PCA 2012: Familiar territory for Molson
Plugging away at the Super High Roller rock face is Will Molson. The Canadian is among that group of players who seems to do the most damage when the stakes are ramped up high. The most obvious example came last year when Molson took down a dramatic (regular) High Roller, winning a first prize of $1,072,850, the biggest win of his career.
In contrast to now, that high roller 12 months ago, which had a mere $25,000 buy-in, took place in the shadow of the main stage where the Bounty Shootout, was playing under live broadcast quarantine, bringing the 2011 PCA to a close. It was literally a shadow, a great wall blocking off the Shootout from the outside world.
Will Molson in action today
With few spectators it was an event for purists, a slow trickle of railbirds gathered on the crash barrier surrounding the table, normally friends of the players, curious as to how their man was doing. Typically the line-up they'd dropped by to see was extraordinary.
Jason Mercier would leave the final in eighth, Matt Marafioti in seventh. After David Baker went in sixth place, Govert Metaal in fifth and Erik Seidel in fourth, the scene was set for a memorable finale, things growing suitably tense when Leo Fernandez declined the offer of a three-way deal with Molson and Max Lykov, whose reaction suggested he was not happy at losing out on extra cash. He did too, departing in a hurry and leaving Fernandez and Molson to it.
I said it was sparsely watched but there was one ever present figure on the rail, cheering on Molson, his father.
Molson senior never left the tournament room instead watching his son banish demons he knew were always bugging Molson junior. It had been Molson's third attempt at PCA glory, having reached the final table of the same event for the two seasons prior, finishing as runner-up in both. Now that was just history.
The Molson's celebrate
"Finally," said a tired but relieved Molson. "No more second place."
Fast forward to today and Molson remains in the running in this latest high roller, although his chip stack has remained towards the bottom end of the scale. Regardless, he plays on. And yes, that is Molson senior watching from the rail.