Jason Mercier doesn't just win. He mashes. It's his own colloquialism with it's own Twitter hashtag, and somehow it suits him perfectly. Mercier mashes the $400/$800 ring games on a regular basis. He mashes EPTs. He makes perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes with WSOP pot-limit Omaha fields, earning two bracelets in four years. And he mashed a $1,050 NLHE WCOOP back in 2010, earning more than $435,000. With over $7.9 in live tournament earnings and millions more online, there's very little Jason Mercier hasn't mashed...except a major 8-Game title. Tonight, Mercier crossed it off his ever-shortening list, capturing his second WCOOP bracelet in Event #64 ($10,300 8-Game High Roller).
A small, but star-studded group of 93 players put up $10,300 apiece to test their mettle against the best mixed-game players in the world. Twelve of them earned a share of the $930,000 prize pool with $253,425 set aside for first place. Red Spades made up 12% of the field, including Alex Kravchenko, David Williams, Ville Wahlbeck, Eugene Katchalov, George Danzer, Theo Jorgensen and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.
ParkerKane was the unfortunate soul to burst the money bubble, getting the rest of his chips in on fifth street in stud high against George "Jorj95" Lind. Both players turned over four to a flush, and while Lind made his on the river, ParkerKane ended up with only a pair of eights.
A few minutes later, Lind was the one at risk. After having his stack sliced in half by Niki "RealAndyBeal" Jedlicka when he made aces up on sixth street in stud, Lind put the rest of his chips in the pot on third street when the game switched to stud hi/lo. Lind's pair of queens fell to Jedlicka's aces and threes, ending his run in eighth place.
Everyone had a comfortable stack going into hand-for-hand play on the final table bubble. Not too much happened to change that before Daniel Negreanu flopped a set of sixes in NLHE against Anders "Donald" Berg. KidPoker check-raised the flop and was called, both players checked the turn when a third club hit the board, and Negreanu led out for a 24,000 bet on the river. Berg looked him up and ended up losing nearly half his stack on the hand.
The game switched to PLO and in a pot he three-bet against Scott "gunning4you" Seiver, Berg bet the last of his chips on a Q♠J♥8♦ flop. Seiver quickly called, turning over J♣T♣8♥6♦ for two pair and a straight draw, snapping off Berg's A♥A♠5♦5♣. The T♠ on the turn improved Seiver to a better two pair and the river blanked out with the 2♣. For the second year in a row, Berg bubbled the final table of the $10K 8-Game, but departed with a pretty substantial consolation prize of $34,875.
Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: Ben "BensBenz" Yu (92,421 in chips)
Seat 2: Niki "RealAndyBeal" Jedlicka (308,830 in chips)
Seat 3: JasonMercier (257,751 in chips)
Seat 4: Scott "gunning4you" Seiver (327,675 in chips)
Seat 5: Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu (225,137 in chips)
Seat 6: Gozoboro (183,186 in chips)
After 45 minutes of trading pots, the chip counts hadn't moved too significantly, Scott "gunning4you" Seiver and Daniel Negreanu losing the most ground early on. Seiver seemed to hit a buzz saw once the game turned to Omaha Hi/Lo, folding the river in pots against Mercier and Negreanu. Down to 117,000, Seiver dropped two more O8 pots to Mercier, including this hand where Mercier flopped top set and rivered kings full:
Down to 22,000, Seiver put the last of his chips in on a J♥T♣5♥ flop against Mercier and Gozoboro. Mercier and Gozoboro each put in another bet apiece on the K♣ turn and the Q♣ river, Gozoboro turning over A♦A♣K♠8♣ for an ace-high flush. Seiver mucked and hit the rail in sixth place, earning $48,825.
Ben "BensBenz" Yu arrived at the final table as the short stack and climbed as high as 182,000 in chips before Jason Mercier raised him off the turn in an Omaha Hi/Lo hand, costing him a 93,000 pot. BensBenz's stack dwindled to 36,000 and the game turned to Razz, BensBenz betting the last of his chips on sixth street, showing 4-K-7-Q.
"Yuk," Mercier said, before tossing in a call, his board reading A-J-K-A.
Mercier turned over 7-8 in the hole for four to a jack while BensBenz showed 7-T. Mercier made his jack low with a 3 on the river but BensBenz could only muster a Q-J-T-7-4. That was all she wrote for BensBenz, who departed with $65,100 for fifth place.
Negreanu gets razzed
To say the Razz level was brutal for Daniel Negreanu is putting it lightly. The game has become his Achilles' Heel in recent days, KidPoker tweeting about making his first trip to the beer store in years after busting from last week's $530 Razz event. Negreanu was on the ropes with only 78,000 in chips after dropping a 102,000 pot to Niki "RealAndyBeal" Jedlicka when he made an 8-7 low and Negreanu paired up on sixth street. The next pot Negreanu played saw him folding the river to Mercier, but he recovered those chips a few hands later when he made an 8-5-4 low against Mercier's 8-7-6.
Back up to 66,000 and Razz a thing of the past, Negreanu doubled through Jedlicka in stud high to reach a more comfortable 137,000:
Studs of 8-Game
The stud level belonged to the two remaining Team Pros. Negreanu climbed out of the basement, chipping up to 360,000 from 137,000 while Mercier widened his chip lead even further. Jedlicka fell to 115,000 after calling Mercier to the river in a stud hand, Mercier turning over a queen-high flush to claim the 152,800 pot.
