Greg Merson has been crowned the 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion after some mammoth three-handed play that lasted long into the Las Vegas night and into the following morning. Merson had been battling it out with eventual runner up Jesse Sylvia and Jacob Balsiger with all three chasing the payout of $8,531,853.
Balsiger went first on the 382nd hand of the day after going all-in from the small blind against Merson. If he had overcome it would have still given him a shot at becoming the youngest WSOP Main Event winner ever. Alas it wasn’t to be.
The 399th hand is where it came to a head. Merson moved all in against Sylvia at 05:42 local time and it only took a moment for Sylvia to follow suit. IIt was down to Merson’s Kd5d against Sylvia’s QsJs.
The board ran 6c 3h 9d 6s 7c and when the final card came down Merson knew that he was to join that hallowed class of WSOP Main Event winners that is like a who’s who of poker legends.
Not only did he become the 2012 Main Event champion, Merson was also crowned the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year after he went into the final day knowing he was only person that had a chance of overhauling Phil Hellmuth’s lead.
The final table itself was officially the longest ever WSOP final table after it surpassed the previous record of 364 hands and ended up reaching a staggering 399 hands. It was also remarkable that the day started with just three players and the trio stayed strong for well over 12 hours. For his troubles, Balsiger took home a hefty $3,799,073 for third place and Sylvia bettered that with his $5,295,149.
Much like many other big time final tables the end, when it came, was quick and ultimately painless for all three contestants as each went home with at least $3m in the bank.