Wins $5K Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
Collects $619,575, Now up to $1.5 Million in Career Winnings
Second WSOP Gold Bracelet – Both in PLO
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance over Last Year
Bracelets Won – 23 More Still to Go
Mercier added to his lustrous list of poker accomplishments today, by winning
his second World Series of Poker gold bracelet.
Mercier won the latest Pot-Limit
Omaha competition, held at the Rio in Las Vegas. The professional poker
player from Davie, FL, overcame a strong field totaling 507 entrants, and
earned what must be considered as his most impressive career win. No
doubt, given the field size and quality of competition, this was as huge a test
as Mercier had ever faced.
collected $619,575 in prize money for first place. He also solidified his
reputation as one of the world’s top Pot-Limit Omaha tournament players.
Mercier won his first gold bracelet two years ago in a $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit
Omaha tournament. He repeated his game dominance again this year, with a
victory in the $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha event.
the three-day tournament, Mercier looked like a player who expected to
win. He gradually built several tall towers of chips, which became
increasingly more intimidating as the tournament went on and played down to few
players. By the time the final table was reached on the third day, Mercier
enjoyed the chip lead and was never in serious danger of being eliminated.
With this victory, Mercier
shattered the $1 million mark in career WSOP earnings. He now has more
than $1.5 million in lifetime earnings – which includes 18 cashes. In
worldwide tournaments, Mercier now has more than $6 million in live
earnings. He reportedly has accomplished online results that are just as
The runner up was Hans Winzeler,
originally from Managua, Nicaragua now living in Florida. Had Winzeler
managed to win, he would have become the first WSOP winner in history from
Nicaragua. Instead, he settled for second place, which paid $383,075.
This was the first time a
Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha tournament had ever been held at the WSOP.
Among former gold bracelet
winners who cashed in this tournament were: David Chiu (4th), David
“Devilfish” Ulliott (13th), Erick Lindgren (17th), Vanessa Selbst (18th), Jeff
Lisandro (26th), John Kabbaj (30th), Layne Flack (31st) and Jesper Hougaard
For a comprehensive recap of Event #35,
please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #35 CHAMPION – JASON MERCIER
The 2011 World
Series of Poker $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha champion is Jason
Mercier, from Davie, FL.
Mercier is a
24-year-old professional poker player.
He is one of the most widely-respected younger players in the game.
born in Hollywood, FL. He is one of four
attended Florida Atlantic University.
the fourth year Mercier has attended the WSOP.
victory, Mercier collected $619,575 for first place.
official records, Mercier now has 2 wins, 3 final table appearances, and 18
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
currently has $1,598,137 in career WSOP winnings.
Mercier’s fourth cash this year – which includes four finishes all within the
top 30 (1st, 7th, 14th, and 27th).
first gold bracelet was won in 2009, in the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha
event. He now has two victories in PLO.
cheered on to victory by his high school basketball coach, who was in the
gallery. His coach was also present when
Mercier won his first gold bracelet two years ago.
more than $6 million in overall live tournament earnings. His first major victory took place at the
European Poker Tour’s stop in San Remo (Italy), in 2008.
Mercier is to
be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since
he has been a full-time player for the past five years.
victory, Mercier now has two wins in Pot-Limit Omaha. He joins the following players as the only
multiple gold bracelet winners in this form of poker – “Amarillo Slim” Preston,
Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey.
On becoming widely-acknowledged as one
of the world’s top players:
important to me for people to think I am one of the best. I think I am getting to that level, if I am
not already there. Obviously, winning
tournaments and winning WSOP bracelets just adds to that. I feel like if I win a third one, it will do
even more for me. I’m ready to play in
as many World Series of Poker events as I can to get as many gold bracelets as
On winning his second WSOP gold
awesome to win a second WSOP gold bracelet, especially in PLO. I won my first one in PLO. It just feels amazing. I’ve had so many deep runs so far at this
year’s series, so it feels good to close it out.”
On keeping a huge stack of chips in
front in the form of a chip castle, and declining to color up chips:
“I had a
monster stack since Day Two. But as they
color up, I had to keep trying to build it back up….it’s just a superstitious
thing. If I keep accumulating the small
chips, I can start building up something nice.
I like to make it fun and draw some attention.”
On some of his friends also having a
great WSOP, and gaining their crowd support:
(Bari) won, that was one of the biggest rushes I’ve ever had. It’s awesome and fun to see your friends win,
especially if you have a financial interest in how they do.”
On his goals and expectations:
not expected. Putting myself in a
position to win is always expected.
