Jason Mercier takes a break from reading baby books, jumps into a $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em during the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and wins it.
The sun yawns in the sky as the best tournament and cash game players in the world tumble out of the Les Ambassadeurs Casino, saying goodnight to the bouncers on the door. The iconic gambling den was the venue for the Beatles film ‘A Hard Days Night,’ and judging by the bleary-eyes, some of them have had one.
It’s the end of the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in London. The Pegasus of high stakes poker tournaments and cash games. The place where the best of the best want to be. Only one player was missing, and his name is Jason Mercier.
There was a time in the not too distant past when Mercier ruled the live tournament world. The 63-weeks that Mercier has spent at the top of the Global Poker Index (GPI) is still a record. When he wasn’t making his tournament buddies feel like they had spent the week in a pigsty, he was cleaning up in the high stakes cash games.
Then he became a father, and rather than divide his time between poker and his little one; he chose the latter. His time on the felt diminished, and you have to go back to 2017 to pinpoint his last recorded win – a $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.
Two years on, while the world’s best were calling Mayfair, home. Mercier nipped across the road to his local casino and won the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller.
The man’s still the man.
The event attracted 41-entrants, and it would have been slanderous to have backed anyone but Mercier for the win after he carried a bag of chips to the final table, five-times heftier than his nearest rival.
Stick Mercier’s hand inside a puppet, and he’ll put on an impromptu show of Beauty and the Beast, while his opponents have been crushing on the tables.
Thomas Boivin, Giuseppe Iadisernia and Manig Loeser have all won major tournaments in the past few months, and Albert Daher is no mug. Mercier was the odds-on favourite, but it was far from a sure thing.
Albert Daher is one of the most creative poker players throughout Europe, and with two $25k victories on the European Poker Tour (EPT) to boot. But Daher hit the rail first when his KQ failed to beat Mercier’s AT when all-in pre-flop.
Iadisernia reduced the field further when he eliminated Sam Sweilem. The Venezuelan had to come from behind after getting it in on the flop, chasing a flush draw, with Sweilem holding a pair. The flush draw duly arrived, and Sweilem was out.
Manig Loeser’s incredible run of form has seen him peak at #6 in the GPI, but that means nought if you don’t win your flips. Loeser lost most of his stack flipping against Franklin Fok, and Mercier was on hand to hoover up the chip dust when A8 beat K9.
Fok then eliminating the equine expert, Iadisernia when AQ beat A9, and despite doubling-up through Mercier twice, Fok sent Boivin to the rail when he woke up with KQ in the big blind and the brilliant Belgian moved all-in from the small blind with T8o.
That left Fok and Mercier as the only two players seating. The heads-up affair lasted nine hands, the last of which saw Mercier’s pocket fives out flipping the AJ of Fok to take the title and $715,860 in prize money.
Final table results
1. Jason Mercier – $715,860
2. Franklin Fok – $457,355
3. Thomas Boivin – $288,330
4. Giuseppe Iadisernia – $198,850
5. Manig Loeser – $139,195
6. Sam Sweilem – $109,370
7. Albert Daher – $79,540
The win was the 23rd of Mercier’s career, and his all-time money ticker moves to the $19.5m mark.