In 2010, it was Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi. Last year, it was Ben Lamb. This year, it is Greg Merson's turn to get poker fans wondering whether or not he is unstoppable. Two weeks ago, the ESPN cameras captured Merson at a low point in his World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event run. The $10,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em Champion was down to less than five big blinds and looked to be on the way out the door. Merson wasn't done yet though.
Tonight at 9:30pm on ESPN, the Day 6 coverage of the 2012 WSOP Main Event continues and viewers will get to see Merson battle his way up the chip counts after having one foot out the door just one day prior. The road to the final table isn't easy for Merson though. He is seated at the feature table with a player he has spent the past couple of days sparring with, Elisabeth Hille of Norway.
There will be two hours of coverage tonight on ESPN, but be aware that the start time of tonight's episodes has been moved back from 8pm to 9:30pm ET. Adjust your DVRs and schedules accordingly, as next week the coverage will run from 9:30pm-11:30pm as well.
The secondary table features the other woman still in the running with less than 50 players remaining in the biggest event on the poker calendar, Gaelle Baumann. After spending the early days of the Main Event with one of the biggest stacks in the room, Baumann is now in the unfamiliar spot of needing to chip up if she hopes to survive the day.
Merson may have struggled during some parts of the Main Event action, but this deep run, combined with his prestigious six-max bracelet and a final table bubble in the four-handed No Limit Hold'em event puts him in a position unlike his fellow competitors. He isn't just playing for a spot in the October Nine--he is playing for the title of WSOP Player of the Year. Merson can take the lead in the contest, but in order to do so he will need to be one of the nine players who bags up chips and returns in the fall for the final table.
The honor would cap off an amazing year for Merson both professionally and personally. After struggling at the tables and with drug addiction, Merson's life is back on track. He spoke with ESPN about what this run in the Main Event means and how much his life has changed since the 2011 WSOP:
Want to do more than just watch the WSOP action on TV at home next year? You can win your way into the 2013 WSOP Main Event thanks to the WSOP's Watch and Win contest. Keep an ear out for the code word from Lon McEachern, log onto WSOP.com's free play poker site and enter the code to earn your entry into the drawing for a 2013 Main Event seat.
Listening for the Watch and Win code isn't the only way to participate in this week's coverage either. Head on over to the iTunes store and download the new World Series of Poker Companion App for your iPhone powered by ACTV8. You can predict what color flops will be, answer trivia questions, and pick which players will win each hand without even getting up from your couch.