Being able to close the job when I get there just makes me more
confident as I move forward. I expect to
make deep runs, and eventually win some tournaments. But I don’t expect to show up at every
tournament expecting to win.”
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top six finishers.
table contained two former gold bracelet winners – David Chiu (4 wins) and
Jason Mercier (1 win).
were represented at the final table – Canada (1 player) and the United States
play began, Mercier was ahead of Hans Winzeler by a slight margin. The duel lasted about two hours. Winzeler had the chip lead for a time, but
Mercier regained his advantage and won the last hand of the tournament by
making a straight on the river.
The runner up
was Hans Winzeler, from Managua, Nicaragua.
His second-place finish was the highest in history by any player from
Nicaragua. Winzeler also resides in
Florida when inside the United States.
That made the heads-up match an all-Florida finale. Winzeler is a 25-year-old poker pro. Second place paid $383,075.
finisher was Steven Merrifield, from Fairmont, WV. He is a 26-year-old poker pro and a graduate
of West Virginia University. This marked
Merrifield’s third WSOP final table appearance.
Third place paid $239,100.
fourth-place finisher was four-time gold bracelet winner David Chiu, from Las
Vegas, NV. The closest Chiu could get to
the chip lead was when he found himself second in chips when final table play
began. Chiu, a 50-year-old poker pro,
won his last WSOP victory in 2005.
Fourth place paid $156,628.
fifth-place finisher was Joseph Ressler, from North Potomac, MD. He is a 23-year-old poker pro. Ressler is a graduate of Emory
University. He earned $105,967 in prize
sixth-place finisher was Michael McDonald, from Waterloo, Ontario
(Canada). He is a 21-year-old poker
pro. McDonald holds the record as the
youngest European Poker Tour (EPT) winner in history. Sixth place paid $73,965.
play began at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Played concluded 7 hours later, at 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
table play began, Jason Mercier enjoyed a slight chip lead over his closest
rivals – David Chiu and Steven Merrifield.
Mercier had a
large cheering section. Interesting side
note: Many of the supporters were
players who had played in the same event, and had busted out.
table was played on ESPN’s main stage. The
new final table set this year is getting raves in terms of design and
appearance. No stage in the history of
poker has ever looked as spectacular. Viewers
will be able to see ESPN’s coverage again once the WSOP Main Event begins in
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 48
finishers collected prize money.
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament -- aside from the players
who made the final table – were: David
“Devilfish” Ulliott (13th), Erick Lindgren (17th), Vanessa
Selbst (18th), Jeff Lisandro (26th), John Kabbaj (30th),
Layne Flack (31st) and Jesper Hougaard (44th).
another cash for “Top Cat.” Tony
Cousineau, the Daytona Beach-based poker pro, added to his long legacy of WSOP
cashes. He now holds the record as the
player with the most WSOP cashes in history, without a gold bracelet. “Top Cat” now has 49 career cashes, which is
a dozen more than the next-ranked player in that category.
“Speedy” Israelashvili cashed again, finishing 43rd. This marked his fifth time to cash this year,
which places him among the leaders in that category. The all-time record for most cashes within a
single year is held by Nikolay Evdakov, with 10.
With his cash
in this tournament, David “Devilfish” Ulliott has 13 PLO-related career cashes,
which is second only to Chau Giang, with 16.
are to be included in all official WSOP records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. currently leads the “WSOP Player
of the Year” point race.
ODDS AND ENDS
This is the
first time in history that a Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha tournament has been
included on the WSOP schedule. Many
Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em tournaments have been held in the past and
Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments have been a WSOP fixture since 1984; however, there
had never been a Six-Handed Omaha competition until this tournament was
tournament attracted 507 entries.
This is the 927th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion,
which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this year. The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the
first break of the noon tournament. The
ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m.
The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played. The entire presentation is open to the public
and media. Video and photography is
permitted by both the public and members of the media.
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Thursday, June 23rd. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
POT-LIMIT OMAHA HISTORY
Pot-Limit Omaha tournament held this year (Event #22) set a new record as the
largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in history. There were 1,071 entries. This is the largest Six-Handed variant ever
held, but was also the first of its kind.
widespread popularity in Europe and online, Pot-Limit Omaha tournament
attendance at the WSOP continues to grow.
Since the WSOP has been played at the Rio, here are the attendance figures
for the $1,500 buy-in event over the past seven years:
2005 – 291
2006 -- 526
2007 – 578
2008 – 758
2009 – 809
2010 – 885
2011 – 1,071
Omaha made its WSOP debut in 1984. The
previous year, a Limit Omaha (High) event was held. The format changed to Pot-Limit the next year
and has been part of the WSOP ever since.
first Pot-Limit Omaha champion was William Bennett, who won the $84,000 top
cash prize in 1984.
