mercier thanks to his first bracelet win of the summer and the six and seven-figure bracelet bets he made before the 2016 World Series of Poker began. On Monday night, Mercier won the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event for his fourth career bracelet and in the process won more money from his side action than he did for winning the actual tournament. Mercier has multiple bets on his own success this summer including bets for one bracelet, which are head-to-head bets against other players, bets for two bracelets that pay somewhere around 18-1 and a bet with Vanessa Selbst that pays a staggering 180-1 on a $10,000 wager should Mercier win three bracelets this summer. Shortly after Mercier captured the first bracelet, Selbst took to Twitter looking to hedge her own action. This opened up the conversation where eventually Selbst expressed disappointment that Mercier didn’t allow her to buy out of the bet in the days after making it. Selbst claimed she had been drinking with Mercier the night she made the bet and the alcohol may have influenced her decision. This lead to a number of poker players and others on social media taking sides. All of this was happening while Mercier was on his way to another $10,000 buy-in event final table. “I don’t really wanna comment necessarily publicly about what happened between me and Vanessa,” Mercier said. “We have different views on prop betting I guess, and what exactly happens between friends or whatever. But I don’t really want to get into it too much more.” On Wednesday night, Mercier entered the final table of the $10,000 Razz event with the chip lead and eventually found himself heads-up for his second bracelet. After two and a half hours of heads up play however, Ray Dehkharghani emerged victorious, leaving Mercier to settle for second place. “Pretty disappointed. I mean, I don’t feel like there was too much I could have done heads up. He played very well and it just wasn’t meant to be,” said Mercier. While there may have been very little he could have done, Mercier can’t help but think of the final table as a squandered opportunity to cash in more bets and put himself in position to scoop the biggest one of them all. “That’s what I’m most disappointed about. I have a bunch of bets on winning two bracelets and the huge one for winning three. It’s almost impossible to win three when you get a second (place) because that means you’re going to have to go heads up four times,” said Mercier. “It’s just a little disappointing for the equity in the bet. I mean, obviously I won more money and I can’t be too disappointed to get heads up for a bracelet, ever.’ With 46 events remaining on the WSOP schedule, Mercier has no intentions of slowing down in his pursuit of more bracelets including late-regging the next Championship event that began as Mercier was sitting at the Razz final table. “I’m definitely going to hop in the $10K HORSE now,” said Mercier. “I feel like I’m playing very well right now, I feel like I’m running well and there’s still plenty of big tournaments to play. I looked at the schedule this morning; $10K HORSE, $10K O8, Stud, $25K PLO, $10K PLO, $5K PLO, $50K, $100K. There’s ton of huge buy-in small field events that are very good chances to win. So if I can get myself to a couple more final tables who knows what will happen.” With the controversy over his bet with Selbst taking center stage on social media, Mercier said he was still able to focus on the task at hand. “It’s hard to keep up with all the mentions on Twitter, but besides that it’s not too big of a deal. It doesn’t even really cross my mind when I’m playing. It’s more about at the end of the night or before the day starts catching up on what the hell is going on,” said Mercier. The thought of playing for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of more dollars than other players he’s playing against is something Mercier admits to having thought about but believes the opportunity to win an additional six or seven figures makes it much easier for him to focus at the table. “It is a little daunting when you’re like the difference between first and second is $100,000, but for me it’s like $500,000 or $600,000 or whatever it is,” said Mercier. “I think it helps me just be even more focused and try to take down the title.” As for the bet with Selbst and the furor it caused on Twitter, Mercier claims it’s all in the past now after Selbst sold most of her action on the bet to Mike McDonald. “It’s pretty much squashed I think,” said Mercier. “I know that she pretty much bought out or sold the bet, if I end up winning three I guess I’ll end up getting paid from somebody else."
  14. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier now has four WSOP bracelets and a decent score from side bets . (WSOP photo)[/caption] Monday night was a good night to be Jason Mercier. Not only did Mercier win his fourth career World Series of Poker bracelet and over $270,000, but he also cleaned up on the first of many bracelet prop bets he has this summer. Mercier beat Mike Watson to win the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Deuce to Seven event. Meanwhile, the Millionaire Maker inched closer to a final table as did two other events. And don’t look now, but after a rough start to the 2016 WSOP, Phil Hellmuth is suddenly in a pretty good position to go on a deep run. Event #14: Alessio Dicesare Leads Final 16 of Millionaire Maker Day 3 of the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker began with 90 players all chasing one of the two seven-figure payouts but ten levels of play whittled the field down to just 15 players. Sitting on top with 7,200,000 is Alessio Dicesare. Jason Dewitt (5,770,000) and Garrett Greer (4,875,000) are right behind Dicesare. Sofia Lovgren, who spent some time as the chip leader late in the day, finished with 3,375,000 – just below the average stack. Benny Chen, who won this event in 2013, finished 39th for $26,470. Other notables who cashed on Monday include Max Silver, Alex Jacob and Adam Levy. The final 15 players return at 11 AM to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Alessio Dicesare - 7,200,000 Jason DeWitt - 5,770,000 Garrett Greer - 4,875,000 Stanley Lee - 4,825,000 Mikhail Semin - 4,380,000 Luke Brereton - 4,270,000 David Mowery - 3,750,000 Frank Rusnak - 3,570,000 Sofia Lovgren - 3,375,000 Arkadiy Tsinis - 3,095,000 Event #16: Jason Mercier Beats Mike Watson To Win $10K NL Deuce Jason Mercier spent the weeks leading up to the start of the WSOP booking as much action as he could on himself winning a bracelet. Monday night he came through and beat a final table that included Stephen Chidwick, Alex Luneau and eventually Mike Watson to win his fourth career bracelet and $273,335. On the final hand of the night Watson raised to 100,000 and Mercier called and each player drew a single card. Mercier checked, Watson bet 200,000 before Mercier moved all in. Watson eventually called and turned over 9-7-4-3-2 but Mercier showed 8-6-4-3-2 to win the event. Even though he walked away with a six-figure score, it wasn’t the biggest payday of the night for Mercier. “I won’t get into specifics, I guess, but I won well, well over what first was, on the side,” said Mercier. “I’ve really wanted to win this $10K No Limit Deuce, every single time I’ve played it. It’s one of my favorite tournaments of the year. And also having so much side action it ended up being one of my biggest scores of all time.” Mercier also has other prop bets on winning two and three bracelets this summer. The two bracelet bet pays somewhere around 18-1 and Mercier seems focused on making it an interesting summer. Final Table Payouts Jason Mercier - $273,335 Mike Watson - $168,936 Lamar Wilkinson - $120,025 David Grey - $86,302 Benny Glaser - $62,810 Stephen Chidwick - $46,277 Alex Luneau - $34,522 Event #17: Danny Wong Leads Final 24 in $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Just 24 players are left in the first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the summer and Danny Wong is the only player over 1,000,000 in chips. Wong finished Day 2 with 1,058,000 and has a comfortable lead of the rest of the field. Roberto Romanello sits second with 885,000 while Charles Carragher rounds out the top three with 848,000. Just a week removed from his runner-up finish in Colossus II, Jiri Horak finished Day 2 with the fourth biggest stack, 718,000. Day 3 begins at Noon PT and is scheduled to play to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Danny Wong - 1,058,000 Roberto Romanello - 885,000 Charles Carragher - 848,000 Jiri Horak - 718,000 Christopher Leong - 686,000 Nikolai Sears - 657,000 Rik Vandijk - 611,000 Cameron Rezaie - 580,000 Matthew Schreiber - 563,000 Koray Aldemir - 562,000 Event #18: Relative Unknown Jared Talarico Leading $3,000 HORSE Just 23 players stand between Jared Talarico and his first career bracelet. Talarico has just a few small WSOP cashes to his credit but on Monday night he finished with the chip lead in the $3,000 HORSE event. Talarico’s 825,00 puts him well ahead of the rest of the field. Gerald Ringe and Chino Rheem finished with 626,000 and 620,000 each. Marco Johnson (399,000) and two-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy (360,000) also finished in the top ten. The bubble burst when 2015 $1,500 HORSE champion Arash Ghaneian was eliminated in 61st place. Following his exit a number of well known players were eliminated with a WSOP cash to show for it. This event gets back underway at 2 PM PT and will play down to a champion – the third scheduled final table of the day. Shannon Sorr, Mike Leah, Robert Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth, Justin Bonomo, Brock Parker, Bruno Fitoussi and Chris Bjorin were all players who cashed on Day 2 but did not advance to Day 3. Top Ten Chip Counts Jared Talarico - 825,000 Gerald Ringe - 626,000 Chino Rheem - 620,000 Glenn Engelbert - 548,000 Todd Ickow - 459,000 Marco Johnson - 399,000 Pascal Leyo - 362,000 Michael Gathy 360,000 Jake Schwartz - 356,000 Chris George - 328,000 Event #19: Michael Luong Leads After Day 1 of $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Only 136 players remain from the 1,106 that began the day in the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event with Michael Luong leading with 197,200. While Luong flirted with the 200,000 mark, only six other players broke the 100,000 barrier. Troy Burkholder leads that group with 147,800. Some of the notables to finish with chips included Ismael Bojang (78,100), Darryl Fish (73,200), (64,800), JC Tran (61,300), Ben Yu (59,200), Mohsin Charania (43,000), Jesse Sylvia (43,400) and George Danzer (12,800). The top 166 players will earn at least $1,503 with the eventual champion walking away with the bracelet and $185,317. Top Ten Chip Counts Michael Luong - 197,200 Troy Burkholder - 147,800 Bart Dowling - 132,000 David Mzareulov - 115,000 Zaed Shamoon - 108,100 Pierre Milan - 107,200 Mark Guthridge - 106,000 Jared Bleznick - 98,800 Jeffrey Landherr - 97,400 Aleksey Filatov - 94,600 Event #20: Phil Hellmuth Doing His Best to Defend $10,000 Razz Title Last year Phil Hellmuth grabbed his 14th WSOP bracelet by winning the $10,000 Razz event. He showed up late to this year’s event but that didn’t stop him from putting on a show. Hellmuth finished Day 1 with 319,000 – 34,000 behind the chip leader, David Benyamine. The event attracted exactly 100 players with just 45 making it through the first day of action. Not surprisingly the top ten chip counts reads like a murder’s row of poker pros. Robert Mizrachi, Jesse Martin, Mike Gorodinsky, Phil Hui and Stephen Chidwick are all in the top ten, but none are prominent right now than Jason Mercier. Just hours after winning his fourth bracelet, Mercier bagged up 144,000 chips in the Razz event – good enough for seventh. Another bracelet by Mercier would obviously move his career total to five, but would also win the Team PokerStars pro a good chunk of change from prop bets. It wasn’t all good news for some of the biggest names in the game though. Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow and Billy Baxter were among the Day 1 casualties. Top Ten Chip Counts David Benyamine - 353,000 Phil Hellmuth - 319,000 Aleksandr Denisov - 223,500 Robert Mizrachi - 180,000 Jesse Martin - 155,000 Mike Gorodinsky - 145,000 Jason Mercier - 144,000 Phillip Hui - 140,000 Mark Gregorich - 140,000 Stephen Chidwick - 125,000
  15. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier is two days away from winning backt-to-back SCOOP Player of the Series titles.[/caption] No player has had more success in the history of the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker than Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson and Friday afternoon he added yet another title to his resume. Anderson beat out 239 other players to win the $27 Eight Game event for the seventh SCOOP win of his career - the most of any player. And while Anderson holds the record for most SCOOP wins, Jason Mercier is doing everything in his power to break records of his own. Mercier, who was SCOOP Player of the Series in 2015, won the $215 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event for his fifth career title. The win moved Mercier to the top of the SCOOP leaderboard with just two more days of play to go. Joshua ‘slayerv1fan’ Hoesel notched the first six-figure score of his career with a win in the $2,100 No Limit Hold’em event. Hoesel and ‘hurrrrican3’ made a deal heads-up that left $10,000 and the SCOOP title to play for. Hoesel faced a 2-1 chip deficit when heads up play began but chipped away at his opponents stack and ended up with $245,782.62 and the SCOOP watch while ‘hurrrrican3’ scored $262,477.38. Event 38 (H): $2,100 No Limit Holdem Entrants: 788 *(528 entries, 260 re-entries) Prize Pool: $1,576,000 Joshua 'slayerv1fan' Hoesel - $245,782.62* hurrrrican3 - $262,477.38* TanTanSWE - $157,600.00 Shyam 'G's zee' Srinivasan - $118,200.00 Alex 'lynskey99' Lynskey - $82,740.00 Elio 'smokrokflock' Fox - $66,890.00 Anthony "wwwBTHEREcom" Gregg - $51,220.00 nadalon - $35,460.00 Caipsa - $22,221.60 Event 40 (H): $2,100 Eight Game Entrants: 125 Prize Pool: $250,000 kuhns89 - $65,000 Sergey 'Gipsy74' Rybachenko - $43,750 Chris "Apotheosis92" Kruk - $32,500 RunGodLike - $21,250 Alex 'dynoalot' Difelice - $16,250 7Be/eC7 - $11,250 Event 40 (M): $215 Eight Game Entrants: 487 Total prize pool: $97,400 calvin7v - $18,506.00 cold_smile - $13,636.00 sprocketsAA - $9,983.50 sleepy_seven - $6,818.00 merla888 - $4,870.00 marwan24 - $3,116.80 Event 40 (L): $27 Eight Game Entrants: 1,912 Prize pool: $46,939.60 Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson - $7,511.62 gunnersfun - $5,632.75 sharikov_90 (Russia) $4,224.56 Gozillaah (Finland) $2,816.37 Dr Ganesha (Latvia) $1,877.58 James 'Andy McLEOD' Obst (Australia) $1,051.44 Event 41 (H): $1,050 NL Hold'em, Progressive Super KO 
Entrants:*1,559 Total prize pool:*$1,559,000 SP3WMONKEY - $130,215.58 + $31,228.96 in bounties mican_ludi - $95,099 + $48,602.46 in bounties Divved - $71,714 + $6,554.68 in bounties OMGACEACEACE - $53,006 + $6,234.37 in bounties MkMyWishFish - $38,195.50 + $17,810.52 in bounties gusmaa - $30,400.50 + $16,738.25 in bounties Vladimir "vovtroy" Troyanovskiy - $22,605.50 + $8,097,65 in bounties Olorionek - $14,810.50 + $6,921.86 in bounties benatias - $8,106.80 + $6,035.15 in bounties Event 41 (M): $109 NL Hold'em, Progressive Super-Knockout Entrants: 5,824 Total prize pool: $582,400 Diego 'Die Ventura' Ventura - $45,554.81 + $7,724.22 bounties cmu92 - $33,924.80 + $7,243.97 bounties xXOLIVATOXx - $24,024.00 + $7,148,74 bounties OrFrAiRe - $16,452.80+ $1,836,88 bounties 1337wannabe - $12,376.00 + $2,636.33 bounties manuverd0n - $9,464.00 + $4,004.95 bounties PokerProffs9 - $6,552.00 + $1,678.10 bounties bica999 - $3,640.00 + $1,914.90 bounties IsoHoo123 - $2,329.60 + $1,308.47 bounties Event 41 (L): $11 Progressive Super-Knockout Entrants: 18,195 Total prize pool: $181,950 chris13pao - $9,826.58 + $2,022.47 in bounties Bazuka1958 - $7,732.87 + $1,144.81 in bounties porsky12 - $5,913.37 + $897.12 in bounties 0__LATEX__0 - $4,093.87 + $163.33 in bounties muydias - $3,184.12 + $376.86 in bounties VMAX - $2,274.37 + $459.56 in bounties handbik666 - $1,364.62 + $487.29 in bounties Dmitrych77 - $818.77 + $198.07 in bounties kelsa67 - $545.85 + $321.33 in bounties Event 42 (H): $2,100 PL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max Entrants: 136 Prize Pool: $272,000 bernard-bb - $70,720.00 Antonio7 - $47,600.00 raiden_kan - $35,360.00 bratpack1979 - $23,120.00 onmybicycle - $17,680.00 WATnlos - $12,240.00 Event 42 (M): $215 PL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max Entrants: 594 Prize Pool: $118,800 Jason Mercier - $22,572 Brandon-Tino - $16,632 _Azur3_7 - $12,177 f1nsf4n7 - $8,316 Valya98 - $5,940 ZeelandBoy - $3,694.68 Event 42 (L): $27 PL Omaha Hi-Lo Six Max Entrants: 2,081 Prize pool: $51,088.55 Places paid: 264 d5t6y7 - $5,019.28* gangst3rn1 - $4,537.93* Nangino89 - $6,350.99* BeAcTlve - $5,550.41* GRZECHO77 - $1,915.82 Sur_OK1111 - $1,077.96 *Four-way deal Event 45 (H): $2,100 NL Holdem, Three Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entrants: 409 Prize Pool: $818,000 gortsos - $123,522.15 (+$10,302.34 in bounties) dynoalot - $71,315.39 (+$8,667.18 in bounties) €urop€an - $41,173.99 (+$14,334.37 in bounties) Event 45 (M): $215 NL Holdem, Three Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entrants: 2,032 Total prize pool: $406,400 Places paid: 251 HU4FU - $46,015.56 + $3,894.63 in bounties* sava-lenivec - $23,350.66 + $2,509.46 in bounties* elAsdespadas - $26,495.14 + $1,731.16 in bounties* *Three-way chop Event 45 (L): $27 NL Holdem, Three Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entrants: 8,577 Prize Pool: $210,565.35 PlatoonXe - $21,592.52 prize w/ $1,166.26 in bounties bebina9 - $12,463.05 prize w/ $579.65 in bounties pLAYERsvk - $7,195.54 prize w/ $249.47 in bounties
  16. [caption width="640"] Shaun Deeb grabbed his second WSOP bracelet on Thursday in the ,500 Seven Card Stud event (WSOP photo)[/caption] Just two bracelets were awarded on Thursday at the 2016 World Series of Poker and for both winners it was there second time winning one. Shaun Deeb beat a stacked final table to win the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event just one year after winning his first bracelet. Kristen Bicknell, the 2013 Ladies Champion, won her second career bracelet by coming out on top of the $1,500 Bounty event. While Deeb and Bicknell were winning their second career bracelets, Jason Mercier was a man on mission trying to win his third bracelet of the summer. Mercier played three events simultaneously in an attempt to advance a stack in all three events. Deeb's first bracelet came last year when he won the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em Championhip. Final Table Payouts Shaun Deeb - $111,101 Adam Friedman - $68,666 Max Pescatori- $46,312 Katherine Fleck - $31,899 Eugene Katchalov - $22,448 Yaniv Birman - $16,147 John Monnette - $11,878 Cory Zeidman - $8,941 Event #50: Vanessa Selbst Highlights 12 Players Left in $1,500 Shootout Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event saw 120 players return to play 12 10-handed tables with the winner of each moving on to the final day. The group of 12 who won their tables to advance includes Sam Greenwood and Niall Farrell but the real headliner is Vanessa Selbst. The remaining 12 players will start play with two six-handed tables on Friday and play down to a winner beginning at Noon. Final 12 Chip Counts Safiya Umerova - 654,000 Damian Salas - 654,000 Sam Greenwood - 653,000 Niall Farrell - 651,000 Erkut Yilmaz - 651,000 Alexander Lakhov - 646,000 Daniel McAulay - 641,000 Daniel Tang - 640,000 Vanessa Selbst - 639,000 Michael Mixer - 635,000 Yuliyan Kolev - 631,000 Raymond Ho - 630,500 Event #51: Tommy Lee Leads $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Day 2 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship saw just 28 players of the 159 who started the day move on to Day 3. Leading the pack is Tommy Lee with 2,100,000. He's the ony player to finish with more than 2,000,000. The group behind Le includes Brandon Shack-Harris (1,630,000), James 'Andy McLEOD' Obst (1,552,000), recent bracelet winner Loren Klein (760,000) and Max Silver (726,000). With the top 60 players all making the money in this event, there were 32 players eliminated on Thursday that managed to make a profit in the event including Erik Seidel ($15,113), Mike Matusow ($17,113), Taylor Paur ($17,113), Mike Watson ($18,925) and Jason Mercier ($18,925). The final 28 players return to play at 2 PM on Friday to play down to a winner or another 10 levels. Top 10 Chip Counts Tommy Le - 2,100,000 Brandon Shack-Harris - 1,630,000 James Obst - 1,552,000 Melad Marji - 1,300,000 Junayed Khan - 1,122,000 Travis Pearson - 1,108,000 Harley Stoffmaker - 1,050,000 Dominique Mosley - 817,000 Loren Klein - 760,000 Benjamin Reinhart - 739,000 Event #52: Erhan Iscan Leads $3,000 No Limit Hold'em Erhan Iscan has just one previous tournament cash to his credit - a 32nd place finish in a $120 buy-in tournament in 2009. On Thursday he took a gigantic step towards his second cash, this time with a much bigger payout available. Iscan leads after Day 1 of the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event with 281,000. He is one of 286 survivors from Day 1 action. Former PocketFives #1-ranked player Jordan Young finished with 177,000, good enough for a top five stack. Just two days after finishing