Negreanu hit 438,000 in chips when his aces up scooped Jason Mercier in stud/hi lo and crossed the half-million mark a few hands later, his buried aces improving to trips on sixth street. By the time the game switched to no-limit hold'em, Mercier and Negreanu had moved up to 610,000 and 544,000 respectively while Jedlicka held 135,000 and Gozoboro rode the short stack with 106,000.
Gozoboro got a reprieve when he doubled through Mercier, his last 137,000 going in before the flop. Gozoboro's T♦T♠ were crushed by Mercier's J♥J♦, but Gozoboro flopped a ten to stay alive and move up to 289,000. This left Jedlicka as the short stack, his chip count dipping below 100,000 with a round of 2,500/5,000 PLO approaching.
Apropos for a player who made a name for himself in the game, Jedlicka took a stand during the PLO round. In a three-way pot, the action was checked to Jedlicka on a K♦Q♣4♠ flop. Jedlicka bet 17,263 into the 30,000 pot, Gozoboro re-potted, Jedlicka shoved, and Gozoboro called, turning over 4♦4♣5♥5♠ for bottom set. Jedlicka tabled K♥J♣T♣6♥ for top pair and a straight draw. The 5♦ on the turn only brought Gozoboro a higher set and the 8♣ on the river missed Jedlicka, sending him to the rail in fourth place. He took home $88,350 for his finish.
LHE dusts Daniel
As three-handed play commenced, the chip counts weren't too far apart; Negreanu had 550,000, Mercier 432,000 and Gozoboro 413,000. Mercier pulled even with Negreanu after winning a couple of 2-7 pots, then snagged a 246,000 limit hold'em pot from Kid Poker when he flopped top pair and turned top two. Gozoboro also pounced on Negrenau during limit hold'em, getting two folds on the river and one on the turn in a series of three consecutive pots. Gozoboro chipped up to 562,000 while Negreanu was left with only 191,000.
A couple of hands later, Gozoboro won a fourth LHE pot from Negreanu when the board four-flushed, crushing Negreanu's top pair:
Left with 47,000 in chips, Negreanu doubled back through Gozoboro, his A♣K♠ holding up against 7♦9♥, but his chips found the middle again on the next hand. Dealt A♠Q♦, Negreanu opened for a raise to 24,000, Gozoboro three-bet and Negreanu called. Negreanu check-raised the 7♣5♠2♠ flop, then led out when the 6♥ hit the turn. Gozoboro raised to 48,000 and Negreanu called all-in, no doubt disappointed to see Gozoboro's 3♣3♥. The river was the 6♣ and Negreanu was eliminated in third place, earning $130,200 for his finish.
Heads-up chip counts
Seat 3: JasonMercier (678,456 in chips)
Seat 6: Gozoboro (716,544 in chips)
Mercier set his phasers to #mash and immediately wrested away the chip lead, scooping a 256,000 pot in Omaha Hi/Lo after turning a Broadway straight. Minutes later he scooped another. On a A♣6♠6♣ flop, Mercier capped the betting, having hit sixes full and the second nut low draw. Gozoboro check-called the 5♦ on the turn and the J♥ on the river only to be shown A♦3♣4♦6♦.
Down to 166,500 to Mercier's 1.2 million, Gozoboro went on a tear, picking up 10 consecutive O8 pots to move back up to 674,000. However, when the game changed to Razz, Mercier answered by winning three massive pots of his own, reducing Gozoboro to 225,000 in chips.
With Mercier showing a four and Gozoboro a deuce, a third street raising war broke out, Gozoboro capping the betting. Gozoboro led out on fourth, fifth, and sixth, Mercier calling him down despite the three fours on his board. When the river cards were dealt, Gozoboro check-called a final 32,000 from Mercier.
Gozoboro (X)(X) 2-J-T-2 (X)
Mercier (8)(5) 4-4-4-2 (7)
Gozoboro was left with only 62,500. He managed to double back up to 141,000 when he made a T-8 against Mercier's Q-T, but with one final mash, Mercier served up his second WCOOP bracelet:
Congratulations to Team Pro Jason Mercier on his second WCOOP bracelet. He picked up $253,425 for the win, while runner-up Gozoboro earned $169,725.
PokerStars WCOOP Event #64 ($10,300 8-Game High Roller) results:
Places paid: 12
1. Jason Mercier (Canada) $253,425.00
2. Gozoboro (Ireland) $169,725.00
3. Daniel Negreanu (Canada) $130,200.00
4. Niki "RealAndyBeal" Jedlicka (Austria) $88,350.00
5. Ben "BensBenz" Yu (Mexico) $65,100.00
6. Scott "gunning4you" Seiver (Canada) $48,825.00
Don't forget to tune in to the final two episodes of WCOOP Radio, Monday and Tuesday night at 21:00 CET. Hosts Joe Stapleton and Nick Wealthall are still giving away plenty of prizes, including tournament tickets, step tickets, and goodies from the PokerStars VIP store. Click over to PokerStars Radio to listen live or download the shows you've missed.
Kristin Bihr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog