As has been discussed many times over the past few months, Joe Hachem thinks that poker has a problem, and it starts with WSOP Main Event champs and younger pros. Greg Merson definitely saw Hachem’s rant and it’s forced the 2012 Main Event champ to rethink his views on everything from playing tournaments to interviews.
Bluff Magazine recently caught up with Merson and talked to him about what Hachem said. While the 26-year-old doesn’t feel like Hachem specifically targeted him, he did ask the Aussie about the comments. And Merson came to the conclusion that Hachem may have misunderstood how much he loves playing poker.
In the interview, which you can see below, Merson explains how he didn’t win the Main Event in an era where these champions are immediately sponsored and paid to play the tournament circuit. He adds that it’s not worth it to play in $3,500 and $5,000 events when there’s $2k – $3k in added travel costs.
Merson would much rather play live cash games, where he makes the most profits. However, he does indicate that he’s come around to the idea of playing in tourneys and promoting the game more. Merson also discusses how he spent time with Phil Hellmuth, “picking his brain” about self promotion.
Another point that Merson’s come around to is doing more interviews, even though they may not pay off immediately. The young poker pro now realizes that doing interviews and more promotional work can pay dividends in the future – both for himself and for the game in general. He also states the importance of signing autographs and taking pictures with poker fans when asked.
You can expect to see more of Merson on the tournament circuit in the near future. Aside from everything that we’ve discussed so far, he also says that it’s harder for good pros to get in big cash games these days. So he’d like to play more tournaments this summer.