runner-up to Ankush Mandavia in the $5,000 Turbo, Daniel Strelitz finished with a top 10 stack, after amassing 163,600 on Day 1. The event drew 1,125 players to create a $3,071,250 prizepool with the eventual champion walking away with $569,158. Some of the other notables to move on to Day 2 include Kevin Saul, Jay Farber, Stephen Chidwick, Joe Cada, Bryn Kenney and 888poker pro Sofia Lovgren. This is the only event of the day that Mercier managed to advance in. He'll have his work cut out for him on Friday however as he bagged up just 21,800 chips - the 251st biggest stack. Top 10 Chip Counts Erhan Iscan - 281,800 Oliver Bosch - 201,600 Keith Lehr - 188,200 Jordan Young - 177,000 Michael Kane - 174,000 Dorian Rios - 167,700 Christopher Kruk - 164,500 Daniel Strelitz - 163,600 Ivan Freitez - 156,900 Roman Valerstein - 142,800 Event #53: John Monnette Leads $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo After Day 1 One of the new events on the 2016 WSOP schedule this year, the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo event rotates between Omaha Hi-Lo, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo and Big O (five card Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo). To the surprise of few, a player that has vast experience playing all three variations of the game in Las Vegas cash games made his way to the top of the chip counts after Day 1. John Monnette, who has already cashed six times this summer, finished with 87,650 and the Day 1 chip lead. Right behind him is Yuval Bronshtein with 81,725. Former $50,000 Poker Players Championship winner David Bach sits third with 75,050. Other former braclet winners to advance to Day 2 include Michael Mizrachi, Eli Elezra, Mike Leah, Jason Somerville, Barry Greenstein, Allen Cunningham and Andrey Zaichenko. The event brought out 668 players with 207 moving on to Day 2. Top 10 Chip Counts John Monnette - 87,650 Yuval Bronshtein - 81,725 David Bach - 75,050 Cody Crouch - 74,400 Randy Schatz - 70,200 Michael Mizrachi - 67,325 Mark Johns - 65,050 Viliyan Petleshkov - 64,000 James Alexander - 63,100 Woody Deck - 61,325
  17. [CAPTION=100%]The fourth week of the 2016 WSOP schedule keeps recreational players in mind.[/CAPTION] Week 3 of the 2016 World Series of Poker turned into the World Series of Jason Mercier, and the Week 4 schedule offers a few opportunities for that to continue while there's also a bit of a focus on smaller buy-in, bigger field events with two of the WSOP's famous "gimmick" events running between now and Saturday. Summer Solstice In 2015 the WSOP debuted a new event with 90-minute levels called "Extended Play". The $1,500 buy-in event attracted 1,914 with Adrian Apmann. For 2016 the WSOP has re-branded the event to take advantage of the first day of summer and are calling the event the Summer Solstice. The $1,500 buy-in event runs Monday - Friday and is the first of four events this week targeted towards the always popular "recreational players". The Monster Returns In 2014, fresh off the success of the Millionaire Maker in 2013, introduced another special version of a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em tournament, dubbed the "Monster Stack". While most $1,500 buy-in events have 7,500 starting stacks, the Monster Stack doubles that to 15,000 to give players extra value and wiggle room to play. In the first two years of the event's history it has attracted 7,862 (2014) and 8,192 (2015) players with each champion walking away with over $1.2 million each. The Six Max World Championship While amateurs might be packing the Rio's hallways for the Summer Solstice or Monster Stack, the best No Limit Hold'em players in the world will be playing in the $10,000 Six Max NLHE Championship event. Running Thursday - Saturday, the event usually attracts over 250 players including a number of players who cut their teeth online. Last year Byron Kaverman beat a final table that included Doug Polk, Sam Greenwood and former #1-ranked PocketFives player Paul Volpe to win his first bracelet and $657,351. Mixed Triple Draw Debuts The $2,500 buy-in Mixed Triple Draw event might be one of the strongest fields of the year relative to buy-in. Making its WSOP debut this year, the event rotates between three variations of Triple Draw: Ace to Five, Deuce to Seven and Badugi. All three games, which are popular in the some of the biggest cash games in Las Vegas, will be played with a Limit format. The three-day event goes Thursday until Saturday. Other Notable Events This Week The $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo event finishes up on Tuesday. As of Monday morning Jason Mercier was still in the field, chasing what would be a fourth consecutive $10,000 buy-in event cash. Both the Seniors and Super Seniors events will crown their championship this week while on the opposite end of that spectrum, the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship runs next Saturday through Monday.
  18. [caption width="640"] Paul Volpe was all business after winning second bracelet.[/caption]Paul Volpe won his second WSOP bracelet on Sunday at the Rio at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The Millionaire Maker field finally combined for the first time while two vastly different events kicked off. Paul ‘paulgees’ Volpe Wins Second Bracelet in Eight Game Mix Paul Volpe won his second WSOP gold bracelet and is the first former PocketFives Number 1 ranked player to win in 2016. Volpe won $149,943 after defeating Jason Stockfish heads-up. Volpe’s win is his second final table of Series after stretch of two runner-ups and two other final tables reaching back to 2015. Volpe’s approach to the game was clear in his post-win comments, “With me, poker is mostly about the money. I know with the World Series of Poker there’s so much history and I respect that,” he said. “But I am here to earn a living, make money and support my family.” The event drew 101 more players than 2015 with 491 and built a prize pool of $662,850. The result may be an effect of the schedule this year with two Dealers Choice events, HORSE, Pot Limit Omaha and Razz events all drawing early interest from players. Final Table Payouts 1. Paul Volpe - $149,943 2. Jason Stockfish - $92,638 3. Ron Ware - $60,882 4. Benjamin Ludlow - $40,911 5. Anthony Lazar - $28,123 6. Gavin Smith - $19,787 Mohsin Charania Tops Milly Maker Field Two starting flights with single re-entry drew a monster field of 7,190 entrants of the Millionaire Maker, but they all in the same room together for the first time on Sunday with 1,172 returning players. After a long day of action Mohsin Charania leads the 124 surviving players with 1.6 million. The money bubble burst at 1,079 players and all Day 3 players are guaranteed $7,589. Five-figure payouts begin at 90 players and ninth place is good for $96,091. Many players were surprised to see first place earn $1.065 million, runner-up making an even $1 million but third place falls short with $500,000 – which is sure to have a huge effect on play. Garrett Greer, Adam Levy, Max Silver, Loni Harwood, Ismael Bojang, Matt Affleck and Simon Deadman all survived the day’s action but outside the top counts. Charania hasn’t had breakout success at the WSOP but has four cashes on the Series and bubbled the final table of the Top Up Turbo event. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Mohsin Charania – 1,664,000 2. Frank Rusnak – 1,348,000 3. Jorge Eghi – 1,289,000 4. Kyle Arora – 996,000 5. Mikhail Semin – 973,000 6. Dylan Kehoe – 937,000 7. Danny Elmore – 936,000 8. Benny Chen – 926,000 9. Louis Salter – 915,000 10. Dale Beaudoin – 900,000 Jason Mercier Looks for 4th Bracelet in No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship The $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship attracts the best poker players in the world – drawing from the tournament world and cash game world. An even 100 players entered the event, 34 survived to Day 2 and Jason Mercier leads the final nine to Day 3. Mercier is the only player over a million with one elimination away from the official final table. A stacked field of Mike Watson, Stephen Chidwick, David Grey and Jesse Martin all return. Anthony Zinno just missed the cut bowing out in 10th place – also making the money, but not Day 3 were Brian Hastings, Mike Matusow and Daniel Negreanu. Day 2 Chip Counts 1. Jason Mercier – 1,023,000 2. Mike Watson – 853,000 3. Stephen Chidwick – 770,000 4. Benny Glaser – 706,000 5. David Grey – 534,000 6. Alex Leneau – 442,000 7. Jesse Martin – 248,000 8. Herezel Zalewski – 238,000 9. Lamar Wilkinson – 194,000 Event 17: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em The first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the Series kicked off on Sunday and made the money before any players put chips in the bag. The tournament drew 2,242 entrants and only 239 advance to Day 2 with Stacey Nutini leading the way with 174,300 Daniel Weinman continues his hot early run bagging up in the top ten, but moving on with more modest stacks are Martin Staszko, Keven Stammen, Carlos Mortensen and Steven Gee. The field generated a prize pool north of $2 million for 337 players to finish in the money. All returning players have $1,628 guaranteed but have a pay jump five spots away. The final four players all join the six-figure club and the winner earns $316,920. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. Stacey Nutini – 174,300 2. Franklin Yao – 151,800 3. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 4. Koray Aldemir – 140,000 5. Matthew Schreiber – 129,300 6. Stefan Clemens – 125,000 7. Daniel Weinman – 122,000 8. Fabrice Halleux – 121,800 9. Pedro Oliveira – 120,300 10. William Firebaugh – 119,000 Event 18: $3,000 HORSE The late afternoon tournament saw 400 players enter and 144 bag up chips at the end of play. George Trigeorgis has a sizable lead heading into Day 2 with twice the average stack separating him from the field. The field juiced the prize pool to $1,092,000 for the top 60 finishers. The big money starts at 14 players with five-figure payouts. Brock Parker, Taylor Paur, Justin Bonomo and $10,000 Seven Card Stud Champ Robert Mizrachi all bagged up in the top half of the counts. Top Ten Chip Counts 1. George Trigeorgis – 160,200 2. Nicholas Kiley – 103,500 3. Brett Reichert – 102,200 4. Jared Talarico – 99,400 5. Andrey Zhigalov – 98,800 6. John Crisp – 96,000 7. Thao Thiem – 94,300 8. Par Hilderbrand – 89,400 9. Chino Rheem – 89,000 10. Mike Leah – 85,000 Just Another Manic Monday Monday’s action sees only one final table – the Deuce to Seven Championship – and the Millionaire Maker plays down to the final nine players. The early event is repeat of the weekend’s PLO madness with a $1,000 event kicking off and the $10,000 Razz Championship has cards in the air at 3 pm.
