Sitting on my flight to Vegas, I started to think about the fact that this will be my ninth year in a row attending the World Series of Poker and going to Vegas for the summer. It feels like just yesterday I was a 21-year-old kid coming off my first big win at EPT San Remo just 7 weeks before playing my first WSOP. I was excited, motivated, and thrilled to be going to Vegas to compete at the WSOP.
Well, it’s now nine years later, and I still have that same feeling. I’m excited for a chance to capture a fourth WSOP bracelet. I also have a few exciting prop bets that will give me extra motivation to play as many tournaments as possible this year. For the first time in my career, I have made bets on winning multiple bracelets. The most exciting bet is against a fellow Team Pro, Vanessa Selbst. She laid me 180 to 1 (my $10,000 vs. her $1.8 million USD) that I won’t win 3 gold bracelets this WSOP (Vegas only). I’m really hoping to give her a sweat on this one.
The schedule this year is similar to last year’s, which means I’ll be playing a very similar schedule to what I did in 2015. I’ll be focusing on the biggest buy-in small field events and playing pretty much every tourney with a $5,000+ buy-in. These are my best chances to win events, so I’ll be skipping most of the huge-field/small buy-in NLH events.
This summer is also especially exciting because it kicked off with a $300,000 tournament hosted at the Aria. This event started on Sunday and I’m going into Tuesday in fourth place out of the 16 remaining players!
I’m really happy with the way I’m playing right now after coming off of a very strenuous SCOOP grind. I played between 10-16 hours a day for 16 days straight. If you just looked at my results, you might think it was a very successful SCOOP for me. I finished second on the overall leader board, second on the high leader board, made six final tables and captured a win, my fifth SCOOP title to date. However, the truth is that I actually lost a small amount of money (around $10,000) just on the tournaments during the series.
This had to do with the large amount of big buy-in events I played and my biggest cash being around 40k. I left a lot of money on the table at the first five final tables where I finished sixth three times and fifth twice, before finally capturing a title in the medium $215 PLO8 event for around $22,000. I’m still really pleased overall with how I played and the amount of deep runs I was making on a daily basis.
I think playing SCOOP each year right before going to Vegas serves is a really nice warmup for playing the WSOP. I get to practice so many different variants in tournament form and prepare for the long grind of sitting in a chair mentally battling my opponents day in and day out.
2016 has already been a really exciting year for me, and I can’t wait to see what happens this summer. #CantStopWontStop
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Jason Mercier is a member of Team PokerStars Pro