All Heated up and ready for a bracelet

Editor's note: Last night, Jason Mercier bagged chips good enough to be in eighth place out of the remaining 22 people left in Event #44. He wrote this a few days ago, so we thought we better get it published before he wins a bracelet and makes it outdated.

I'm writing from the WSOP, the day after the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 to win another championship. It was pretty awesome to watch the Heat win, especially after that incredible Game 6. They were like a 50-to-1 dog at one point coming down the stretch of that game, and for them to pull it out and then clinch it in Game 7 was amazing.

I wish I could have been there in Miami to watch the games in person, but it was still awesome to watch those games. Growing up in south Florida, I've been a Heat fan my whole life. They've been in the Finals the last three years and won the last two after winning a championship earlier in '06. It's definitely a lot of fun to be a Miami fan at the moment.

I was able to watch all of Game 6 and 7 in between playing events at the World Series of Poker. As far as the poker goes, the WSOP has been pretty grueling. I've probably been averaging playing about 13 hours per day, about 80-90 hours a week, and so far not really having great results. It's a lot easier to play long hours when you're doing well and things are going well. But when things aren't going as well, the long days can get very tiring.


I've been semi-deep in about six or seven events where I've had a legitimate shot to get a stack and potentially make a final table, but things just haven't worked out. However, the big events are coming up that are probably my best chances to win -- e.g., the $50K Players Championship, the $10K NL 2-7, the two big PLOs, the One Drop High Rollers, the $25K 6-max. -- so I'm really looking forward to those.

It's tough out here, but poker's what I love to do and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Thinking back to that last game, watching LeBron James and how composed he was in Game 7 reminded me a lot of Michael Jordan back when he led the Chicago Bulls to their championships in the '90s. The shot he hit at the end of Game 7 to put the Heat up by four with less than 30 seconds left reminded me a lot of Jordan hitting that jumper at the end of the '98 series against Utah, the one against Bryon Russell when he crossed him over.

It's pretty inspiring to see somebody like LeBron who's around the same age as me -- he's 28, I'm 26 -- who is just dominating his sport be able to perform in the Finals like that and prove he's the best player in the world. I look at him and it motivates me to try to be the best player in the world in poker.

As I say, there are a lot of good events for me coming up on the schedule, and I'm hoping I can final table something and maybe even try to win a third bracelet, kind of like the Heat just won their third championship overall. I know if I can get to a final table I'll be inspired to make the most of it, just like LeBron and the Heat have done in the Finals these last couple of years.

Jason Mercier is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Jason Mercier
@PokerStars in Jason Mercier