EPT9 Grand Final Super High Roller: Mercier chasing four-hour record, adoration, and €1.75m

Jason Mercier is loved pretty much universally in the poker community, but especially among tournament reporters in this part of the French/Italian/Monégasque Riviera.

In April 2008, when he was still "21-year-old PokerStars Qualifier Jason Mercier", rather than Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier (and all round tournament sensation), he won the EPT Sanremo title in a final table that is still the quickest in the tour's history.

He beat Dario Minieri, Antony Lellouche, Dag Palovic, William Thorson and others in a little more than four hours to put €869,000 in his bankroll and start the most sensational modern poker story. If he does the same today in the €100,000 Super High Roller event at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monaco -- and it is very possible -- he will endear himself even more to those weary hacks.

Of course, he will also bank yet another €1,746,400 and another massive tournament title, but it's the love of the media room he craves more than anything. I think.

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Jason Mercier: Yet again, the top of the pile

This is day three of the €100,000 event, the final major event of EPT season nine. Mercier led at the end of the first day and he led at the end of the second. He is now the monstrous chip leader as we start the final table, which lines up as follows:

Jason Mercier - 4,165,000
Vladimir Troyanovsky - 2,150,000
Sorel Mizzi - 2,140,000
Max Altergott - 2,110,000
Timothy Adams - 830,000
Scott Seiver - 625,000
Mike Watson - 480,000

We will be resuming in level 17, with blinds of 20,000-40,000 (5,000 ante) and that means that Watson has only 12 big blinds, Seiver has fewer than 16 and Adams has about 21. They are the reasons this could go very quickly indeed, especially when you look at Mercier, with 104 big blinds.

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Scott Seiver: Can he stop Mercier?

He raised every hand during the period before the bubble and one suspects he will start in similar fashion. He only has six others to beat today -- and that record in Sanremo. Can he do it?

Play has actually begun in Monaco -- at 1pm -- but we are reporting on a one-hour delay so that there are no spoilers for EPT Live, which is broadcasting from 2pm, with hole cards. Our hand-by-hand coverage, plus feature pieces, are on the .