In just over two years time, Mercier has won a European Poker Tour title in San Remo, a London High Roller event, a World Series of Poker bracelet, and a North American Poker Tour title in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty Shootout at NAPT Mohegan Sun. He also joins an elite club of players who have won both a WCOOP bracelet and a World Series of Poker bracelet. In Daniel Negreanu's latest blog, he calls Mercier one of the top five young poker players in the game at the moment and currently, ESPN's monthly rankings The Nuts has him in the number two spot, just behind Phil Ivey.
PokerNews' own Donnie Peters caught up with Mercier just before the High Roller Heads-Up event at the WSOP Europe to see how the young superstar from Florida feels about his win and how he's going to do on no sleep.
When asked about when he felt he really had a shot at winning the event, Mercier had this to say.
“Actually, I felt like I had a shot at winning when we were nowhere near the money on Day 1. I got down to 1,400 chips at 250-500 after losing a 65k pot and just ran my stack back up and then all of a sudden I had like 80k at 400-800. I just felt like I finally had a stack again and felt that I was in good shape to make a run towards Day 2.”
You have a WSOP bracelet, you have an EPT title and a couple High Roller titles, but how does this WCOOP title feel?
“This one feels pretty good; I mean, it’s five times as big than any other online tournament, any of my other online scores. Winning a WCOOP is pretty sick. It’s not something that everyone’s done. The field sizes are so huge and it’s just something that’s very hard to do. I had never even made a WCOOP final table before this series and I came pretty close getting fifth in the $265 PLO, which is all good, it was my first final table and all. Now winning the $1k one feels kind of amazing.”
You’re about to play the WSOP Europe Heads-Up High Roller on no sleep, how do you think that’s going to go?
“I mean, I hope it goes well. I haven’t slept in about 20 hours. I was actually in my hotel room for three-and-a-half days straight without leaving so I’m kind of spaced out; I don’t really know where I am or what time is it, but hopefully I draw somebody that’s really terrible, although I doubt that that’s going to happen. Hopefully I get really lucky, that’s what I do best.”
Early on at the final table, his ace-king lost to ace-queen all in preflop when a queen spiked on the turn. Not long after that, he was down to 16 big blinds and held just 3.4 percent of the chips in play with seven players remaining. Sounds dire, right? Not for Jason Mercier.
With patience, resolve, skill, and a bit of luck, Mercier pulled off a remarkable comeback to win WCOOP Event #42. The two-day event started with 3,122 entrants and 176 remained when action resumed on Monday. Several notable names went deep, including Team PokerStars Pros Barry Greenstein and Chad Brown. However, it was Mercier who topped everybody.
Let's take a look at Mercier's road to the heads-up battle.
|Players Left||Blinds||Mercier||Opponent||Board Ran Out||Mercier's Stack|
|8||40k/80k||5.2mil to 3.8mil|
|7||60k/120k||2mil to 4.27mil|
|5||70k/140k||4.1mil to 8.3mil|
|5||80k/160k||8.2mil to 16.7mil|
|5||80k/160k||16.3mil to 18.4mil|
|4||80k/160k||18.4mil to 20.6mil|
|3||100k/200k||16.2mil to 32.4mil|
(all of the hands above were all in preflop)
Mercier started heads-up play with over a 2-1 chip lead, but soon found himself on the other side after getting it all-in with against osten's on an board. No spade saved Mercier, but he battled back to even out the match and soon pulled in front. After calling a check-raise on the turn of a board, Mercier called osten's river bet after the hit. All osten could muster was to play the board while Mercier tabled to reclaim the lead.
On the final hand of the tournament with the blinds and antes at the 125,000/250,000/31,250 level, Mercier raised to 500,097 and osten called. The flop came down and it was checked to Mercier, firing 428,273. A raise came from osten to 1,250,000 and Mercier repopped to 2,582,373. After a few moments, osten called and checked when the hit the turn. Mercier bet 2,728,322 and osten shipped it in for about 8.7 million. Mercier called immediately with and had osten's drawing to two outs. The river card was no help to osten and sealed the deal for Mercier. With the win, he earned over $435,000 and a WCOOP Bracelet for his incredible performance.
PokerStars WCOOP 42 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Two-Day
|4||Daniel "DHUSTLER15" Aldridge||$179,515|
|5||Justin "APerfectGent" Schwartz||$135,807|
|6||Jason "TeamWispy" Helder||$104,587|
|7||Dominik "bastet2004" Stopka||$73,367|
|8||Dani "supernova9" Stern||$42,209.44|
|9||Chad "ChadBrownPRO" Brown||$26,537|
*denotes three-handed deal leaving $60,000 to the winner and $15,000 to the runner-up
Notable Finishes: Joe "ender555" Ebanks (15th - $14,829.50), Greg "DuckU" Hobson (32nd - $7,492.80), Barry "barryg1" Greenstein (35th - $7,492.80)
Speaking of big tournament action, check out our $10,000 Sunday Million Freeroll on PokerStars. This is the fourth big Sunday Major freeroll we have had in as many months and this time the qualification target has been slashed.