Posts Tagged ‘Greg Merson’

November 29, 2012

2013 WSOP Schedule Set

No Big One for One Drop, just Little One

The 2013 World Series of Poker will take place May 29 through July 16 at the Rio, tournament officials announced this week.

The slate of individual events still is being finalized, but the tournament is expected to include at least 60 events where the winners earn gold bracelets.

The $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, often referred to as the Main Event, will be contested over 10 days beginning July 7.

Three starting flights will take place July 7 to 9, with the final table of nine being determined July 16. The nine players will return to the Rio in November to play for the title.

Greg Merson of Laurel, Md., won the 2012 World Series of Poker’s Main Event, earning more than $8.5 million.

More…


November 8, 2012

Will IveyPoker Become America’s Team?

GPI standings reveal player, industry moves

Was just checking the GPI … with particular interest in the standings for American Player of the Year … you know, Election Day.  Actually I was curious to see, among other things, what kind of impact a WSOP main event had on player rankings. (Greg Merson moved up.)

But what stood out to me were the poker teams … and the presence of newcomer IveyPoker.

POY 2012 PLAYER TEAM SCORE
#8 Daniel Negreanu Pokerstars 768.40
#9 Jason Mercier Pokerstars 766.72
#10 Bertrand Grospellier Pokerstars 752.53
#11 Joseph Cheong 748.61
#12 Jonathan Duhamel Pokerstars 741.24
#13 Michael Watson 720.35
#14 Mohsin Charania 718.52
#15 John Juanda 714.42
#16 Phil Ivey Ivey Poker 713.44

Long gone are the days of Full Tilt and PokerStars commandeering the WSOP main event final table. But will an online site bearing the name of the 11th best American this year be able to step in and successfully fill the Full Tilt void for US players?

More…

Posted by at 3:24 am

November 2, 2012

WSOP Champ Embarks on New Poker Journey with $8.5M Win

Merson says he knows the gamble, dead ends of fast poker living

Greg Merson cried.

He stood at the poker table at center stage of the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, behind stacks of bundled $100 bills that simulated his first-place prize of more than $8.53 million, and let the tears flow.

At age 24, Merson, a professional poker player from Laurel, Md., was at the top of the poker world early Wednesday. He captured the Main Event of the 2012 World Series of Poker, topping a field of 6,598 players.

The final table of nine was a strenuous three-day stretch of poker that began Monday afternoon and included almost 11 straight hours of three-handed, back-and-forth, high-stakes, no-limit hold’em competition from 6 p.m. Tuesday to nearly 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Merson was supported by several hundred family members and friends, including poker standouts Phil Ivey and Jennifer Harmon, as well as text messages and tweets from his close friend, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones also expressed his support for Merson via Twitter. Merson wore Jones’ orange-and-black replica jerseys during the poker competition.

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November 1, 2012

Presidential Election, PokerPAC Endorsements, WSOP Support

Update from the PPA

2012 WSOP Champion Greg Merson
Photo: Steve Marcus/LasVegas Sun

Congratulations 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion and PPA supporter Greg Merson!!

If you tuned into the WSOP Main Event final table coverage this week, no doubt you saw many of the finalists proudly wearing PPA patches. As the game progressed to the final three, it was terrific seeing all three patched up in support of our advocacy efforts of behalf of our game!

We thank Greg Merson, Jesse Sylvia, Jake Balsiger, Rob Salaburu, Russell Thomas, and Jeremy Ausmus for their support at the final table.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th!

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday – or earlier if you can in your state – and please be sure to check out the PPA Member of Congress Ratings Guide at http://theppa.org/congress before heading to the polls.

Mark your calendars! The PPA will holding a town hall meeting in greater Boston on December 1st! Please save the date and stay tuned for updates as we finalize the details.

PPA PokerPAC Endorsements

Earlier this week, PokerPAC, PPA’s political action committee, endorsed candidates in 53 US House races and 2 US Senate races. With Election Day in just one week, we wish to let the poker community know who the champions of poker rights are and why they deserve the support of the poker community. If you did not receive an endorsement email, it is because we had no endorsements in any of the races in your district.

To see the entire list of candidates and to view their profiles in the PPA Member of Congress Ratings Guide, simply click here.