Pot-Limit Omaha champions (some years included multiple events – all winners
(1984) William Bennett
(1985) “Amarillo Slim” Preston; Zoran Smijanic
(1986) David Baxter
(1987) Hat “Deadman” Kant
(1988) Gilbert Gross
(1989) Blackie Blackburn
(1990) “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Shawqui Shunnarah
(1991) Jay Heimowitz, An Tran
(1992) Hoyt Corkins; Billy Thomas
(1993) Buddy Bonnecaze
(1994) O’Neil Longson; Huck Seed
(1995) Phil “Doc” Earle
(1996) Sammy Farha; Jim Huntley
(1997) Chris Bjorin
(1998) T.J. Cloutier
(1999) Donn O’Dea; Hassan Komoei
(2000) Johnny Chan
(2001) Hassan Komoei; Galen Kester
(2002) Robert Williamson III; Jan Hansen; Jack
(2003) John Juanda; Johnny Chan; Erik Seidel
(2004) Ted Lawson; Chau Giang
(2005) Josh Arieh; Barry Greenstein; Phil Ivey; Rafi
(2006) Lee Watkinson; Ralph Perry
(2007) Burt Boutin; Scott Clements; Alan Smurfit
(2008) Dario Alioto; Vanessa Selbst; Phil Galfond;
(2009) Matthew Graham; Jason Mercier; J.C. Tran;
(2010) John Barch, Miguel Proulx, Chance Kornuth
(2011) Elie Payan, Jason Mercier
the most WSOP gold bracelets in Omaha-related events (all variations) are –
T.J. Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen, and Phil Ivey (tie), currently with three wins each.
with the most career WSOP cashes in Omaha-related events (all variations) is
Brent Carter, currently with 21.
the most WSOP gold bracelets (wins) in Pot-Limit Omaha are – “Amarillo Slim”
Preston, Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey and Jason Mercier (tie), each currently with
with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Omaha is Chau Giang, currently at
was scheduled to be played over three consecutive days/nights – which ran into
a fourth day due to the late finish.
Day One began
with 507 entries and ended with 105 survivors.
Day Two began
with 105 players and ended with 27 survivors.
began with 27 players, which played down to the winner.
officially began on Monday, June 20th at noon. The tournament officially ended early
Thursday morning, June 23rd, at 1:45 am.
OVERALL WSOP STATISTICS (THROUGH MIDWAY POINT, END OF EVENT #29)
younger people are outperforming older people at this year’s WSOP. Case in point:
of all entrants: 36.2 years
of all players who cashed: 34.9 years
of all final table players: 33.9 years
of all winners: 28.8 years
continued to attract players from all over the world:
countries represented (to date): 74
countries which have had at least one player to cash: 62
U.S. state represented: 50
Canadian provinces represented: 10
percentage of females who have entered gold bracelet events is 3.2 percent.
MORE 2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #35 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 45,105 combined total entries. $69,351,060 in prize money has been awarded
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet
winners has been:
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this event, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (3)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt
Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler
Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason
Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason
Semi-Pros (4): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig
(4): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James
Hess, Kirk Caldwell
tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of
professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so
far – with 29 out of 35 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of eight of the 35 winners (23
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far, no player has
yet won two gold bracelets (this year).
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 194 consecutive
events. Aside from the annual Ladies
Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both
sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The
longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996,
when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players --
Maria Ho, who finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) and Kim Nguyen,
who also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who
finished in sixth place after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit
Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship.
tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3,157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3,175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) –
single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Largest consecutive-days starting field
sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke
Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)
Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in
poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32,
34, June 16-19, 2011
records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most
recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP
history. He accomplished this in
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).
Hellmuth, Jr. added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes
(81) and final table appearances (42).
RAISING AWARENESS: BAD BEAT ON CANCER AND THE WSOP
Bad Beat on
Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way
for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1
percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship,
contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize. By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and
joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits
when they win. As the official charity
of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are
donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.
A tax receipt is generated and sent to
their mailing address. Several high
profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their
winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka,
Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others. Since 2003, the initiative has raised over
$3.500,000 for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs. Players can pick up a patch and join Team 1%
by stopping by the Bad Beat on Cancer booth, located at the 2011 WSOP opposite
the Amazon Room in the concourse. The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas
is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.
Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold
bracelet event as they are completed.