Maryland pro wins WSOP title, $8.53M
A Maryland poker professional won the World Series of Poker main event, outlasting his final opponents in a marathon card session of nearly 12 hours for the $8.53 million title on Wednesday.
Greg Merson emerged with the title before dawn in Las Vegas after a session that proved a showcase for his skills amid the unpredictability of tournament no-limit Texas Hold ‘em.
On the last hand, Merson put Las Vegas card pro Jesse Sylvia all-in with a king high. Sylvia thought hard, then called with a suited queen-jack.
“This whole stage is nothing you could ever prepare for,” Merson said.
Merson’s hand held through the community cards — two sixes, a three, a nine and a seven — to put his name alongside former champions including Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan.
“I feel pretty good — got all the tears out so, now I feel relaxed,” Merson said.
The 24-year-old Merson pushed past Hellmuth for the series’ Player of the Year honors, proving himself the top performer throughout this year’s series of card tournaments in Las Vegas and Europe. Merson also won a tournament bracelet this summer in Las Vegas for a no-limit Texas Hold ‘em 6-handed tournament.
The 26-year-old Sylvia won $5.3 million for second place.
“That was nuts, man,” he said.
Merson’s victory came after the pair outlasted the last amateur at the table, 21-year-old Jake Balsiger. The Arizona State senior hoping to become the youngest World Series of Poker champion was eliminated in third place, more than 11 hours into the marathon.
Balsiger gambled his last chips with a queen-10 and was dominated by Merson’s king-queen. Merson’s hand held through five community cards, forcing Balsiger to exit no richer than when he started the finale on Tuesday.
The political science major, who has vowed to graduate, won $3.8 million.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
A small fire broke out Monday afternoon in South County, but was quickly contained by firefighters after burning between 1 to 2 acres, authorities say.