Please keep in mind that, when making endorsements, PokerPAC makes no considerations other than the stance the candidates take on our right to play poker. I know you take many different issues and beliefs into consideration when you make your decisions in the voting booth. We simply wish to ensure you have the information on where candidates stand on our right to play, so we can all make informed decisions.

Please be sure to vote. Voting is the most important tool we have as poker players to facilitate the change we demand and deserve. Make sure your voice counts!


October 31, 2012

Instapoker

Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event

Greg Merson wins the 2012 WSOP Main Event
Photo: WSOP.com

Greg Merson from Laurel, MD became the lastest WSOP Main Event Champion after a marathon poker session in the Penn & Teller Theater. The popular east coast grinder began 3-handed play with the chiplead, endured a few beats along the way, but eventually knocked out Jesse Sylvia to earn the title after 13 hours at the table. It was an exhausting evening for all involved but Merson and his supporters were not thinking about it as the final hand played out in the early morning.

WSOP staff changed the November Nine final day format from heads up to 3-handed play a few years ago to insure a decent amount of play on ESPN. Both were probably unprepared for an affair which started in primetime on the east coast but lasted until most other cable channels were well into infomercial time. The chiplead swapped several times throughout, bad beats happened, fortunes change. There were enthusiastic supporters (including his parents) and sleeping observers and class in the end when Merson held back his crowd until he could shake Sylvia’s hand.

Merson is the first player since Chris Ferguson in 2000 to win the WSOP Main Event after winning a bracelet earlier in the same year. He won the $10,000 NLH 6-Handed tournament just a few days before the Main Event kicked off and stayed hot through the Main. Merson picked up $8,531,853 and a pretty sweet bracelet for his efforts. This result also pushed him ahead of WSOP Europe champion Phil Hellmuth to top the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. Not too shabby.

1st Greg Merson – $8,531,853
2nd Jesse Sylvia – $5,295,149
3rd Jake Balsiger – $3,799,073
4th Russell Thomas – $2,851,537
5th Jeremy Ausmus – $2,155,313
6th Andras Koroknai – $1,640,902
7th Michael Esposito – $1,258,040
8th Robert Salaburu – $971,360
9th Steven Gee – $754,798

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – There were plenty of Tweets hitting the internet following the crazy long match from congrats to snark.

A Clean Getaway – Lance Bradley wrote this piece about Merson this summer about his recovery from substance abuse and his plans for the future.

Passion for poker ‘saved my life,’ Greg Merson says – Merson’s story is also being told by the mainstream media, this time by his hometown Baltimore Sun this weekend.

Greg Merson: Epic Comeback Spurs World Series of Poker Victory – Even popular, high traffic sports blogs picked up on the story. Most of them because it blasted through ESPN’s scheduled programming but this is a decent article by Bleacher Report.

WSOP 2012: Main Event Champion Greg Merson – Even though ESPN didn’t bother having a decent interview by Kara Scott, PokerNews was able to grab an interview by Kristy Arnett

Posted by at 10:00 am

October 30, 2012

Down to Three

Merson, Balsiger, and Sylvia compete for $8.5mm WSOP Payday

Greg Merson had a feeling one his five opponents would make a critical mistake.

On the 109th hand late Monday night of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, Andras Koroknai gave Merson an opening.

For much of the final table of the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, Merson, 24, of Laurel, Md., had been changing the chip lead with Jesse Sylvia, 24, who splits his time between Las Vegas and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Photo Gallery From the Review-Journal’s WSOP Blog:http://www.lvrj.com/hottopics/wsop09.html

Merson thought Koroknai was his target. Remembering that the 30-year-old Hungarian had made a strange move a few hands earlier, Merson eyed his target.

“I actually told Jesse five minutes before it happened that he (Koroknai) might try something,” Merson said. “Five minutes later, he blasted out.”

Merson scored a huge double-up on Koroknai, which surged the professional poker player into the chip lead that he will take into today’s three-handed action that will determine poker’s world champion.

