Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Sylvia’

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

WSOP Final Table Crowd

@Randompoker around Vegas

It was 103 days ago that the 2012 WSOP Main Event saw its last hand. Final table fans piled into the Penn & Teller Theater hours before the action got underway, donning T-shirts for their favorite player and engaging in hallway chant challenges.

“Awesome Ausmus!” “Jess-eee!” “Es-Po-See-Tow!” “Sal-Ah-Boo-Roo!” “Run Good Russell!” They seemed to be under the impression that the louder they cheered, the bigger their cut of the cash might be. It’s hard to tell who has the most fans, but the competition for the loudest is between Salaburu and Sylvia.

Here’s a quick peak at the poker spectacle and pageantry that greeted me as I walked in to my first WSOP Main Event Final Table:

 

Posted by at 10:10 pm

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.
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