Team Pro Jason Mercier wins third bracelet at WSOP


We like great stories on the blog. So we're glad to report that today started well.

We first encountered Jason Mercier on 30 March 2008. He was a soft spoken, humble young man in a sports jersey who was enjoying the hell out of his first live tournament. That day he'd finished with the chip lead. Two days later he was being crowned champion of EPT Sanremo, still one of the most memorable finals in Tour history.

Seven years and $13 million later, Mercier is still the soft spoken, humble guy in a sports jersey (albeit with a Team Pro patch). But events in the early hours of this morning rightly proved that he is among the celebrated players in the game.

Mercier has a resume full of wins, including two World Series bracelets, that default benchmark of authenticity. Well now you can make that three bracelets. For a short while ago he won Event 32 at the WSOP, a $5,000 no-limit hold'em 6-max event, beating 549 players to a first prize of $633,357.

It came against a final table that made his win all the more momentous, one that might easily have been mistaken for the finale of a High Roller event. Players such as Australian James Obst, Italian Dario Sammartino and American Mike Gorodinsky did their best to deny Mercier, as did Englishman Simon Deadman who would face him heads up. None would succeed.

Mercier_table.jpgMercier overcome a difficult final table

Ironically Mercier had admitted to having had a difficult Series so far. But it turns out his judgement away from the table was a little off. He may have been running badly at the Rio, but he was running, and sometimes that's as important.

The result was a performance to stagger railbirds and fellow pros alike. One might ask when Mercier's good form will stop. It didn't end at that EPT in Sanremo all those years ago. It didn't end when he won an NAPT title, or a first, then second bracelet at the WSOP. It didn't end when he won three SCOOP titles last month. Stop thinking "when" and start thinking "wow".

Mercier_hugs.jpgMercier gets mobbed by his friends

It's a well-deserved moment for Mercier himself, but in a small way it's a victory for the rest of us, the fans and commentators who love to examine the complexities of a game made to look so simple by Mercier and his friends. It lends something to our enjoyment from the rail and exposes that paradox -- while poker is at its purest a very personal game, one need only look at social media, at the support and well wishes for Mercier, to realise that doesn't really tell the full story.

So it's not just everyone at PokerStars who'll be celebrating Mercier's win today. Funnily enough I seem to remember it was similar story on that day in Sanremo back in 2008.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Photography by