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The Nightly Turbo: Jason Mercier's Goals for 2013, Hanks and West Win at WSOPC Caesars

Jason Mercier

Miss any of the day's top poker stories? You've come to the right place to catch up. In this edition of the Nightly Turbo, we're bringing you Jason Mercier's attempt to put a lousy 2012 behind him, Brent Hanks and Tim West winning WSOP Circuit rings, and more.

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Matt Giannetti won the 2013 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Open on Tuesday. Find out how he won his second WPT title in our final table recap.

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The PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour is returning to Oklahoma next month. Read more about the event right here at PokerNews.com.


On Wednesday, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier opened up about his unusual downswing in 2012 and his plan for redemption in 2013.

In his latest PokerStars Blog entry, Mercier revealed that 2012 was his worst year as a poker pro. He said the downswing began early in the year in Los Angeles, where he lost close to a half-million dollars. He wasn't able to recoup those losses in the following months despite racking up some nice scores around the world.

“(The Hendon Mob database) shows that I had $523,587 in tournament cashes for the year ... but I can honestly say that 2012 was pretty brutal for me. It was my first losing year as a professional poker player,” Mercier wrote.

Mercier has pledged a year-end goal to profit at least $1 million in 2013. He intends to do this by playing more big tournaments and every cash game he can find before spending two months in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.

Mercier also discussed how he’s able to keep his focus playing so many events on the tournament circuit. “I “guess I'm just used to the grind of it. I've been traveling the circuit now for five years. I don't think I'm going to get burnt out. I still love playing poker.”

According to The Hendon Mob database, Mercier’s most recent final table came last December at an EPT Prague side event. His last major win was at the 2011 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, where he earned a hefty sum of $709,767. Between 2008 and 2011, Mercier collected over $7.5 million in tournament winnings.

To read his full blog entry, check out the PokerStars Blog.

Ring Hunting at Caesars

For the past week, the World Series of Poker Circuit has been taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The 12-event stop kicked off Thursday, Feb. 7, and will culminate with the $1,675 Main Event beginning on Friday, Feb. 16.

While players are waiting for the Main Event to start, some big names have already found success in the preliminary events. On Tuesday, Tim "Tmay420" West topped a field of 171 to take down Event #4. The event attracted several big names, including WSOP bracelet winners David Williams, Gavin Smith, and Scott Clements, who took sixth place.

“I’m very excited to have this ring in my possession," West said after his win. "It brings a sense of redemption for every time you get deep in a tournament and have to leave with regret.”

WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace Ring Event #4

Buy-InEntrantsPrize Pool
1Tim West$46,169
2Idris Gencoglu$28,533
3Jeffrey Harcourt$20,539
4William Pacarynuk$15,053
5Peter Blow$11,228
6Scott Clements$8,521
7Kyle Knecht$6,577
8Adam Junglen$5,159
9Kenna James$4,114

Later on Tuesday, 2012 WSOP bracelet winner Brent Hanks defeated 336 opponents to win Event #5, adding a ring to his growing jewelry collection. With the win, Hanks also took the lead in the race for Casino Champion, awarded to the player who collects the most points during the 12 events to earn an automatic seat to the WSOP Circuit National Championship held May 21 through 23 at Harrah’s New Orleans.

WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace Ring Event #5

Buy-InEntrantsPrize Pool
1Brent Hanks$23,255
2James Goodman$14,375
3Eric Davis$10,487
4Blake Barousse$7,779
5Shawn Daniel$5,860
6Julie Perego$4,482
7David Burleson$3,478
8Fernando Ortiz$2,738
9Kevin Artman$2,186

Hanks and West shared their victories via Twitter late Tuesday night:

For more on the WSOP Circuit at Caesars Palace, check out the WSOP Blog.

SirWatts Leads GPI Player of the Year

Last week, Dan Shak emerged as the early leader in the 2013 Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. But despite an impressive performance at the 2013 Aussie Millions, Shak's reign at the top of the GPI POY is already over.

Mike "SirWatts" Watson is the new frontrunner in the rankings after making three final tables in the first five weeks of 2013. Watson's best result was a third-place finish at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 buy-in High Roller for $462,000. He then made the trip to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions and won the AU$2,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event (AU$72,000) and placed third in the NLHE Six-Max Turbo event for AU$30,000.

Moving up two spots to No. 2 in the rankings this week was Vladimir Troyanovskiy, who recently won a €5,000 buy-in side event at the European Poker Tour Deauville for €51,000. Troyanovskiy burst onto the scene this year at the PCA, where he finished runner-up in the $25,000 High Roller for $792,180 and seventh in the $100,000 Super High Roller for $257,580.

Here's a look at the top 10 of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race:

PlacePlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank
1Mike Watson342.96+10
2Vladimir Troyanovskiy324.43+2
3Bryn Kenney301.94+17
4Ole Schemion284.75+3
5Daniel Shak846.83-4
6Tim Reilly282.52+103
7Igor Kurganov280.73+2
8Michael Mizrachi275.10+10
9Micah Raskin265.60+15
10Mike Telker256.46-7

The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews, honors the player who has a strong performance as calculated by the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.

For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to GlobalPokerIndex.com.

Nevada's Poker Tax Bill

With gaming companies in Nevada inching closer to launching real-money Internet poker, the Nevada State Gaming Control Board has introduced a bill to tax the net profits of online poker tournaments.

On Tuesday, Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett presented Nevada Senate Bill 9 to the state Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The bill aims to tax online poker rooms for the profits taken from online tournament entry fees.

According to the Associated Press, Burnett said that tournaments held at Nevada's brick-and-mortar venues aren't taxed because of the investment expenses that go into running the promotional events. He added that because online poker rooms won't incur the same expenses like tournaments do not have the same expenses, they should not be exempt from tax and all costs.

RGJ.com has more.

Bold Bluff by Kyle Julius

Kyle "KJulius10" Julius made the final table of the PokerStars Sunday Million last weekend, eventually finishing second for $199,000. Check out this incredible river bluff he made during heads-up play:

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