EPT12 Prague: Revealing Jason Mercier's magic

Spoiler alert: If you've not yet seen "The Prestige" and plan to, you might not want to read on. You've been warned.


"Same thing," Jason Mercier says to the waitress behind him, "but no water this time."

The woman makes a note in her book and shuffles off into an anteroom. She doesn't know anything of the man in the seven-seat. She doesn't know he's only been in town for a couple of days and that he's barely slept since he arrived. Nevertheless, she might have her suspicions in that little book of hers.

Mercier is decked out from head to waist in Miami Dolphins gear. About the time he was landing in Prague, his 'Phins were putting up a "W" over the Baltimore Ravens half a world away in Florida, USA. For the 5-7 American football team, it was largely a moral victory. If South Florida is to have a champion of its own this year, it has a better chance in Mercier than in Miami's football team.

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Indeed, here he sits in the €50,000 buy-in looking as fresh as a daisy in his Dolphins gear, chatting with Fedor Holz, and not acting at all like he needs a nap.

This, dear reader, I find suspicious.

As I wrote earlier, I'm a bit jet-lagged. I woke much too early today, and so I was awake at 7am local time when this tweet came in.


To catch you up...Mercier was playing in a big money Open-Faced Chinese event all night last night. While everyone else in this Super High Roller event was getting some good rest, Mercier was winning exactly the amount he needed to freeroll this Super High Roller today: €50,000.


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Mercier just turned 29 years old. He is, by the standards of the PokerStars Blog crew, a very young man. He has a full beard, and there isn't a strand of gray in it. He doesn't look like he's even sniffing at 30 yet. That's why he has the cognitive ability to compete for millions while we can barely string two sentences together without needing to take a nap. Mercier's youth seems to be the only explanation.

We could've written it off to that until Neil Stoddart, the man who took these photos, suggested an entirely new scenario to explain how Mercier is seemingly always awake and playing perfectly.

"Have you seen 'The Prestige?'" Stoddart said.

And there was our explanation.

We won't detail the whole plot of the film, but its key reveal gives away what we believe to be Jason Mercier's secret to constant awareness, talent, and wakefulness.

Here is our new theory:

On November 12, 1986, while America was distracted by the Iran-Contra scandal and fascinated with new boxing hero Mike Tyson's first world title, Rick and Dottie Mercier brought a new son named Jason into the world.

And then...wait for it...

Dottie gave birth to Jason's twin brother.

We'll call him Mason. They told no one. They raised Jason and Mason as one son, each living half the life, each becoming a poker genius, each appearing in public as Jason until finally emerging as a non-sleeping poker genius who travels the world without a need for a nap and winning countless poker tournaments along the way. Now, even we who watch the man at the table at every event have no idea whether we're watching Jason or Mason. We only know he looks well-rested, and he's always a favorite to go deep.

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Which brother is it?

Honestly, this is as good of a theory as we can come up with to explain how Mercier hasn't fallen asleep yet today.

But then, the waitress reappears, and she puts a big cup of espresso down on the little table next to Mercier's knee. It's blacker than his beard, and it looks like it could power a rocket. If our twin-Merciers theory doesn't hold up, the coffee is the only thing else we have to explain it. Still, we're sticking with The Prestige.

As we prepare to take leave of Jason (or is it Mason?), we see what might be a yawn escape the man's lips.

Don't believe it for a second, magic fans. It's all part of the Mercier Twins' act.


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is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour