History was made this past week the 2016 WSOP. There were two new millionaires for the first time in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker but it was a kindergarten teacher from Vancouver, WA that got the most attention.
Meanwhile, the big story of the week (and of the series thus far) is Jason Mercier. In the span of a week, he won his fourth and fifth career bracelet and enough money in bracelet bets where he is freerolling for quite a while.
Have Merci! How Many Can Mercier Win This Summer?
Jason Mercier has been on a remarkable run at the 2016 WSOP. In the last week, he has won two bracelets and finished third in another event. The first of those wins came in Event #20, the $10k 2-7 Lowball Championship. That win earned him his fourth bracelet and $273,335.
However, it was his bracelet prop bets that garnered him the most attention. After taking over $200k off of Fedor Holz and an undisclosed amount from other pros, Mercier claimed that he was “freerolling” for the next year or so.
Simple goal for the summer: just win more money than Jason costs me.— Fedor Holz (@CrownUpGuy) June 18, 2016
Then details were released on a prop bet regarding two bracelets between Mercier and Vanessa Selbst. Mercier was scheduled to win $1.8 million from Selbst if he won bracelet #2. However, a strange Twitter conversation between Selbst and Mercier made it seem like Selbst attempted to get out of the bet and Mercier shot it down.
That exchanged sparked some controversy with some saying that Mercier should let her off the hook while others think that he should make her squirm. The last we heard, Selbst has claimed that she has bought out of the bet but Mercier hadn’t confirmed.
Mercier got his first crack at bracelet #5 on Wednesday when he made the final table o the $10k Razz Championship. He made it heads up against Ray Dekharghani but fell just short, “only” winning $168,936.
Mercier got another crack at #5 on Friday at the $10k H.O.R.S.E. final table and this time he managed to come through. However, it did not come easy. Mercier found himself on the short stack with just four players left and was at a significant chip disadvantage heads-up against James Obst.
However, a combination of good luck and masterful play allowed Mercier to make a tremendous comeback and win the event, his fifth bracelet and $422,874 in prize money. Of course, he claims that he has won “a lot more” on the side.
Now the question is, how many can Mercier win this summer. At the time, we wrote this, he has a solid stack in the $3k PLO Six-Max. Nevertheless, there are still over 30 events left this summer, and at the torrid pace Mercier is winning bracelets, he could conceivably break the all-time record of three bracelets won in a single series.
Jason DeWitt Wins Millionaire Maker – Lisa Meredith Third
On Tuesday, Jason DeWitt topped a field of 7,190 to take the $1,500 Millionaire Maker for his second career bracelet and $1.06 million. Garrett Greer finished runner-up and also took home $1 million.
DeWitt came into heads-up play on Tuesday night with the experience edge having already won a bracelet. He admitted that jump from second to first was only $65k; he could play aggressively to try and win the bracelet.
However, the big story of the event was third place finisher Lisa Meredith. Meredith is a kindergarten teacher from Vancouver, WA who plays $20 tournaments weekly in her local pub to hone her skills. She is presently on maternity leave and her decision to return to teaching hinged on how she did in the Milly Maker.
After finishing in third, she told reporters that she planned to pay off her home, take a vacation and then put the rest away in savings. Looking at her Hendon Mob biography, she has two cashes lifetime. The other was a win in a $100 preliminary event at the Spring Poker Round-Up in Pendleton back in April.
From $20 tournaments at her local pub in #Portland, #Oregon to $500K CONGRATULATIONS to Lisa Meredith for placing 3rd in Ev#14 1500 millionaire maker no-limit hold’em . Meredith who’s a kindergarten teacher took a maternity leave after her baby was born . She’s due to return in the fall . Photo ( @drew_amato 📸📷) I love these stories because they give us all hope to continue our dreams in fulfilling success in this game we all love . Many well wishing to Lisa and her family . 📝 information credit goes to #pocket5s .com #women #poker #goals #dreams ♣️❤️♠️♦️
Seniors Event Draws 4,499
A few years ago, I wrote a piece for another site where I spoke against non-open field WSOP bracelet events. The Seniors Event was one of those events. Then the Seniors Event cracked 2,000 players. Then it went above 3,000. In 2012, it cracked 4,000 players.
This year, the Seniors Championship drew 4,499 players, an all-time record for the event. The popularity of the event sparked a spin-off Super Seniors Event that drew a staggering 1,533 players.
While the event isn’t a true “open-field” event, you cannot argue against a tournament that consistently sets new records. Players 50 and old want to play poker and they have proven it in a major way over the last 8 years.
This year’s Seniors Championship is winding down to the final table and several big names managed to walk away from the event with some extra bling in their pocket. Some of the pros / known players that cashed in this event include John Gale, 2002 WSOP Main Event Champion Robert Varkonyi, Barbara Enright, Neil Blumenfeld, Billy Baxter, Jay Heimowitz, Berry Johnston and Steve Zolotow.
Former bracelet winners Fred Berger and Toto Leonidas are near the top of the leaderboard with fewer than 80 players remaining. The final table will play out on Sunday with the ultimate winner receiving $538,204.