WSOP Champ Greg Merson – A Tale of Drugs and Redemption

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.

Tags: , , ,