EPT9 Sanremo: Jason Mercier first in line for the re-load blessing

ept-thumb-promo.jpgAs the main event in Sanremo gets very close to bagging and tagging for the night, the players in the High Roller event are preparing to play on into the early hours. They did not begin until 5pm local time, with registration closing after their dinner break at around 10.30pm. By that point, player numbers had swelled to 74, with 10 of them needing a re-load.

It means a prize pool of €823,200, with €288,000 going to the winner.

One of those dipping into their wallets was Jason Mercier, whose bankroll is probably big enough not to be too unduly troubled by the odd €10,000. He tweeted "Busted the high roller in San Remo and rebought. Good thing its only a 10k€ buyin and not a 100k. Also just bluffed off 40% of my 2nd bullet."

By his own admission he found himself in a big hole over the past couple of days, playing open-face Chinese poker against the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Scott Seiver, Artem Litvinov and others. But after 30-odd hours, he managed to haul himself out of it.

jason_mercier_ept_sanremo_highroller_day1small.jpg

Jason Mercier: digging into and out of holes

Open-faced Chinese poker has succeeded in what had once seemed impossible: be even more popular among poker pros than just regular closed-face Chinese. If Mare Blu opened an open-faced Chinese poker parlour adjoining their bafflingly popular pasta stand, one suspects the entire poker playing fraternity of the world might decamp to Sanremo permanently. (They could do with better internet here, mind you.)

The other players looking for a re-buy tonight were Michael Tureniec, Joseph Cheong, McLean Karr, Joel Nordkvist, Eric Sfez, Steve O'Dwyer, Martin Jacobson, Martin Finger and Benny Spindler. As you can see from that list, there is hardly any shame in a re-buy these days. Those are some of the best players in the world.

Indeed, re-buying in High Roller events gained even more cache after Jonathan Duhamel's miraculous recovery after busting out in the very early stages of a $100,000 Super High Roller event at the PCA this year. Duhamel was the first player to bust from any PCA tournament, but rallied not only to make the final table of that event, finishing fourth for $313,600 (a net profit of $113,600), but also to final table another three events, winning one.

With the exception of John Dibella, who won the main event at the PCA that year, Duhamel was the winningest player on Paradise Island for the festival.

Duhamel is back in the field for this High Roller, but mysteriously didn't re-buy. He's got no chance.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in High Roller