October 31, 2012
Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event
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
Tweet(s) of the Day – There were plenty of Tweets hitting the internet following the crazy long match from congrats to snark.
Congratulations to @gregy20723, the newly minted World Champion of Poker and 2012 Player of the Year!Greg, you played great poker.
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) October 31, 2012
Pretty sure all the TVs in hell show 11 hours of 3-handed poker on loop.
— Dave Behr (@ftrainpoker) October 31, 2012
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