EPT9 Grand Final Super High Roller: Jason Mercier leads again going into season finale
By now you've probably noticed that super high rollers are a different breed to the rest of us. It's why they're kept apart from normal people as the world cannot really cope with 6 billion of them. They have a charisma of their own which, when piled together with every other super high roller, creates a veneer of youth and indestructibility.
You see it in all of them, from the man out first to the final seven bagging up tonight. They embody a sense of what could be, if only we all dressed in loose t-shirts and summer shorts and didn't shave for a few days. We'd also have to become the poker players of our dreams, which is wear the plan fails in frustration. Inside each of us is a super high roller trying to buy his way out.
These past two days have been a kind of showroom for poker, the re-entry option keeping alive the greats until that option was removed at the start of the day today. That left the remaining 32 players on their own, susceptible to the whims of the cards and their peers, with elimination meeting with most of them, except for the chip leader then and the chip leader now Jason Mercier.
Leading for a second day - Jason Mercier
You'd think this sense of peril would affect the way players approached the day, lots of clinging on, maybe even some begging. But super high rollers are also the ballsiest, wasting no time in either improving their situation of getting out of here.
And so it went. From the start the eliminations flew by. The "ovs" went first - Kurgan' and Smirn', followed by Dan Smith, Marvin Rettenmaier, Faraz Jaka, high roller runner-up Tony Gregg, and Tobias Reinkemeier - all within the first levels.
Among the departed - Tobias Reinkemeier
Isaac Haxton and Patrick Antonius followed, as well as Viktor Blom, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and last year's winner Justin Bonomo. All the types one expects to see hanging around at the end, but all busted in this, the harshest of environments.
No second final table for Daniel Negreanu
So quick was the process of elimination that we were left wondering whether the day might be over too soon, with Phil Ivey, having fired three bullets at this event, leaving in tenth place.
But it all slowed, and it wasn't until the clock ticked on towards 1am that the bubble burst. Erik Seidel was the last to depart empty handed, having been drained of all but a handful of blinds. Chip leader Mercier saw to Seidel's end, bringing the day to a close and leaving a final table of seven returning tomorrow. That line-up looks like this.
Seat 1 - Timothy Adams, 830,000
Seat 2 - Sorel Mizzi, 2,140,000
Seat 3 - Vladimir Troyanovsky, 2,150,000
Seat 4 - Jason Mercier, 4,165,000
Seat 5 - Max Altergott, 2,110,000
Seat 6 - Scott Seiver, 625,000
Seat 7 - Mike Watson, 480,000
Mercier has led almost from the start, never really looking back from his perch on the television table with a three-tiered stack. It's familiar turf for the Team PokerStars Pro who only two days ago was in the same seat for the main event final. Back then he finished seventh. He returns tomorrow to freshen up his resume with a win.
Mercier kept the lead all day
High and super high rollers are usually German, and there's one of them featuring tomorrow. Max Altergott will follow where his countrymen have been before, even though Fabian Quoss came up short. Canada is always well represented, with Sorel Mizzi, Timothy Adams and Mike Watson. Vladmir Troyanovsky is the lone Russian, while the United States lays claim to Mercier and Seiver. No sign of any Irishmen yet.
Among the contenders - Sorel Mizzi
Their stories, like all those of today, can be found in the live coverage of the day's events.
Three bullets, three blanks for Phil Ivey
TV feature table
There was headphonegate, with Scott Seiver, and one player, who peering down on the rest, who remained calm on his way to the final. Lastly, as we waited for play to end, we examined the unusual phenomenon of the double bubble.
Finally a hat tip to Adam "Roothlus" Levy who tonight final tabled the Monaco Cup and won a SCOOP event at the same time. How's that for multi-tabling.
We return tomorrow for the final of the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller, and the final day of EPT Season 9. It will be a cracker. Join us then.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.
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