Three days and 30 one-hour levels were not enough for a champion to be crowned in Event 57, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed. A fourth day and one more hand was all it took for Gregory Merson to capture his first World Series of Poker bracelet.
Earlier this summer, Merson bubbled the final table of Event 28, the $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Four-Max. Determined to make the final table this time, he entered Day 3 in 12th place out of the remaining 27 players and won a few crucial pots as the final table approached to take a chip lead that he would never relinquish.
Holding , Merson called Nick Maimone's three-bet shove and bested his when the board ran out to leave just eight players remaining. The next hand, Merson eliminated Layne Flack after the two engaged in a preflop raising battle, culminating with Flack five-bet shoving for about 35 big blinds with . Merson looked him up with and took down the pot when the board rolled out .
That gave Merson a nice chip lead and he maintained it throughout the final table. He eliminated Andrew Lichtenberger in sixth place when his got there against the of Lichtenberger. A flop improved Lichtenberger's hand, but the turn gave Merson broadway. He dodged a heart on the river to score the elimination.
Merson eliminated Eddy Sabat in fourth place when the short-stacked Sabat called all in with . Merson was behind with , but the board fell to give Merson the better two pair. He entered heads-up play with a sizable chip lead after Shannon Shorr ran into Merson's . The board improved neither player, giving Merson the pot with ace high.
A winner was not reached on Day 3, so they returned on Day 4 where Merson needed one hand to win the bracelet. An emotional Merson was overcome by the moment as his friends mobbed him in celebration.
That wraps up our coverage of Event 57. Thanks for joining us and be sure to keep it here throughout the duration of the World Series of Poker.