More…


October 29, 2012

The WSOP Final Nine – Player Profiles

8 Americans + 1 Hungarian or 2 middle agers vs. 7 youngsters

Jesse Sylvia
Age 24
Las Vegas

43.875 million in chips

Sylvia was down his last 4 million chips on Day 7 when he rallied back into contention. By the time the field was cut from 27 to the final nine, Sylvia, who is originally from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., jumped into the chip lead. Sylvia will be seated five seats away at the final table from his closest friend and one-time roommate Russell Thomas. The pair sharpened each other’s poker skills. A victory might propel Sylvia in another career; he aspires to move to Los Angeles and get involved in movie making.

Quote: “I always want to be involved in the game. But I am not sure I want to be grinding it out every day 10 years from now. I told myself I will play in the World Series of Poker every year that I can, because it’s so different.”

Andras Koroknai
Age 30
Debrecen, Hungary

29.375 million in chips

Koroknai is the non-American at the final table, and hopes to be the first Hungarian to win the Main Event. He has nearly $2 million in career poker earnings, including a World Poker Tour title in 2010. Koroknai’s road to the final table almost ended early in the tournament when he mistakenly mucked his hand. A ruling from the floor cost him 60,000 in chips but he was able to continue. Koroknai eliminated both the 10th and 11th place finishers, who also happened to be the tournament’s last women.

Quote: “When I sit down at the table, I don’t care if it’s a male or female player. Everybody is equal and everybody wants to win.”

Greg Merson
Age 24
Laurel, Md.

28.275 million in chips

Merson will be playing for more than just the Main Event’s gold bracelet and $8.5 million payday. A victory will also ensure Merson of the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year crown. Merson cashed in four events at this year’s tournament, earning his first gold bracelet when he won the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em/Six Handed event. He collected $1.1 million for the win and affirmed that his life was back on track. Merson said he struggled with addiction over the past few years but is now clean and sober.

Quote: “I thought I had my s**t together. I let the poker lifestyle get the best of me. I worked really hard to get all the way back to the highest games again. I definitely have a way more positive mindset about everything.”

Russell Thomas
Age 24
Hartford, Conn.

24.8 million in chips

Thomas began playing poker while attending Temple University. After earning a degree in actuary science, he went to work as an actuary at Aetna Insurance, a job he is now on leave from until the Main Event concludes. Poker may soon become his full time profession. Prior to the Main Event, Thomas had earned $126,796 at the World Series of Poker, finishing as high as fifth in a six-handed no-limit hold’em event in 2010.

Quote: “To be an actuary, you have to pass a bunch of exams. One of them was called probability. I have studied probability pretty intensively. The math helps, but it doesn’t correlate as much as people think. Playing poker makes you better at poker.”

Steven Gee
Age 57
Sacramento, Calif.

16.86 million in chips

Gee is the only member of the final table who won an individual event championship bracelet before this year. In 2010, Gee won a $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event to earn $472,479, topping a field of more than 3,000 players. Before the 2012 Main Event, Gee had cashed in three other World Series of Poker events, finishing no higher than 201st. Gee left his job as a manager of software projects for the California Public Employees Retirement System a few years ago to play poker full time.

Quote: “Every single day (during the Main Event), I never thought I’d make it to the next day. This summer, I don’t think I played as well as I did in the past. But I just got more lucky breaks.”

Michael Esposito
Age 44
Seaford, N.Y.

16.26 million in chips

Esposito calls himself “a true amateur,” someone who only plays poker a few times a year. He’s cashed twice at the World Series of Poker, in 2006 and 2009, earning $24,934. His best finish was 540th place at the Main Event in 2006. A New York-based commodity broker, Esposito competes in triathlons. He said discipline is a character trait that helps him compete in both triathlons and poker.

Quote: “The money is more important than the bracelet. I’m hoping this (winning the Main Event) can get me in the Ironman World Championship (triathlon).”

Robert Salaburu
Age 27
San Antonio

15.155 million in chips

Salaburu has playing professionally since graduating high school, although the 2012 Main Event will be his first cash at the World Series of Poker. Salaburu found early success in online poker and cash game on the Southern poker circuit. Before this year, Salaburu would attend the World Series of Poker, but limited events, favoring the cash game tables. Salaburu sought advice from British poker player Stephen Chidwick, who was on hand to rail Salaburu during the late stages of the Main Event.

Quote: “I have never been good at reporting to people and taking orders from people, so I had to figure out something in a hurry. I guess I just kind of stuck with what I knew.”

