If a picture is worth a thousand words, then nothing needs said beyond this picture of Greg Merson taken by Joe Giron on behalf of PokerNews about what it must feel like to win the WSOP Main Event and $8.5 million:
Merson prevailed at the 2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table following an epic 10-hour three-handed battle with Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger during which the chip-lead changed ownership on multiple occasions.
On the final hand of action, Merson min-raised on the button to 4 million. Sylvia three-bet to 9.5 million and Merson moved all-in putting Sylvia to the test for his remaining 69.3 million chips. Surprisingly, Sylvia made the call with Queen-Jack of spades. Merson was pleased to find himself ahead with King-Five of diamonds. Although Sylvia picked up a flush draw on the turn, the board bricked out to make Merson’s King-high enough to become the 2012 WSOP Champion.
The 24-year-old Merson has had a roller coaster year and a half. Following Black Friday when his career was taken away from him, he suffered a drug relapse. Merson refocused on his poker career in 2012 and won WSOP Event #57, the $10,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em tournament. Days later, Merson sealed his place among the “Octo-Nine” and was considered a favorite by many to win the tournament despite being out-chipped by Sylvia coming into the final table. Merson is now comfortably a poker millionaire eleven months following his decision to gain sobriety.
Commented Merson on Twitter following his win, “Thanks to everyone that supported me it was an overwhelming experience.” Judging from the above picture, it sure looks like it!
Congrats to Greg Merson, 2012 WSOP Champion!
Here is a rundown of the final table finishers and prize payouts from the 2012 WSOP Main Event:
1st: Greg Merson – $8,531,853
2nd: Jesse Sylvia - $5,295,149
3rd: Jake Balsiger – $3,799,073
4th: Russell Thomas – $2,851,537
5th: Jeremy Ausmus – $2,155,313
6th: Andras Koroknai – $1,640,902
7th: Michael Esposito – $1,258,040
8th: Rob Salaburu – $971,360
9th: Steve Gee – $754,798