Greg Merson Becomes the New World Champion of Poker

November 4, 2012

Event #61 of the 2012 World Series of Poker, the Main Event, is complete, and the champion is none other than 24-year-old Greg Merson, delivering the Main Event gold bracelet to an American for the first time since 2009. After 18 hours of final table action, Merson took the $8,531,853 first place payout right out from under Jesse Sylvia, the runner up. Coming in third was Jake Balsiger.

Early Halloween morning, at around 6:00 a.m., Merson not only won the title of world champion poker player, but also rounded out the tournament with the esteemed 2012 WSOP Player of the Year title, just barely beating Phil Hellmuth.

Merson had already won one bracelet in this series back in the summer when the 2012 WSOP began. He won the $10K Six-Handed NLH event, and while that was a rush, it paled in comparison to his second bracelet win that would follow months later.

“I’ve played a lot of long cash games in my career, which helps you prepare for something like this, but this whole stage is something you can’t ever really prepare for,” explained Merson after he won the bracelet and slipped in on his mom’s wrist with tears in his eyes.

By the time the October Nine was down to the final three players, Merson had managed to move from the fifth largest chip stack to chip leader. After the 12-hour final session went long into the night, Merson finally managed to win the tournament with a rare hand, K/5 offsuit, winning with K high, beating Sylvia’s Q/J. Merson’s lucky Baltimore Orioles jerseys may just hold some lucky value after all, and you can rest assured, he will continue to sport the sports jerseys that have become synonymous with his game.

The coveted bracelet this year was designed by Jason of Beverly Hills, who presented the one-of-a-kind ornament to Merson upon his victory.

His plans now that he’s globally recognized as the world champion of poker include more poker. He said after winning, “I’m ready to go to Macau. I had already planned on going there. Obviously, this gives me some more opportunities. That’s what I am looking forward to the most, which is getting into the biggest cash games in the world and not blowing all my money. I’ll piece myself out if I have to.”

And the poker world is looking forward to hearing about more wins in the future of the new WSOP champ, as he’s picked up quite a number of fans on his journey. A recovering drug addict, Merson hopes to use his story to help others. “I feel very good about my recovery,” he says.


Comments are closed.