October Nine: Greg Merson

July 24, 2012

2012 WSOP Event #57 $10,000 NLHE Six Handed gold bracelet winner Greg Merson will sit down at the final table of the Main Event on October 29th with 28.7 million in chips—the third largest chip stack. After finishing fifth in Event #28 and cashing with $70K, Merson was obviously determined to continue on and go for the gold, but it wasn’t easy getting to where he is now.

After 11 14-hour poker sessions in two weeks time, the 24-year-old poker professional originally from Maryland but residing in Toronto since Black Friday, was just about spent, down to his last few chips when he had to endure an hour and a half dinner break during the main event showdown, missing his much anticipated flight home. He said, “I was basically out of the tournament. I had to wait an hour and a half thinking I was just going to come back to bust out, because at that point you just don’t have enough chips to do anything.”

He persevered though and managed to work his way back up to a spot at the final table. If he wins, he stands to earn more than $8.5 million, but must share 40% of his payout with his good friend who sponsors his tournament buy-ins. His winnings will be at least $750K if he cashes in ninth place. He’s already landed $1,136,197 for Event #57.

Regarding this deal, Merson says, “I don’t feel bitter about that at all, that I have to write him a huge check. He’s one of my best friends, and he’s one of the main reasons I’ve gotten to this point in my career. He made me a lot better, he taught me a lot about being a professional, and he’s opened a lot of doors for me. So I can’t be too upset about that.”

Merson has actually cashed in the Main Event before. In 2009, he came in 639th place and landed double his buy-in. He’s come a long way though, dropping out of college twice to pursue poker and is now number 7 on the WSOP Player of the Year Rankings. Depending on his performance in October, he could own the title before it’s all said and done. And while despite his success at live tournaments, he still considers himself more of an online player. He won’t be able to deny his multi-talents if he wins the 2012 WSOP Main Event.


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