Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event
Professional poker player Greg Merson is the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion. The 24-year-old defeated Jesse Sylvia heads-up to claim the title, the $8,531,853 first prize and the unofficial title of ambassador for poker for the next 12 months.
And Merson, who led the final three when play resumed at 12.45a.m (GMT) has earned every penny as he triumphed in the longest WSOP main event final table in history. It took 247 hands and just under 11 hours and to reduce three to two (it had only taken 135 hand to go from nine to three) during which all of the final three held the chip lead.
All three players played superbly, but something had to give. With blinds a prohibitive 1,000,000 – 2,000,000 ante 300,000, Jesse Sylvia raised to 4,000,000 a shortstacked Jake Balsiger moved all-in for 20,300,000 with Qh-10d, Merson flat called with Kc-Qs, Sylvia folded and Merson’s hand held. The youngest player at the final table had to be content with a $3,799,073 payday.
This left Merson (117,600,000) the man many expected to win and Sylvia (80,600,000) the start of final table chip leader to contest the title. It would take just 17 hands for Merson to convert his chip lead into a victory.
On the final hand Merson raised to 4,000,000, Sylvia three-bet to 9,500,000, Merson moved all-in for an effective 69,300,000 and after a considerable tank Sylvia announced call. The hands were turned over, Merson was ahead with Kd-5d to Sylvia’s Qs-Js. The look on Vanessa Selbst’s face (Sylvia’s coach) suggested she couldn’t believed he’d called. And Sylvia no doubt wished he hadn’t as the board ran 6c-3h-9d-6s-7c. A classy Merson ignored his celebrating rail to commiserate with Sylvia, before getting his hands on the bracelet .
Not only did Merson’s victory mean he was the WSOP main event champion, but he also overtook Phil Hellmuth to win the 2012 WSOP player of the year title.
WSOP 2012 Main Event Final table results:
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. Robert Salaburu, $971,360
9th. Steve Gee, $754,798