Aussie Millions Day 1B: Mercier up for the challenge

It's certainly a long way from the United States to Australia. It's a good 14 hours to the West Coast and even further if you're out East. Flying all that way, landing in a completely different time zone, dealing with jetlag, a different culture, and expecting to perform at your best in a $25,000 buy-in poker tournament is a pretty big ask.

Sure, there are tricks to dealing with jetlag, and the culture in Australia is pretty relaxed, but it's still not easy to compete with the best players in the world in a High Rollers Event, just a day after landing in a foreign country on the other side of the world.

Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier has done exactly that. He's dealt with the obstacles admirably, like the true professional he is, and now finds himself seated on the final table of the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge, with the chip lead and AU$460,000 up top.

Perhaps it's Mercier's method for dealing with jetlag that has proved the difference:

Or perhaps it's the fact that we just caught him taking a powernap at the table during one of the scheduled breaks. It wasn't until Scott Seiver thrust a phone in front of him that Mercier was interrupted from his late night dozing.

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This is the third time that Mercier has been to Australia but this is actually his first cash result at the Aussie Millions. Now he just has to get past Tobias Reinkemeier, Scott Seiver, Max Altergott, Dan Shak, Dan Smith and Marvin Rettenmaier in order to capture his first Aussie Millions championship ring and AU$460,000 in prize money.

After a cash in the Main Event at the PCA earlier this year, Mercier would love nothing more than to kick-start his 2014 with a big result in Melbourne.

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.