I wish I could tell you that I went to the Bahamas and won the first tournament I entered. Unfortunately, my return to poker after a two month absence didn't go as perfectly as I dreamed. Despite not cashing in the Super High Roller or High Roller events, I was still able to have a profitable trip. I made the money in the Main Event (142nd- $18,200) and did quite well playing OFC cash games.
I also had a pretty interesting situation where one of my best friends from back home -- Kyle Sorel -- finished 18th in the Main Event for about $70K, and I had a pretty big piece of him. It was exciting to see a close buddy who's not really a poker player have a chance to win a big amount, not just because I had a piece, but mostly because I know it was such a thrill for him.
All things considered, the PCA went decently for me and was a good return to poker after having taken time off at the end of last year.
It was cool being back at the table, and in a way felt a little like I was playing for the first time again. It felt as though I had this new outlook on everything and felt really energized -- almost too energized to be just sitting down for 10-12 hours, to be honest.
Sometimes as a poker player you do the same things over and over and it's only natural to start to take things for granted. It's important to remind ourselves just how blessed we are to be able to travel the world and see all of these great places -- not to mention, play a game for a living.
Also making the PCA a great trip this year was the fact that both sets of my grandparents came for a few days and they got to see the poker world and me in my element. It was a new experience for them because they had never had a chance to see me at a live event. It kind of gave them a new perspective on what I actually do for a living, and they said they found it very interesting and exciting.
My parents were there, too, for the second part of the trip -- they watched me play both the Main Event and the $25K High Roller -- and it was good to go out to eat with them and spend time with them as we enjoyed the Bahamas together.
Now I've been back in Florida for a couple weeks, trying to relax again and getting back into my routine of eating well, getting exercise, and keeping that balance that's so important.
I'm really excited about my next trip which I'll probably be en route to as you're reading this. I'm going to Australia for the Aussie Millions. This will be my third time making the trip to Australia and I'm hoping to do well in one of the huge buy-in tournaments there. I plan to play the 25k High Roller, 10k Main Event, and the 100k and 250k Super High Roller events.
It's exciting that PokerStars is sponsoring the Aussie Millions this year which means even more friends and familiar faces will be at the event.
After Australia, I'm heading to South Africa for a Super High Roller event there. This will be my first time in Africa. I'm pretty stoked that I get to play around 500k in buy-ins in one trip! It felt good to be back in the action in the Bahamas, and I can't wait to see what happens on this next adventure.
Jason Mercier is a member of Team PokerStars Pro