  19. [caption width="630"] Doug 'WCG|Rider' Polk won six figures and a SCOOP title on Saturday. (WPT photo)[/caption] Saturday afternoon Doug ‘WCG|Rider’ Polk captured his first career Spring Championship of Online Poker title by beating one of the tougher No Limit Hold’em fields the festival has to offer. Polk beat out 150 other players to win Event 43, a $2,100 NLHE event for $115,000. And he did it all live on Twitch. Polk streamed the final table live on Twitch right through until the final hand. Polk also made the final eight of the $21,000 buy-in Heads Up High Roller event which plays out on Sunday afternoon. David ‘EzPaTuLa’ Cabrera beat out Ivan ‘Negriin’ Luca to win the $215 buy-in mid-stakes version of the event. Carbrera walked away with $57,366.13 for the win. The low-stakes version went to Noah ‘dirty.brasil’ Vaillancourt. The Vancouver based grinder conquered 2,876 other players including Yuri ‘theNERDguy’ Martins heads up to win the title. After Brazil failed to win a SCOOP title on Friday, the South American poker powerhouse made sure to get one on Saturday. Ricardo ‘preTu.ras’ Silva took down Event 50 (L), a $27 NL Hold'em, Six Max, Progressive Super KO tournament. Silva’s win is the 19th win by a Brazilian player this SCOOP. Silva outlasted 7,438 other players to win the title and the $$13,732.61 first place prize money. He also collected an additional $2,821.27 in bounties. Silva won a Turbo Championship of Online Poker last year and now just needs a World Championship of Online Poker title to join the COOP Triple Crown club. The mid-stakes version of that event went to another player with previous SCOOP success ‘ex6tenceLV’ beat out over 2,300 players to win the second SCOOP title of his career and almost $50,000 in prize money. Hannes ‘SuchADegen’ Speiser won Event 50 (H), a $2,100 buy-in tournament, to win $107,730 plus an extra $41,645.97 in bounties. Also worth noting that Shaun Deeb earned enough points on Saturday to move past Jason Mercier for top spot on the Overall SCOOP leaderboard. With just two days of play left Deeb has 780 points while Mercier trails with 755. Event 43 (H): $2,100 NLHE 1R1A Entrants:151 (42 rebuys, 57 add-ons) Prize pool: $500,000 Doug ‘WCG|Rider’ Polk - $115,000.00 sk2ll_m0dR - $80,000.00 zcedrick - $60,750.00 James ‘Andy McLEOD’ Obst - $45,000 3P3NIPA - $30,000 Gandalf MR - $25,000 birddy420 - $20,000 EvnomiYa - $15,000 Lrslzk - $12,500 Event 43 (M): $215 NLHE 1R1A Entrants: 771 (323 rebuys, 446 add-ons) Prize pool: $312.620.00 David ‘EzPaTuLa’ Cabrera - $57,366.13 Ivan ‘Negriin’ Luca - $40,953.22 Shyam ‘G’s zee’ Srinivasan - $30,949.38 tobi123456 - $23,290.19 Fukuruku - $16,256.24 kawachi1984 - $13,130.04 i need sheet - $10,003.84 Francisco ‘Tomatee’ Benitez - $6,866.64 groww - $4,064.06 Event 43 (L): $27 NL Hold'em, 1R1A Entrants:*2,877 (1,700 re-buys, 1,793 add-ons) Prize pool:*$156,383.50 Noah ‘dirty.brasil’ Vaillancourt - $24,710.41 Yuri ‘theNERDguy’ Martins - $18,558.02 BioNicle9 - $13,292.59 GloRyKeepah - $9,148.43 rodloiola - $6,959.06 kopakabritu - $5,395.23 pitaoufmg - $3,831.39 LameR25 - $2,267.56 swifterjet - $1,329.25 Event 44 (H): $1,050 HORSE Entrants: 264 (169 entries, 95 re-entries) Prize pool: $264,000.00 Matthew 'MUSTAFABET' Ashton - $53,460.00 Naoya 'nkeyno' Kihara - $40,920.00 gloria1986 - $30,360.00 Trueteller - $22,440.00 Eugene Katchalov - $14,520.00 Luke 'lb6121' Schwartz - $11,880.00 Adam 'Adamyid' Owen - $9,240.00 HlPPOCAMP - $7,260.00 Event 44 (M): $109 HORSE
 Entrants:*990 (745 entries, 245 re-entries) Prize pool:*$99,000 GrimIsCool - $11,619.07* hipoppotamus - $11,107.93* cbolt21 - $13,458* YaaGy - $12,255.70* grampabumkin - $4,950 alxbanana - $3,465 thefish01x - $2,227.50 BOT OHO - $1,485 *Four way chop Event 44 (L): $11 HORSE Entrants: 3,217 (822 re-entries) Prize pool: $40,390.00 Bowsercastle - $4,602.63* tigrenok.mn - $4,544.56* Mikki31 - $4,150.81* JobberJay - $4,403.36* homasapiens - $2,019.50 ALD74 - $1,211.70 chaka-G - $605.85 Sharkomaha - $363.51 *Four way chop Event 50 (H): $2,100 NL Hold'em, Six Max, Progressive Super KO 
Entrants:*567 Prize pool:*$1,134,000 ($567,000 regular prize pool, $567,000 bounty prize pool) Hannes ‘SuchADegen’ Speiser - $107,730 + $41,645.97 in bounties Trueteller - $79,380 + $15,510.73 in bounties FaceStealer - $58,117.50 + $25,271.47 in bounties Bryn ‘BrynKenney’ Kenney - $39,690 + $28,281.24 in bounties Jason ‘jakoon1985’ Koon - $28,350 + $18,371.09 in bounties xPastorcitox - $18,144 + $7,867.15 in bounties Event 50 (M): $215 NL Hold'em, Six Max, Progressive Super KO Entrants:2,309 Prize pool: $461,800.00 ex6tenceLV - $36,368.18 + $13,122.75 = $49,490.93 ForTheSwaRMm - $26,553.50 + $4,207.00 = $30,760.50 zwacke - $19,626.50 + $7,614.41 in bounties = $27,240.91 Desmoplakin - $13,276.75 + $2,909.37 in bounties = $16,186.12 EyesNvrLie - $8,658.75 + $3,074.20 in bounties = $11,732.95 PjotrNL - $4,613.38 + $628.12 in bounties = $5,241.50 Event 50 (L): $27 NL Hold'em, Six Max, Progressive Super KO Entrants: 7,439 Prize pool: $182,627.45 (Regular pool: $91,499.70, Bounty pool: $91,127.75) Ricardo ‘preTu.ras’ Silva - $13,732.61 + $2,821.27 bounties Flyinbanana - $9,607.46 + $744.05 bounties !Mp!yavv - $6,862.47 + $6,862.47 bounties S3XXYMUCK - $4,117.48 + $1,891.82 bounties bodgik77 - $2,287.49 + $1,016.73 bounties Kosei Ichinose - $1,372.49 + $561.09 bounties
  20. [caption width="640"] Mitchell Towner had only planned to play one WSOP event this summer - and he won it (WSOP photo)[/caption] Many recreational players anxiously await the WSOP schedule every year so that they can pick the one event they're going to play. Mitchell Towner was one of those players and when he saw the 2016 World Series of Poker schedule he realized the $1,500 Monster Stack would be happening pretty close to a Las Vegas conference he already had plans to attend. So he played it. And on Tuesday night he did what ever recreational player dreams of and one his first WSOP bracelet. Towner was one of two players to win a bracelet on Tuesday as Loren Klein won one of his own. Those two were the big winners on Tuesday, but there were more than a few big names who made big moves towards bracelets of their own on Tuesday as well. Event #41: Mitchell Towner Wins Monster Stack Mitchell Towner picked one WSOP event to play this summer: the Monster Stack. On Tuesday night the 29-year-old University of Arizona professor proved that he had made the right decision by winning the Monster Stack and the $1,120,196 first place prize money. “When I was a college student, I never had any money. Now that I’m a professor, I had an extra $1,500 that I could play one event,” said Towner. Towner beat Venezualan poker pro Dorian Rios heads-up for the bracelet. Towner was in Las Vegas for a conference and the Monster Stack just happened to fit his schedule. “I came here for a conference and planned to play just one event. I might play the Main Event, too,” Towner said. “But after this, for me, it’s head back to work.” David Pham finished fifth for $289,497. Longtime PocketFiver Chris 'hattrick8810' Odle finished 19th for $39,027. The Monster Stack attracted 6,927 players and generated a total prize pool of $9,351,450 Final Table Payouts Mitchell Towner - $1,120,196 Dorian Rios - $692,029 Stephen Nussrallah - $513,902 Daniel DiPasquale - $384,338 David Pham - $289,497 Andrew Moreno - $219,632 David Valcourt - $167,838 Marshall White - $129,197 Cody Pack - $100,185 Event #44: Just Two Players in $1,000 No Limit Hold'em The $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event was supposed to end on Tuesday but Wenlong Jin and Steven Wolansky just couldn't cooperate. The two players are the last two remaining out of the 2,076 who played the event. Jin and Wolansky played over three hours of heads-up poker before bagging up for the night. Jin holds a slight chip lead with 5,262,000 to Wolansky's 5,120,000. The pair will resume play at Noon and play down to a winner. Heads-up Chip Counts Wenlong Jin - 5,262,000 Steven Wolansky - 5,120,000 Event #45: Loren Klein Goes Wire to Wire $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO [caption width="640"] Loren Klein lead the ,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO event from beginning to end. (WSOP photo)[/caption] At the end of Day 1 of the $1,500 Mixed No Limit Hold'em/Pot Limit omaha event, Loren Klein was at the top of the chip counts. When players bagged up at the end of Day 2, Klein was still leading. And when the tournament wrapped up on Tuesday night, Klein was posing for the bracelet winner's photo after beating out Dmitry Savelyev heads-up to win the first bracelet of his career. “It’s about money.It’s about glory.It’s about bracelets.I guess I like them all," Klein said after his win. This is Klein's fourth cash of the 2016 WSOP and 23rd of his career - all but one of those have come in either No Limit Hold'em or Pot Limit Omaha events. “These are definitely my two best games." Klein earned $241,427 for the win while Savelyev walked away with $149,177 for his runner-up performance. Craig Varnell, who won the WPT500 event last summer, finished 11th. Final Table Payouts Loren Klein - $241,427 Dmitry Savelyev - $149,177 Rick Alvarado - $104,784 Michael Noori - $74,634 Matthew Humphrey - $53,915 Eric Penner - $39,510 Alexandr Orlov - $29,378 David Callaghan - $22,168 Steven Gagliano - $16,980 Event #46: Former November Niner Leads $1,500 Bounty Event after Day 2 Steve Gee has some experience in making deep runs in big No Limit Hold'em fields and it's paying off in the $1,500 Bounty NLHE event. The former November Niner leads the final 36 players in the event with 1,675,000. Right behind Gee is 2013 WSOP Ladies Champion Kristen Bicknell with 1,446,000. Kitty Kuo has the third biggest stack after Day 2, finishing with 871,000. Calvin Anderson also advanced to Day 3, finishing with 546,000. Top 10 Chip Counts Steve Gee - 1,675,000 Kristen Bicknell - 1,446,000 Kitson Kho - 871,000 Sebastien Comel - 829,000 Fadi Hamad - 749,000 Jason Singleton - 711,000 Ben Marsh - 686,000 Josip Simunic - 666,000 Norbert Szecsi - 609,000 Milan Simko - 575,000 Event #47: Chris Klodnicki Leads $10,000 Triple Draw Championship Many people consider Chris Klodnicki to be one of the best players to have never won a WSOP bracelet. Just eight other players stand in Klodnicki's way of removing his name from that list. Klodnicki leads the final nine players in the $10,000 Triple Draw Championship after putting 1,910,000 in the bag at the end of Day 2 Tuesday. If Klodnicki is going to succeed he's going to need to make his way through a mine field of talented players. Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Michael Gathy, who just won the $5,000 Six Max NLHE event, sits second with 1,337,000. Another three-time bracelet winner, John Hennigan, is third. JC Tran and Viacheslav Zhukov, who have two bracelets each, round out the to five. The bubble burst on Tuesday and ten players managed to make it into the money before busting. Erik Sagstrom, Jon Turner, Stephen Chidwick, Dzmitry Urbanovich and Daniel Negreanu all managed to cash. Christopher Vitch, who won his first bracelet earlier this week in the $1,500 Mixed Triple Draw event, finished 10th. The final nine players are back in action at 2 PM PT. Final Nine Chip Counts Chris Klodnicki - 1,910,000 Michael Gathy - 1,337,000 John Hennigan - 787,000 JC Tran - 557,000 Viacheslav Zhukov - 487,000 Scott Abrams - 360,000 Abe Mosseri - 335,000 Brant Hale - 322,000 Andrey Zhigalov - 156,000 - Event #48: Michael Mizrachi Bags Big Stack in $5,000 Turbo Eduards Kudrjavcevs finished Day 1 of the $5,000 Turbo event with the chip lead but the group of 48 players chasing him includes some of the most accomplished NLHE players in the world. Kudrjavcevs finished with 640,000, which puts him barely ahead of Michael Mizrachi, who finished with 608,000. The top 10 also includes Ankush Mandavia, Max Silver, Kyle Julius, Dietrich Fast and Chance Kornuth. Another player who made it through Day 1 was Jason Mercier. With two bracelets already this summer, Mercier just needs one more to win a massive prop bet that was originally with Vanessa Selbst, althought Mike McDonald ended up buying a large piece of the bet after Jason won his first bracelet earlier this summer. McDonald also advanced to Day 2, finishing just ahead of Mercier with 327,000. One of the shorter stackes returning for Day 2 is Phil Hellmuth. The all-time leader in WSOP bracelets and cashes finished with just 122,000. The final 49 players return at Noon PT to play down to a winner. Top 10 Chip Counts Eduards Kudrjavcevs - 640,000 Michael Mizrachi - 608,000 Ankush Mandavia - 590,000 Max Silver - 536,000 Kyle Julius - 488,000 Pedro Oliveira - 480,000 Dietrich Fast - 431,000 Assani Fisher - 406,000 Chance Kornuth - 405,000 Fabrizio Gonzalez - 396,000 Event #49: Naoya Kihara Leads $1,500 Seven Card Stud Japanese poker pro Naoya Kihara finished Day 1 of the $1,500 Seven Card Stud with the biggest stack after bagging up 89,000. Right behind Kihara is Yaniv Birman with 84,900 and Brandon Cantu with 83,000. Benny Glaser, fresh off of winning his second WSOP bracelet of the summer, finished with 64,000, the sixth biggest Day 1 stack. Other bracelet winners to advance to Day 2 include Robert Mizrachi, Matt Grapenthien, John Monnette, Shaun Deeb, Dan Idema and Andre Akkari. Action resumes at 2 PM PT. Top 10 Chip Counts Naoya Kihara - 89,000 Yaniv Birman - 84,900 Brandon Cantu - 83,000 Frank Athey - 65,200 Ivan Schertzer - 64,700 Benny Glaser - 64,000 Yuebin Guo - 62,200 Matt Grapenthien - 61,800 Cory Zeidman - 61,100 Robert Mizrachi - 60,000
  21. The dog days of June in the 2016 World Series of Poker saw Event 40 of 69 kickoff and the five-day march of the Summer Solstice came to a near end. There was also a Six Max event running for a Day 3, Day 2 and Day 1 on Thursday. Koray Aldemir Leads Adrian Mateos to Day 5 of Summer Solstice The massive field of 1,840 entrants returned 17 survivors to Day 4 of the $1,500 Summer Solstice and the event looked to finish a day early after reaching the final table. After 150 hands only Koray Aldemir and 2013 WSOPE Main Event champ Adrian Mateos remain at 7.515 million and 6.28 million chips respectively. Mateos headlined a Day 4 field that included Kathy Liebert, Jason Wheeler and Chris Moorman. Mateos was a newcomer in 2013 and his Main Event win was his first WSOP cash. He’s in line for his fifth cash, but did advance to the Round of 16 in the Heads Up championship and made a deep run in a $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event earlier this Series. Aldemir has eight WSOP cashes dating back to 2014 and has been on a hot streak dating back to 2015. His largest cash came in the Main Event and this year he’s cashed in the Colossus, Millionaire Maker and a $1,000 NLH event. Cards will be in the air at noon where they’ll have the entire day to play for the bracelet. Final Table Payouts TBD – $409,171 TBD – $252,805 Alessandro Borsa - $182,835 Ralph Wong - $133,584 Jon Turner – $98,617 Jackson White - $73,563 Ronald McGinnity - $55,455 Stephen Ladowsky - $42,252 David Tovar - $32,540 Michael Gathy Wins 3rd Bracelet in 2nd Final Table of 2016 [caption width="640"] Mike Gathy picked up his third WSOP gold bracelet.