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Jason Mercier has been on a stellar run at the 2016 World Series of Poker. In addition to winning his fourth and fifth career bracelets in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball Championship and the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, he also finished runner-up in the $10,000 Razz Championship.

While these finishes were big new, the poker world has been much more interested in the myriad of bracelet bets that Mercier is chasing. So far, he has already won enough in bracelet bets that he claims to be “freerolling for the next year or so.”

Mercier was rumored to be due at least $1.8 million in bracelet bet money from various pros, including Vanessa Selbst. This is the type of story that captures the imagination of poker fans and below we give you seven reasons why fans should care about Mercier’s bracelet chase.

We’re Tired of Talking About Howard and Jesus

Yes, we understand that it is a big deal that Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer returned to the WSOP this summer. Personally, I am already over it. Let Robbie and Shimi talk about it all they want. I’m just happy to have something else to talk about.

Make Razz Great Again!!

Admit it, the only reason you watched the final table of the $10k Razz Championship was because Mercier was going for bracelet #2. We can’t blame you. That’s the only reason we watched it.

Hellmuth Keeps Pitching Bricks

It took 18 events before Phil Hellmuth finally scored his first cash of the 2016 WSOP and he has still failed to make a final table. (Yes, we realize he didn’t cash through 16 events last year. However, he then won Event #17.) Since Hellmuth isn’t around to hog the attention, we might as well focus on Mercier.

Ivey So Far a No-Show

We really expected Phil Ivey to show up more this summer at the WSOP considering that this is will likely be his Hall of Fame induction year. So far, Ivey is a no-show and we are assuming he is too busy betting on DFS or playing in high stake cash games. Then again, maybe he is trying to bring Tom Dwan home.

Btw, Whatever Happened to Rescuing Tom Dwan?

Remember that weird video that came out recently about Tom Dwan needing help to get home? What happened with that? Did he get home? Is he being whipped with a cane in Macau by backers? Inquiring minds want to know.

We Like to See the Pros Sweat

Speaking of Tom Dwan, remember back in 2010 when multiple poker pros nearly crapped their pants when he made it heads-up for a bracelet? I was there and it was hella’ fun to watch the pros squirm. Pros were abandoning their events to sweat the event and see if they were going to have to pay up.

Simon Watt would be the savior of the prop betting world that day. Ray Dehkharghani played the same roll on Wednesday night but that still wasn’t enough to stop Mercier. He picked up his 5th bracelet and a huge amount of money on the side after winning the $10k H.O.R.S.E. on Friday.

However, it appears that Vanessa Selbst is having a bit of bettors remorse. She is making claims now that she was incredibly drunk when she made the huge bracelet bet with Mercier and that he refused multiple attempts at a buyout. Mercier disputes her claims on how drunk she was. Will she pay up or will this become the latest poker scandal of 2016?

Poker Fans Love to See History Made

Mercier’s fourth career bracelet helped to separate him from a large group of multi-bracelet winners and his fifth win put him in truly elite company. Below are a few players (past and present) with five or more bracelet wins.

Phil Hellmuth (14)

Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey (10)

Johnny Moss (9)

Erik Seidel (8)

Men Nguyen, Billy Baxter, Jeff Lisandro (7)

Ted Forrest, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, T.J. Cloutier, Jay Heimowitz (6)

Daniel Alaei, David Chiu, John Juanda, Scotty Nguyen, Allen Cunningham, Chris Ferguson, Barry Johnston, Stu Ungar, Gary “Bones” Berland (5)

Now the question is, can he tie the all-time record for bracelets in a series at three? He has plenty of time to do so, and we wouldn’t be crazy enough to bet against it.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.