Jason Mercier has cashed in ten poker tournaments over the past five years and has managed to win the title in three of those events. In recent years, the 36-year-old father of two from Florida has retired from his full-time job on the tournament poker circuit to spend more time with his family. Despite his infrequent appearances on the scene lately, he’s proven he still has what it takes to win on the game’s biggest stages.
Mercier’s most recent win saw him defeat a field of 548 entries in 2023 World Series of Poker $1,500 no-limit deuce-to-seven single draw lowball event, topping a stacked final table to earn $151,276 and his sixth gold bracelet.
This was his first win in the series since 2016. With it, he became just the 21st player in poker history to win six or more bracelets. He is the fourth player to join that prestigious roster in 2023, joining Shaun Deeb, Jeremy Ausmus and Brian Rast.
Mercier, which is also a European Poker Tour main event champion, he now has nearly $20.6 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name.
This tournament was supposed to take place over the course of three days inside Paris and Horseshoe Las Vegas, but a fourth day was added so that the stacked final table could be streamed live from PokerGO, the exclusive seat of the direct from WSOP.
The final day began with four-time bracelet winner Brad Ruben in the lead, with nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel in second place and Mercier in the middle of the pack.
Seidel, who finished fourth in the $10,000 Omaha eight-or-better game less than two weeks earlier, doubled up on short stack Jon Turner shortly after play began. Seidel then moved all-in before tying it up with 10-9-8-5-3. He was up against 10-7-6-3-2 twice EPT sample and Poker World Tour main event winner Michael Watson, who was the first to decide. Seidel successfully broke his ten low, but hit a queen who lost the pot and exited in fifth place ($31,114). The 63-year-old Poker Hall of Fam member now has more than $44.2 million in career earnings.
Turner immediately moved all-in again, and in rough form with 6-5-4 to Ruben’s 9-8-7-6-3. Turner ended up with pocket fives, meaning his run in this event ended in fourth place ($44,002). The twice Venetian Card Player Poker Tour the main event champion now has more than $3.9 million in total bankroll at the circuit.
Ruben continued to fall into the danger zone, only to rally as the three-way play continued. Eventually, he fell short of five big blinds and was all-in and risking facing both Mercier (who was up) and Watson (who hit one). Merciers batting J-6-4-3-2 was good for the whole pot, beating Ruben with Q-8-7-6-4. Ruben earned $63,505 for his third-place finish. This was his third final table of the series. He increased his career tournament earnings to over $1.5 million.
Heads-up play began with Mercier holding a slight lead over Watson. The two continued to battle for around 70 minutes, with a few lead changes early on before Mercier took control for what proved to be the final half. He took down a crucial pot with 10-7-6-5-4, besting Watson’s 10-8-4-3-2, to take a more than 5:1 chip lead.
On the last hand, Mercier moved all-in from the button for just over 11 effective big blinds and Watson called all-in with 10-8-8-6-3. Mercier had 10-8-4-4-3. Both players have discarded their paired cards. Watson hit a queen to finish with Q-10-8-6-3, but Mercier hit a five to make it 10-8-5-4-3 for the win.
Watson earned $93,495 as runner-up. This was his sixth runner-up finish in a bracelet event, including a runner-up finish to Mercier in the $10,000 buy-in version of this same game in 2016. This latest finish saw him surpass $21.3 million in earnings sign in.
Here’s a look at the prizes and ranking points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points|
Here are the 21 players with six or more WSOP bracelets to their names:
Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest results from the event. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.
Winning photo credit: WSOP / Danny Maxwell.