[/caption]Michael Gathy lost to Rep Porter heads-up in the $1,500 Razz event three weeks ago for his 13th WSOP cash. He made another deep run a few days later in the $3,000 HORSE event finishing 12th but played his way to another final table this week, defeated Adrien Allain heads-up and won his third bracelet. Gathy had approximately 8.5 million to Allain’s 5 million on the final hand, they saw a three-bet flop of [poker card="ad"][poker card="7s"][poker card="3s"] and Gathy bet 450,000. Allain called, the turn came [poker card="kd"] and after Gathy checked Allain bet 800,000. Gathy called again, the river came [poker card="jc"], Gathy checked and Allain shoved. Gathy called holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] for two pair and Allain tabled a busted flush draw to lose the match. Final Table Payouts Michael Gathy – $560,843 Adrien Allain - $346,632 Manuel Nunez - $229,990 Blake Eastman - $155,762 Scott Margereson - $107,723 Thi Nguyen - $76,112 Hani Awad Captures 1st Bracelet After Finishing Runner-Up in 2015 in Same Event [caption width="640"] Hani Awad wins first gold bracelet after 50 years in Vegas and wins event he finished runner-up in 2015.[/caption]Hani Awad won his first gold bracelet for $213,186 and denied Fabrice Soulier his second bracelet. Awad finished runner-up to Konstantin Maslak in 2015 and bested a loaded final table with Aditya Prasetyo, Michaeld Chow and Per Hilderbrand. Awad began heads-up play with a 3-1 chiplead over Soulier and despite doubling up a couple times, Soulier couldn’t mount a comeback. After 50 years of living in Las Vegas and playing poker Awad said moments after winning, “This means everything. I don’t even care about the money. I just wanted to win the gold bracelet.” “When I first moved here I lived in the same building as (Stu) Ungar – at the Regency,” he said. “I played with all the people you know – Ungar, Seymour (Leibowitz) – all of them. I have been gambling for over 50 years in Las Vegas, I still play all the action games.” Final Table Payouts Hani Awad – $213,186 Fabrice Soulier – $131,762 Aditya Prasetyo - $89,409 Denny Axel - $61,888 Michael Chow - $43,717 Gleb Kovtunov - $31,527 Per Hildebrand - $23,222 Timothy Burt - $17,479 Event 37: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Day 2 of the event returned 128 players and after a full day of action 16 players remain advancing to Day 3. Tommy Le holds a huge lead over the field as the only player over a million with Jon Ho Christensen in second place with 699,000. Jake Schwartz and Dylan Linde are the most accomplished players returning but sit in the second half of the counts – Linde as the shortest. Matt Brady, Joe Serock and Daniel Negreanu all made the final four tables but were eliminated before the end of play. Natasha Barbour, Dan Sindelar, Tyler Patterson, Jordan Smith and Leif Force also cashed in the event. All returning players are guaranteed $7,179 but after the first elimination they hit a pay jump. Then, a trip to the final table doubles what their guaranteed and the winner walks with $212,128 – which forecasts a deliberate pace of play. Top Ten Chip Counts Tommy Le – 1,040,000 Jon Ho Christensen – 699,000 Henri Koivisto – 597,000 Arundel Robinson – 590,000 Thibaut Klinghammer – 446,000 Dieyar Kakel – 339,000 Jiaqi Xu – 318,000 Bryce Eckhart – 280,000 Jake Schwartz – 218,000 Patrick Salo – 218,000 Event 38: $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em Day 2 of the$3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em event had 64 survivors playing for the 37 spots that paid and after ten levels of action Limit Hold’em specialist Matt Matros leads the field one green chip short of a million chip stack. 2015 Main Event champ Joe McKeehen sits second in chips and along with Georgios Zisimopoulos the top three players hold a huge lead over the bottom five stacks. Rep Porter,Chris Klodnicki, Jesse Martin and Jason Somerville finished in the final three tables as Terrence Chan, Jeffrey Lisandro and Jonathan Duhamel cashed further down the payouts. Top Eight Chip Counts Matt Matros – 978,000 Joe McKeehen – 825,000 Georgios Zisimopoulos – 788,000 Mikhail Semin – 302,000 Alex Queen – 243,000 Audrey Zhigalov – 195,000 Brad Libson – 178,000 Rafael Lebron – 167,000 Event 39: $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship The short-hand No Limit Hold’em Championship is one of the most action-packed events of the summer featuring the biggest names in the game. The event drew 294 players and 123 of them advance to Day 2 with Garbriel Andrade leading the field. Robert Mizrachi andJustin Bonomo already logged significant time on the ESPN Thunderdome in 2016 and both bagged up in the top ten. Steve Gross, Timothy Adams, Galen Hall and Ankush Mandavia bagged up just outside the top ten. Simon Deadman, Tony Gregg, Jake Schindler,Vanessa Selbst and Jeff Gross bagged more modest stacks. The field combined for a $2,763,600 prize pool to pay out the top 45 finishers. The min-cash comes in at $14,848 but the final table locks up at least $90,783 and the winner earns $665,709 for the championship win. A Who’s Who in poker made up the field and not all of them survived the day – Jason Mercier, Antonio Esfandiari, Dominik Nitsche, Doug Polk, Erik Seidel and Fedor Holz all hit the rail on Thursday. Top Ten Chip Counts Gabriel Andrade – 443,000 Brandon Steven – 397,700 Daniel Strelitz – 324,200 Eric Sfez – 296,600 Rahul Byrraju – 252,000 Robert Mizrachi – 250,100 Justin Bonomo – 241,500 Senh Ung – 228,000 Assani Fisher – 205,500 Nick Petrangelo – 200,000 Event 40: $2,500 Mix Triple Draw Lowball The mix of Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Ace to Five and Badugi is a new event for the 2016 schedule and the Lowball mix drew 236 entrants. Former “Crew” member Anthony Lazar leads the field with Christopher Vitch close behind. 2011 Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko is second in chips and Jason Mercier finds himself advancing to another Day 2. Jon Turner put in a full day in the Summer Solstice event with a fifth place finish but jumped in the event and bagged up in the top 20. The field combined for a $536,900 prize pool for the final 36 players. Anyone making the final table has $18,336 locked up and the winner’s share is $136,854. Top Ten Chip Counts Anthony Lazar – 161,300 Christopher Vitch – 152,200 Martin Staszko – 97,900 Brandon Delnano – 93,600 Jason Mercier – 93,100 Tuan Le – 91,000 Daniel Hirleman – 87,200 Michael Noori – 86,700 Alan Myerson – 84,00 Timothy Burt – 81,400 The Monster Stack Arrives Day 1A of the player-favorite Monster Stack kicks off at 10 am Friday as the first of two flights. Players must choose either Day 1A or Day 1B as only on entry is allowed. Players begin the event with a 15,000 starting stack with the standard $1,500 No Limit Hold’em structure. The 3 PMevent is the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout.
