Posts Tagged ‘2012 WSOP Main Event’

Greg Merson signs with

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

In a day and age where sponsored poker pros are becoming an endangered species, Greg Merson managed to land a sponsorship deal with The 2012 Main Event champion will become the gaming site’s first-ever sponsored player.

Merson gained international fame after winning the 2012 Main Event along with $8,531,853. That same year, he also won a WSOP $10k Six-Handed NL Hold’em tournament along with $1,136,197. Thanks to these massive scores and others, the 26-year-old has already accumulated $10,962,188 in live tourney winnings.

Another great thing about Merson is that he’s not just some donk who luckboxed a big tournament. He also frequently makes a killing in live cash games on the East Coast. Based on everything Merson brings to the table, it’s no wonder why Head of Online Poker, Bill Rini, was so enthusiastic in the following statement:

Greg is a terrific ambassador for the game of poker. He loves the game, is passionate and opinionated about its future, and he will help us spread the word about our offerings and ensure the poker playing community has a respected, experienced voice to help shape moving forward.

Rini’s words are a total 180 from what Ty Stewart, Executive Director of WSOP, said when asked about if their iGaming operation would sponsor players. Here’s a look at what Stewart had to say on the matter:

On the land based side of the WSOP, we’ve always shied away from signing personal endorsements with individual players. As an organizer who has a key role in…the outcome of the game we see ourselves in the league function, aimed to be impartial and to have maximum trust and integrity.

Perhaps the WSOP operation felt that Merson was special and decided to alter the policy that Stewart discussed. Whatever the case may be, it’s nice to see an elite player like Merson finally land his first sponsorship deal.

Greg Merson looking to promote Himself and Poker More

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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.

Royal Poker Tournament claims Winner will earn $50m

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Think Antonio Esfandiari’s $18.3 million prize in the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop was huge? Then perhaps you haven’t heard about the proposed $1 million buy-in Royal Poker Challenge, which is set to pay $50 million to the winner.

Okay, so if you’re having a hard time believing this one, you aren’t alone. After all, the largest poker prize before Esfandiari’s huge score was the $12 million that Jamie Gold collected in the 2012 WSOP Main Event. But according to this press release, Royal Poker Challenge is very serious about the matter.

48 players have allegedly signed up for this tournament, which will be held in Sydney, Australia on March 30th. And members of the British, Danish and Monaco royal families are supposed to participate in the festivities too. Their role will be to serve as ambassadors for the game and, if they win money, donate the cash to charity.

Dave Chen, director of the Royal Challenge, spoke about this upcoming event by saying, “Poker is a true game that cuts across all class and income barriers. It tests skills, nerves and courage in a way that’s incomparable to other card games. There is no higher drama and examination of character and personality than a high stakes poker game. With the splashing 50 million dollar prize, in the remarkable city of Sydney, this should be an historical event indeed.”

This all sounds great and everything, but there’s just one problem: no names have been released on who’s playing. As if this tournament isn’t already shrouded in enough mystery, we don’t even get a glimpse at the participants. And if the press release is correct, we may never know the “high profile Hollywood celebrities” and “wealthy and successful individuals” who front the $1 million buy-in.

As the PR states, “All participants value privacy, so Mr. Chen is primarily focused on providing a secure and private environment for this unique tournament.” Well, so much for finding out who the winner is and if they indeed get $50 million.

WSOP Champ Greg Merson – A Tale of Drugs and Redemption

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

By now pretty much the whole poker world has heard of Greg Merson’s 2012 WSOP Main Event victory. Following a 103-day break before final table play began, Merson dispatched his last eight opponents this week en route to the $8,531,853 first place prize. Thanks to his Main Event victory, the 24-year-old was also able to grab the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year award too.

But what many people may not know about Merson is that there’s more to this story than just some young poker player winning a big tournament. The Laurel, Maryland native was actually addicted to drugs just a short time ago before getting his life on track.

How to cope

As for how it all happened, Black Friday struck and hampered Merson’s ability to play on the biggest online poker sites. What ensued was a severe depression that had him wondering how he was going to continue making a living with the game. Merson eventually coped with his problems by turning to drugs, which is when he finally hit rock bottom.


Luckily, Merson wouldn’t stay mired in this downward spiral forever. He turned to live poker tournaments in hopes of replacing the loss of online poker revenue. And he certainly accomplished this goal after winning the 2012 WSOP Event #57 (6-max Hold’em) tournament along with $1,136,197.

Of course, this was only a warm-up of what was yet to come since we now know that Merson also captured the Main Event title along with another $8.53 million. Thanks to these latest victories, he now has an impressive $9,851,557 in live tournament cashes. More importantly, he’s overcame the drug problems that he dealt with last year and looks on track to continue having an excellent poker career.