Poker pro Greg Merson, a mere 24 years old, bested 6,598 contenders to win this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event at Rio Las Vegas.
Merson, who hails from Maryland, won $8,531,853 (yes, we counted it) and a coveted WSOP gold bracelet valued at infinity dollars, because WSOP bracelets are just that flipping awesome.
The WSOP Main Event, the world’s largest and most lucrative poker tournament, costs $10,000 to enter, but the return on investment can obviously be substantial if you play your cards right.
The marathon Final Table event lasted 12 hours, starting at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and ending at 5:44 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Play at the Final Table spanned 399 hands, which is kind of bugging this blog, because we have OCD a little.
The Main Event victory was Merson’s second seven-figure prize at this year’s WSOP (which encompasses 61 separate events). He won a No-Limit Hold’em tournament this summer with a prize of $1.1 million. Merson was the only player at the 2012 World Series of Poker to win more than one gold bracelet. Somebody’s going to need a really good tax attorney.
Thanks to Joe Giron for the pics.
The second and third place Final Table finishers were Jake Balsiger and Jesse Sylvia. Balsiger won $3.8 million for his third place finish, and Sylvia won $5.3 for coming in second. Lovely parting gifts, you might say.
The total prize pool for the 2012 World Series of Poker was $222 million, with participants from 101 countries. (Seriously? Not 100?)
Congrats to Greg Merson, and find out more about the World Series of Poker.