Jacob Balsiger
Age 21
Tempe, Ariz.

13.115 million in chips

A victory by Balsiger means he would eclipse 2009 champion Joe Cada as the youngest Main Event champion in World Series of Poker history. Balsiger is a senior majoring in political science at Arizona State University and used to play online poker to supplement his income. He cashed in a $1,500 buy-in no limit hold’em event early at the World Series, finishing 100th and earning $3,531.

Quote: “To be honest, I entered the Main Event expecting to hopefully get some kind of cash. I end up at the final table. Unbelievable.”

Jeremy Ausmus
Age 33
Las Vegas

9.805 million in chips

One issue that Ausmus had lingering before the final table was resolved earlier this month was exactly when his wife would give birth to their second child. Now, Ausmus, who has 13 World Series of Poker career cashes can concentrate in winning his first gold bracelet. Eight of his career cashes came the summer. Ausmus has eight years of experience at the poker tables and holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

Quote: “I’m pretty much a full-time player. I’ll probably go to the Bellagio four times a week and play cash games. I have a good balance. My wife gives me a life away from poker and my daughter, too. It’s good to have that break.”

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2012 Stephens Media Interactive GamingWire.
All rights reserved.


September 25, 2012

Instapoker

Esfandiari wins 3rd bracelet and Lederer reactions

Ben Mahmoud
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Ben Mahmoud €147,099 – WSOPE €2,700 6-handed NLHE
Antonio Esfandiari €126,207 – WSOPE €1,100 NLH Re-entry
Ben Hamnett $818,847 – World Poker Tour Borgata Open
Jeff Gibralter $133,648 – WSOPC Bossier City Main Event
Michael Harris $245,078 – HPT Golden Gates Casino


The World Series of Poker Europe is finally underway in Cannes and it didn’t take long for the excitement to ramp up. Antonio Esfandiari had a pretty decent summer with his Big One for One Drop win for $18 Million (minus paying off backers), seven WSOP cashes including the Main Event, and one other final table. After Event #2 at the WSOPE he can now be called a 3-time WSOP bracelet winner. There were 626 registered for the 2-day No Limit Hold’em Re-entry event and The Magician was the last player standing. He picked up €126,207 for his win and now leads the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Still a week of events remaining but now Greg Merson will need to finish 4th or better at November Nine to grab 2012 Player of the Year award.

The rest of the poker world is still talking about the Lederer Interview on PokerNews (except when the degenerates are complaining of lousy NFL replacement refs) and everybody with a website has posted their opinion, reaction, and theories. Some are insightful and some are drivel and some are humorous. You can find a few of the better ones listed below.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Haralabos Voulgaris is usually commenting on the NBA or NFL but this time points out the recent WCOOP Main Event winner freerolled into the tournament after his usually game is $1.50 tournaments. Now the player has nearly $1 million to move up in stakes.

Barry Greenstein responds to Howard Lederer Interview – Greenstein is one of those on the list of players who were loaned money that wasn’t theirs, and now he pseudo-defends Phil Ivey while also hedging his comments with this beaut: “…I think that anyone who received disbursements after the company was insolvent, which was probably 18 months before Black Friday, got money that wasn’t theirs.”

PokerStars Details Plans for Full Tilt Poker Re-launch and Payment of $184 Million to Players – The title says it all, PokerStars released a statement about the FTP relaunch, who can play, and most of the real world players will have their money available at that time. The light grows at the end of the tunnel.

The Mis-Lederer Files – Shamus is a Pokerati favorite (as well as my non-Pokerati self) and he has a great take on the Lederer interview released by PokerNews, not so much the information revealed but how it was told.

Howard Lederer Confesses EVERYTHING – by @SrslySirius – It didn’t take long for a bunch of Lederer mashups to make the rounds and the latest is from SryslySiruis.

The Lederer Files Parts 5, 6, and 7 – Rini was there in the early days of FTP and has a good look at the Lederer interview. Some interesting inside information but I’m still unhappy with the glossing over of how the Phil Ivey lawsuit changed the how things played out. Plus Negreanu agrees with him so I’m required to automatically find issues with it.

Posted by at 10:56 am