Like many other pro poker players, I spent a month after the 2013 WSOP trying not to think too much about poker. I shuttled back and forth between Florida and Toronto to see friends, and worked hard on getting into good shape. I have really started to pay attention to how both my mind and body react positively when I take care of them. The crossover to my work environment when I have applied diet and exercise has been successful for me in the past. I plan to keep this positive momentum moving forward into my poker playing and future endeavors.
After a long series like the WSOP, it's natural to think about dialing back the circuit grind a little bit. Once I really took some time to review the upcoming tour schedule I felt that resurgence of energy and love for poker being the main focus of my life. I feel like I have a lot more to accomplish in poker and I also feel that I am one of the best players still in the game today. When I looked at it that way, I am quick to recognize goals are my passion and competition drives me. I enjoy it so much that I can't imagine it not being part of my life.
Not to mention it is an exciting time for Florida poker. This month, players have rushed to Hollywood, Florida's Hard Rock $10,000,000 guaranteed tournament, which has been the biggest tournament in the history of Florida poker. I'm currently second in chips in the $100,000 buy-in event. These two events will be record breaking for Florida poker. I am really looking forward to these events and proud that they are being hosted here. My parents even showed up to watch. That's them below getting interviewed by Lynn Gilmartin.
Its amazing that more than eight years ago, I was sitting down at my first cash table in this very casino. When I was first starting out, I was playing to win a few dollars, but that escalated quickly. I might have been expanding my game knowing that I could one day be the best player out there but I couldn't yet imagine playing in a $10 million dollar tournament in my hometown. As my career took off I became enthusiastic about poker growing in Florida and looked forward to the day when Florida would host these types of events. I just bought a condo in Fort Lauderdale that I'm settling into, and couldn't be happier with. It's very close to everything that I need and is only 15 minutes from the Hard Rock.
If there is one downside to the touring on the circuit life it's the difficulty maintaining steady relationships with family and friends. It's easy to lose focus on staying in contact with people when your mind is constantly occupied with poker and large amounts of money. I have started to incorporate this into my daily life on the road - creating time to stay in touch and making it a habit that I crave. I'm working on making this a top priority among other things outside of poker.
I'm really excited about the next few months, in which I will get to play amazing events such as EPT Barcelona and EPT London to name a few. Looking forward to playing my A-game and representing myself and PokerStars to the best of my ability. See you at the tables...
Jason Mercier is a member of Team PokerStars Pro