  22. [caption width="640"] Jason Mercier won his second 2016 WSOP bracelet with his father Rick cheering him on from the rail[/caption] Sunday afternoon Jason Mercier will stand in a room full of his peers for his second bracelet ceremony of the 2016 World Series of Poker. This one will be special for sure – winning two bracelets in a single year is a rare feat – but it’s likely going to be even more special for Jason given that the person handing that bracelet to him is his father, Rick. On Father’s Day, Rick Mercier will be the one giving his son something, but it’s a moment that has been over eight years in the making. Earlier in the week Jason won his first bracelet of the year, and fourth of his career, in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. The next day, in that bracelet ceremony, he dedicated the win to his father, citing the incredible support he’d given him throughout his career. Jason didn’t tell Rick about the gesture, who was back home in Florida, ahead of time or actually, at all. “Actually Natasha (Barbour), his girlfriend, texted me the clip and yeah, it was really cool. I got real emotional because as a father you're always looking to make an impact on your kids and I don't think any dad really knows what kind of an impact they have,” said Rick, while he watched Jason, the youngest of his four kids, at the final table of the $10,000 HORSE event Friday night in Las Vegas. “So when your kid, your son, especially your adult children, takes a moment and says, ‘My dad has had a big impact,’ yeah it was very, very emotional for me. I got all choked up watching it.” The emotions carried over the next day when Rick and Jason, who are as close as any father-son team can be, got a chance to talk by phone. “We just talked briefly about it and I said, ‘Hey I got a copy of the video and that was really cool’ and he said, ‘I didn't say anything that wasn't true’,” said Rick. “We had a good chat about it and he's a good kid, he's a good son and he's the baby of the family. He's among the best in the world at what he does. For me, that's the thing I'm probably most proud of.” A few days later Rick, and his wife Dottie, found themselves in Las Vegas. The fact that Jason, who followed up the first bracelet win with a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Razz event, was in the middle of one of the most historic runs in WSOP history had nothing to do with it though. Weeks ago, the producers of the Poker Central show Pokerography, who are featuring Jason in the second season, offered to bring Rick and Dottie out to Las Vegas so they could spend some time in front of the cameras, telling stories about Jason. When it’s Rick’s turn to talk, he’s likely to talk about how he recognized Jason’s love of games and the strategy that goes into them at an early age. While Jason was busy playing baseball or basketball or soccer, Rick was coaching or umpiring games and got a better-than-front-row seat to see his son’s competitiveness on full display. “I taught him to play chess when he was a young kid. By the time he was 12 or 14 I stopped playing him because he was killing me,” said Rick. “I played on the chess team in junior high so I wasn't somebody that didn't really know the game at all, he just took it to a whole other level.” That combination of a competitive streak and love of strategy is what first turned Jason on to poker while in college. Jason had been playing so much poker from his dorm room that he eventually dropped out of college to play full time. That decision wasn’t received all that well at home, and it was a turning point in the father-son dynamic that could have gone either way. “It was not good. It was difficult because we had no reference at all for it. He grew up in a home where we don't gamble, it’s very strict and I was brought up very blue collar, so you find something to do, you work on that, you earn a living,” said Rick. “There was not really a whole lot about dreams and things that you wanted to do.” Jason’s parents made a tough decision. He couldn’t live at home if he wasn’t going to go to school or get a regular job – and he certainly wouldn’t be playing poker for a living under their roof. For the next few months Jason couch-surfed at various friends’ houses before father and son had a heart-to-heart. “After about ten weeks I guess, he called me and said, ‘Dad I want to come home.’ Actually I think he talked to his mom first, and he agreed at that point that he would stop playing,” said Rick. “At this point he wasn't playing live yet, this was only online and he agreed to go back to school. He agreed to go back to working a job that he had and so we agreed to, ‘Okay you can come back home’.” While telling your child that they’re no longer welcome at home sounds harsh, neither Rick nor Dottie ostracized Jason. They were just looking to make sure Jason made smart choices and was thinking about the long term. Handling the situation wasn’t easy, and Rick actually reached out to a few close friends for advice on how to handle it. “The thing about that is while that was tough and we did have to have hard relationship things, we never stopped being connected,” said Rick. “I still called him and still talked to him. His mom talked to him all the time and we just felt like we needed to be true to the rules that we had for him, but we didn't want him to ever feel like we didn't love him, he's still our son at that point, even if we didn't agree.” As he looks back at that period of Jason’s life and their relationship, Rick recognizes it probably had a profound impact on just how close the pair are now, even while Jason travels the world playing poker. “It set up a good parameter for the way we are today, because even though I'm his dad and I don't know much about this world, other than what I've learned over the least eight years, he still listens, still asks questions,” said Rick. “You can still have some influence in his life and I think that, that definitely goes back to the fact that we kept that communication going. We stayed connected.” After coming back home and going back to school and working a part-time job, Jason had another heart-to-heart with his parents. He told them he was still passionate about poker and really wanted to give it a try. Leaving the emotions out of the decision, Rick and Dottie knew they had to give Jason an opportunity to chase this dream he had of being a professional poker player – but there would be some rules this time. “At that point I kind of got it a little bit, I could see, ‘Okay he could maybe do this,’ and I just felt like I needed to let him try, and he was doing the other things that we had asked him to do so at that point we agreed he could play a certain number of hours each week,” said Rick. “I don't remember what it was, but it was not 60 hours a week like he was playing when he was in the dorm.” [caption width="640"] Rick Mercier watches Jason battle James Obst for the ,000 HORSE title[/caption] The rest of the story is part of poker lore now. Jason finished school and eventually qualified on PokerStars for some European Poker Tour events, including one in San Remo, Italy. Mercier won that event, beating out 700 other players to win $1,372,893. Since then Jason has gone on to win a grand total of $17 million and is widely recognized as one of the best poker players on the planet. That’s something that Rick takes a great deal of pride in, even if it is a little bit strange to say. “It is weird, but I'm a statistical kind of person. All the statistical analysis, when you look at his earnings, when you look at the consistency, when you go back and you look at his record in tournaments where he's been heads-up for a title, he's like 18-7 or something,” said Rick. “I've looked at the top 50 players in all-time earnings to see how many of those players have numbers like that. There aren't any.” Rick knows he sees Jason through the same tainted lens that any father sees their child through, but he’s also looking at the numbers – the things he just can’t have any influence on – and they tell him that Jason is an elite talent. “I look for numbers and he's been ranked number one in the GPI more than anybody else, any number of weeks. Those things to me tell me it's not just me saying that as his dad, the game itself says that. It is weird,” said Rick. “I think it's weirder when we're here in this environment. At home it's not, because the poker world, to an uneducated person, is a small market, small influence. So he can be home and he's just Jason. When he's here and when people are stopping him for things and yelling at him, ‘hey, it's Jason Mercier’, then yeah, that's a little weird. That just feels weird.” Even with all the money he’s won and the level of fame he’s achieved in poker, to Rick, Jason is still a down-to-earth humble young man finding his way in the world. When the poker world stops for a minute and Jason gets home to Miami, Rick sees a side of his son that nobody else in the world ever gets to see. “Jason loves his family. Whenever he's home he wants to get the family together. He's Uncle Jason to all the little babies. He loves that part of life,” said Rick. “I guess the best part of being his dad is he's a big kid and I love to see him doing well and it does excite me. I'm excited to see where he's going to end up, where his life is going to continue to take him.” Early Saturday morning Jason finished off James Obst to win the $10,000 HORSE event for his second bracelet in a week and the first person he sought on the rail was his father. “It means the world. It’s just so random that he’s even here to see me win a bracelet,” Jason said afterwards. “This is the first bracelet that he was able to see and he’s always sweating me, but this time he got to sweat me in person, which is cool.” As WSOP officials asked Jason how he wanted to handle the second bracelet ceremony, he knew that doing it Saturday wasn’t possible since his parents would be filming Pokerography at the exact same time and he really wanted them to see the ceremony. After finding out their flight left early evening on Sunday, it all came in to place to have the ceremony on Sunday – Father’s Day – and have his dad be on stage with him. “I'm glad we had kids when we were young, so I can still get around and I’m not pushing a walker around yet. So to see him compete like this and I hope to see him settle down and give us more grand-babies at some point,” said Rick. “This was fun. This was really fun.”
  23. [caption width="640"] Jason receiving his second bracelet of the year from his father Rick.[/caption]The 2016 World Series of Poker has 40 events in the books, a bit over halfway, and Player of the Year race is heating up. A handful of high value tournaments are slated over the next couple weeks and even though Jason Mercier’s lead looks to be solid, a win or couple deep runs from a contender could end the Summer of Mercier. Simply put, a motivated Mercier is a player to be feared. The five-time bracelet winner won two this year and a third would not only etch his name in history as the seventh player in history to win three in a year, he stands to collect mind-numbing money from bracelet bets. Mercier has seven cashes so far, with five final tables, one runner-up and in four $10,000 championship events. In a one-week span Mercier earned 366.26 points in the Deuce to Seven win, 287.70 points in Razz and 434.24 in the HORSE victory. Additionally, all of his cashes have come in different disciplines and not a single No Limit Hold’em event. Martin Kozlov sits in second place after five cashes on the Series. He most recently won the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship and earlier this year he finished fifth in the $3,000 Six Max NLH event. He made a deep run in the Summer Solstice event, barely missing the final table in 11th place for $25,335. Paul Volpe is the first former PocketFives Number One ranked player to win a bracelet in 2016 and the last player over 1,000 points. Volpe has played the WSOP regularly since 2011 and has racked up 27 cashes since playing full time. Volpe began the summer with a fourth place finish in the $1,500 Dealers Choice event and followed that up with his second career bracelet in the Eight Game Mix for $149,943. His five cashes this year have come in five different games and most recently finished in 10th place in the Six Max Championship Kozlov took down. Benny Glaser has had a very unique Series – for starters he won two bracelets in four cashes for a total of $718,669. He first took down the $1,500 Omaha HiLo event and a few days later he took down the $10,000 Omaha HiLo championship. Glaser’s first cash of the summer came in the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven event and a week later he final tabled the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Championship. His first career bracelet came in 2015 in the Triple Draw variant of the same game. Ryan Laplante has spent the most time in the cashout line with nine cashes on the Series. His largest came in his first career bracelet – the $565 Pot Limit Omaha event. He earned $190,328 to push his career WSOP earnings over the $500,000-mark. He has cashed in HORSE, Six Max No Limit Hold’em, PLO, Limit Hold’em and Omaha HiLo. WSOP Player of the Year Top Ten Standings Jason Mercier – 1,695.02 Martin Kozlov – 1,252.58 Benny Glaser – 1,156.57 Michael Semenov – 1,125.12 Ryan Laplante – 1,073.13 Ian Johns – 1,059.50 Paul Volpe – 1,044.15 David Vamplew – 998.25 Bart Lybaert – 984.90 Michael Gathy – 969.30
