Mercier misses out (again) while Danzer digs in


There's a common theme among performers, whether in sports, the arts, or any pursuit measured by achievement. It's this. Talent is one thing, but without hard work and dedication that talent usually comes to nothing.

Actually, it's such a common sentiment it's almost a cliché. I googled a long list of well-known figures who each, in one way or another, said something similar. The list includes names familiar to everyone, but I'll name three: Hall of Fame baseball player Joe DiMaggio, actress Veronica Lake, and pro-footballer Erasmus James.

Each said that it was not talent alone, but hard work that carried them on that journey. But I mention them as a way of bringing Jason Mercier back into the conversation for a third time this summer. They were also from Mercier's home town of Hollywood, Florida. Maybe there's something in the water.

I'll be honest, I've used up my superlatives for Mercier. I was already right clicking on "synonyms" when he won a third SCOOP bracelet in the Spring. Now, after a bracelet, and a runner-up finish last night at the WSOP, I'm out. This is probably why I googled "talent quotes" and came up with the people listed above.

But Mercier represents that player who does the hard work, and who dedicates himself to a game in which he continues to prosper. Last night we got another glimpse of how.

With a worldwide rail urging him on, it would not be bracelet number two though. Just as we said the last time this happened (four days ago) Mercier fell short. This time at the last hurdle. The Team Pro took the defeat, and the $572,989 second placed prize money. His reaction, much like his performance, was typically Mercierial.

Limelight was not reserved solely for Mercier. The other top performance from Team PokerStars was from George Danzer. As far as original copy goes Danzer is not exactly an easy one either.

The German was player of the year at the WSOP last year. He may be short of that title again this year (to be fair it took three bracelets in 2014) but he pursues such targets with single-mindedness, as though to do otherwise would be to break his programming. So come December he will be there, or thereabouts, and nobody will be all that surprised.

His weekend was headlined by an eighth place finish in Event #49, the PLO hi/lo 8-or-Better, eventually won by Young Ji. Danzer picked up $22,181 for the performance which marked his third cash of the summer. So far he has a 12th place finish, a tenth place finish and now an eighth place finish. A steady progression and one very nicely poised given there are still roughly a dozen events left to play in Las Vegas.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.