PokerStars Strategy: Jason Mercier and Galen Hall go at it

The first EPT Champion of Champions event took place just after the EPT7 Grand Final in Madrid. It was a poker star-studded affair which heaved together EPT winners from across all seven seasons into one room to battle it out in a €100,000 freeroll. Not bad for a one-day turbo. There were names and faces you'd recognise in the flash of a card (Vicky Coren, Mike 'Timex' McDonald, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Jason Mercier) and those that may have taken some more head scratching, and possibly some reference to the PokerStars Blog archives (Antonio Matias, Joseph Mousawad, Mats Iremark, Bjorn-Erik Glenne).


That's a whole lot of tournament winnings there

What you definitely had was a room full of live-wires, heaps of bluff and bluster, and enough ego to win you several presidential campaigns over. It was sparkling, it was hectic, and there were some fantastic smash-ups. We're going to look at two of the biggest breakthrough talents of the EPT; Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier and PCA 2011 winner Galen Hall (who followed up with a third-place finish in this year's $100,000 Super High Roller for $470,400). If you like learning by example then it's hard to beat watching guys like Mercier and Hall clash.


Galen Hall

Sweat the hand
Mercier and Hall clashed in a major pot at the televised table which was being recorded as a 'Sweat the Hand' segment where you see the hand from just one player's point of view. In this case, you'll be standing over Mercier's shoulder. What would you do when the pressure drops? Suffice to say that Mercier makes the correct decision, he ends up winning the entire tournament and taking the inaugural Champion of Champions crown.

You can read all the Champion of Champions coverage here at the PokerStars Blog. And you can watch more poker TV at


Spoiler alert: this guy wins

Do you want to beat the best for millions of dollars? You can! This Sunday there's a $10 satellite to 10 PCA packages, which are worth $16,000 each. Win one of the 10 PCA packages, which includes $10,300 entry into the Main Event, accommodation and spending money, and you could win more than a million in The Bahamas this January.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Strategy