  24. [caption width="640"] Cash game player Ian Johns now owns 3 WSOP bracelets.[/caption]Lebron James finally brought home a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals but the Golden Eagle trophy (Seniors Event) will have to wait one more day to add a new. While most of the attention is steered to big bet poker, Limit Hold’em got its day in the sun. Ian Johns Wins 2nd Bracelet of Summer, 3rd Overall Ian Johns returned middle of the pack in chips for Day 3 as one of 17 returning players. Johns won the $1,500 HORSE event earlier this Series and after a heads-up battle with Sean Berrios he won his second bracelet of the summer for nearly $300,000 to push his summer earnings past the half million mark. Moments after winning he said, “I’m ecstatic. It’s so far out there. I don’t even play in that many tournaments – I never dreamed of it, I never thought about it.” The cash game player added, “For me, Limit Hold’em is a super fun game because you are constantly making decisions…it’s very fast. The hands take 90 seconds instead of four minutes like in No Limit. You just have so many opportunities to make these little incremental decisions. I have spent the last 12 years of my life trying to perfect those incremental decisions and that’s why I like it.” Johns joins Jason Mercier as the only two players to win multiple bracelets in 2016. The final table was loaded with bracelet winners in David Chiu, Bill Chen, Brock Parker and Brian Rast. Final Table Payouts Ian Johns – $290,635 Sean Berrios – $179,625 Alexander Balynskiy - $125,571 David Chiu - $89,810 Jeff Thompson - $65,752 Bill Chen - $49,304 Brock Parker - $37,888 Brian Rast - $29,855 Anh Van Nguyen - $24,140 Seniors Championship Stretches to 4th Day, Wesley Chong Leads Final Six Day 3 of the Seniors Championship event returned 57 players and playing down to a winner in the allotted time proved to be a challenge. The field made the final table late in play, managed to lose a couple players but Wesley Chong leads the final six with a 3 million-chip lead. Roger Sippl has the most WSOP experience with $23,763 in earnings. Chong has $400 less than Sipple and after that the cashes drop way off. Joseph Somerville and Johnnie Craig each have one WSOP cash, both in the Seniors Championship, while Paul Runge and Jamshid Lotfi both secured their first WSOP cash. The final six have a silver lining for an additional day of play – they’re all guaranteed at least $103,366 and the winner earns $538,204. Final Table Chip Counts Wesley Chong – 8,585,000 Roger Sippl – 5,320,000 Joseph Somerville – 3,085,000 Johnnie Craig – 2,695,000 Paul Runge – 2,120,000 Jamshid Lotfi – 790,000 David Williams Leads Loaded Field of 31 Players to Day 3 Day 2 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event saw 274 returning players and after ten levels of action only 31 players remain. David Williams leads the field as one of two players with million-chip counts while competing in the FOX reality cooking show “Master Chef.” Standout pros Tony Ruberto, Justin Young and David Vamplew return with top ten stacks while Matt Stout and Vinny Pahuja return a little deeper in the counts. Konstantin Puchkov is last in chips but the Russian player is a WSOP cashing machine the past couple of years and is in line for his 41st career cash. Top Ten Chip Counts David Williams – 1,209,000 Marino Mura – 1,035,000 David Juenemann – 784,000 Tony Ruberto – 730,000 Alexander Ziskin – 726,000 Severin Schleser – 702,000 Francisco Racionero – 681,000 Justin Young – 662,000 David Vamplew – 593,000 Craig Mason – 497,000 Event 30: $3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Many players circled this event on the calendar as a warm-up of the huge $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event at the end of the Series and it drew a sizable field of 580 entrants. Day 2 returned 87 players and ended with 14 players; leading the field is Viatcheslav Ortyinskiy with 1.14 million. The short-handed event is long on talent with Barry Leventhal, Jeff Rossiter, Sean Winter, Randy Ohel and Aleksandr Denisov able to climb the counts quickly in the big action game. All of the returning players have $18,827 locked up, but the big money comes at the final table with $46,727 for 6th place and the winner goes home with $344,327. Top Ten Chip Counts Viatcheslav Ortyinskiy – 1,140,000 Matthew Humphrey – 868,000 Barry Leventhal – 800,000 Rafael Lebron – 750,000 Jeff Rossiter – 740,000 Florent Aubert – 725,000 Sean Winter – 660,000 George Wolff – 594,000 Antti Nieminen – 545,000 Joseph Couden – 516,000 Event 31: $1,000 Super Seniors No Limit Hold’em The Super Seniors Event, open to those 65 years and up, kicked off at 10 am and drew 1,476 entrants – many of which were in town for the Seniors Championship. The field combined for a prize pool of $1,328,400 to pay out the top 222 finishers and they made money on the last hand of the night. Two players, Dennis Packard and Jay Tallman-Willcutt, were eliminated during hand-for-hand play on the bubble and will split the min-cash. The remaining 220 players return for Day 2 at noon with Jon Andlovec leading the field. Top Ten Chip Counts Jon Andlovec – 168,500 William Shields – 130,800 Ronald Giles – 113,000 Fred Berger – 107,600 Johnny Woolen – 107,500 Danny Duhamel – 107,000 Lawrence Tidswell – 101,200 James Moore – 95,600 William Hall – 93,500 Ablahad Salim – 90,000 Event 32: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship The leaderboard of the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship contains some of best minds in poker with Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra and George Danzer all in the top ten. Grzegorz Trelski leads the field with just a slight advantage over Deeb – but the pair has a huge cushion on the rest of the field. The event drew 163 entrants and eight levels of play reduced the field to 70 survivors for Day 2. Lurking in the field are John Monnette, Daniel Weinman, Taylor Paur and Anthony Zinno. Jason Mercier is further down the counts and the South Florida pro is aiming for his fourth $10,000 event final table this summer. The field combined for a $1,532,200 prize pool to pay out the top 25 players. The min-cash comes in at a respectable $14,954, the number doubles to $30,965 for ninth place and the winner walks with $407,194. Top Ten Chip Counts Grzegorz Trelski – 444,000 Shaun Deeb – 433,000 Andrew Brown – 308,000 Mikhail Semin – 277,500 Eric Kurtzman – 254,500 Matt Glantz – 236,000 Eli Elezra – 235,000 Esther Taylor-Brady – 230,000 Matthew Kelly – 215,500 George Danzer – 204,000 Monday Madness Monday sees an oddity on the schedule with both new events sharing the $1,500 buy-in, but that’s where the similarities end. The Summer Solstice event, formerly known as Extended Play, kicks off at 11 am, is scheduled for five days and features 90-minute levels. The late event is first Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event of the Series.
  25. [caption width="640"] Danny Le won his first career WSOP bracelet on Thursday in the ,500 Limit Hold'em event (WSOP photo)[/caption] The 2016 World Series of Poker is really just some the Summer of Jason Mercier. Just 72 hours after Mercier finished runner-up in a $10,000 buy-in event, he’s leading the final 14 players in the $10,000 buy-in HORSE. Mercier is looking to become the first player in WSOP history to make three consecutive $10,000 buy-in event final tables. There was supposed to be two WSOP bracelets awarded on Thursday, but one of the two final tables was unable to get down to a champion and will return Friday to finish. Event #21: Will Givens Leads Final Five in $3,000 Six Max No Limit Hold'em Day 3 of the $3,000 buy-in Six Max No Limit Hold’em event saw 26 players return to the felt including six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu but ten more levels of play on Thursday just weren’t enough to get down to a champion. Will Givens, who won a bracelet in 2014, leads the final five players with 6,030,000. Right behind Givens is Calvin Lee with 4,250,000. Mark ‘dipthrong’ Herm sits in third with 2,770,000. Negreanu was one of the earliest casualties of the day, busting out in 19th place. Justin Liberto, who won this event last summer, then followed Negreanu out the door with an 18th place finish. Doug Polk was eliminated in 15th place and former November Niner Matt Giannetti was out in 13th. Final table play resumes Friday at Noon PT and will be live-streamed on WSOP.com. Final Table Chip Counts Will Givens - 6,030,000 Calvin Lee - 4,250,000 Mark Herm - 2,770,000 Martin Kozlov - 1,555,000 Steven Thompson Vila - 835,000 Event #22: Danny Le Wins $1,500 Limit Hold'em Danny Le’s third career WSOP cash turned out to be a dream come true. Le outlasted 664 other players to win the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em event. “I finally got a gold bracelet. I can’t believe it. I finally won a gold bracelet,” said Le after his win. Le beat Scott Farnsworth heads-up to win the bracelet and the $188,815 first place prize money. Farnsworth registered for the event on Tuesday thinking he was playing in a No Limit Hold’em tournament, only to find out the fixed betting limits when he took his seat. Final Table Payouts Danny Le - $188,815 Scott Farnsworth - $116,663 Tyler Bonkowski - $80,706 Dave Tobin - $56,740 Dale Eberle - $40,550 Dustin Bush - $29,466 Andrew Beversdorf - $21,778 Daniel Huseman - $16,376 Esmeralda Villafuerte - $12,532 Event #23: Anthony Spinella Leads $2,000 No Limit Hold'em Day 2 of the $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event began with 283 players still in contention, but through ten levels of play, just 27 remain. Leading the pack is 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Spinella, who bagged up 1,060,000. The only other player to finish with a seven-figure stack was Russian poker pro Andrey Pateychuk. Other notables still in the field include former WPT500 champion Craig Varnell (989,000), Sam Chartier (956,000) and Matt Stout (550,000). The bubble burst early on Thursday and some of the players who busted after that burst include Ari Engel, Tommy Vedes, Aaron Gustavson, Andre Akkari, Cliff Josephy, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Chris Hunichen. The final 27 players return a Noon PT and are schedule to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Anthony Spinella - 1,060,000 Andrey Pateychuk - 1,022,000 Craig Varnell - 989,000 Sam Chartier - 956,000 Tom Braband - 823,000 Kamel Mokhammad - 717,000 Viliyan Petleshkov - 656,000 Albert Hart - 638,000 Clemens Manzano - 555,000 Matt Stout - 550,000 Event #24: The Jason Mercier Show Continues in $10,000 HORSE. Championship Jason Mercier continues to be THE story of the 2016 WSOP after making it to Day 3 of yet another $10,000 buy-in event with the chip lead. Mercier finished with 1,597,000 and the top spot amongst the remaining 14 players in the $10,000 HORSE event with just one more day of play to go. Right behind Mercier is Jesse Martin with 1,244,000 and Nick Schulman with 1,170,000. Mike Sexton was eliminated on the bubble in 27th place. Right after his elimination Chris Ferguson was sent out in 26th place for the fifth cash of his summer. Other players to bust on Thursday but still find the cashier cage on the way out included Erik Seidel (24th), Matt Vengrin (22nd), David Benyamine (19th), Daniel Alaei (18th) and Jason Somerville (16th). This was the first ever Limit event that Somerville has cashed in. Mercier and the other 13 players all return at 2 PM to play down to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Jason Mercier - 1,597,000 Jesse Martin - 1,244,000 Nick Schulman - 1,170,000 Bryn Kenney - 708,000 Mikhail Semin - 684,000 Yuval Bronshtein - 577,000 Douglas Lorgeree - 519,000 James Obst - 466,000 Randy Ohel - 465,000 Adam Friedman - 436,000

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