Jason Mercier was an absolute poker stud back in the day seemingly always making the right reads, correct bluffs, and timely value bets regardless of the poker variant. A child changed Mercier’s path in life and he temporarily left his poker success in the past.
Mercier dusted off the cobwebs and was back on center stage at the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) after winning his sixth bracelet before the weekend. He wasn’t the only player to recently shine with Klaus Ilk, David Simon, Ryan Miller, William Kopp, and Gabriel Schroeder all finding WSOP gold for the first time.
Many big names are still in contention in ongoing events at the Horseshow Las Vegas and the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
Read more about what went down on Day 31 and 32 of the 2023 WSOP:
Jason Mercier Wins Sixth Bracelet in Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw ($151,276)
Former Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier denied Canada’s Mike Watson a chance to notch his name off the list among the best players to never win a WSOP bracelet after defeating the Canadian heads-up in Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw for $151,276 and his sixth bracelet.
Despite his massive poker success, Mercier temporarily left PokerStars and temporarily abandoned the game that has provided him countless wealth and fame as he discovered there are more important things than poker in his life.
“After my son was born, I knew things were going to be different,” Mercier said on the PokerStars Blog after his wife Natasha gave birth to his son Marco. “Becoming a parent brings about a complete transformation of who you are. I no longer let myself be so concerned with what I want, but more so the well-being of my wife and my child (and future children). Serving and leading my family is of utmost importance.”
Mercier won two WSOP bracelets in a week in 2016 including Event #16: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship and was also facing off heads-up against Watson just like in the smaller bracelet even this year. Mericer got the best of him seven years ago just like he did this summer to win his fifth bracelet at the time and the $273,335 top prize.
“I've been three-handed with him four separate times in major events and I've won all four,” Mercier shared after his sixth bracelet victory according to WSOP. “So, he's gotten second twice and third twice. But in particular, we played heads up for the no-limit deuce bracelet in the $10K in 2016. So, it was definitely a bit of déja vu. You know, going into heads up, I was a little worried that he was finally going to get me. But luckily I ran hot and was able to beat him again.”
Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Final Table Results
Event #60: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw attracted 548 entries to create a $731,580 prize pool with the top 83 players banking at least a $2,404 min-cash. Check out the final table results below:
|1||Jason Mercier||United States||$151,276|
|3||Brad Ruben||United States||$63,505|
|4||Jon Turner||United States||$44,002|
|5||Erik Seidel||United States||$31,114|
|6||Richard Ashby||United Kingdom||$22,461|
|7||Jonathan Glendinning||United States||$16,562|
Klaus Ilk Wins Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors Championship ($371,603)
Austria’s Klaus Ilk will need to move hotels before celebrating his maiden bracelet victory after shipping Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship for $371,603.
“First, I need to move hotels and check in to the new place,” Ilk said about his celebration plans after his victory according to the WSOP. “My phone did not stop vibrating all day so I need to message my friends and family back home in Austria and hopefully, I can settle down with a nice bottle of wine.”
Ilk began the final table near the bottom of the pack while the runner-up Robert Lane began with the chip lead. Lane had some early momentum but Day 2 chip leader Farhad Davoudzadeh snagged the lead with some relentless aggression.
Meanwhile, Ilk was down to just five big blinds before his Cinderella story began. He doubled through Davoudzadeh with five players remaining when his ace-seven suited held against king-five suited. He gained even more breathing room after ousting the short-stacked Kevin Danko in fifth place with his ace-trey holding strong against seven-five suited.
Lane then got hit with the deck. He first ousted Ronald Swain in fourth place when his aces proved to be unstoppable against ace-queen. Shortly after, Lane woke up with cowboys and held a 7:2 heads-up chip advantage against Ilk after Davoudzadeh hit the rail in third place with ace-queen.
A little luck never hurt as we could easily be calling Lane the champion today as Ilk doubled up with ace-seven against ace-queen to nearly even the stacks. Ilk then took the lead before closing things out. Lane shoved over the top of a bet by Ilk with a double-gutter and overcards with ten-eight on a seven-six-four flop. Ilk got it in with his nines and the rest was history after blanks came on the turn and river.
Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors Championship Final Table Results
The four-day Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors set a new gold standard for this event with 3,121 runners creating a huge $2,777,690 prize pool. The top 469 players earned payout slips of at least the min-cash of $800. Check out the final table results below:
|2||Ronald Lane||United States||$229,685|
|4||Ronald Swain||United States||$129,812|
|5||Kevin Danko||United States||$98,644|
|7||Arnon Graham||United States||$58,213|
|8||Rassoul Malboubi||United States||$45,213|
David Simon Ships Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha ($410,659)
David Simon had a day to remember on Friday as he defeated a star-studded final table including the likes of four-time WSOP champion Robert Mizrachi and three-time bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva to earn his first bracelet in Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em Pot Limit Omaha for $410,659.
"To have a result like this is not so much validation or anything, because I've never really put myself on that level,” Simon said after his victory according to WSOP. “But it definitely just increases my confidence level and makes me so thankful for all my friends and family who have been so into everything that I've been doing."
Simon denied a fellow “David” in David Prociak his second bracelet in an impressive heads-up performance. Prociak had nearly double Simon’s stack and extended his lead to nearly 80 percent of the chips in play before Simon doubled up in a hand of pot-limit Omaha. Shortly after the stacks were nearly even and the chip lead went back and forth several times before Simon won a key hand of hold’em to take a huge chip lead. Although Prociak did double once, his comeback ended there after losing his stack in a hand of pot-limit Omaha for the bracelet to be awarded to Simon.
"I think that honestly, David (Prociak) is a better player than I am," Simon said about his heads-up opponent. "I know he's a better PLO player than I am, for sure. I didn't really want to try to mix it up with him in PLO too much. Obviously, once we're heads up then that's out the window. I was thinking that I was going to try to make him uncomfortable by playing bigger pots than he would probably want to. 'Cause I think that, in his mind, he had the advantage heads up - and I think he had every reason to think that way - so I made some bigger bets at the very beginning of heads up just to kind of put that fear in him a little bit."
Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Results
The four-day Event #62: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em / Pot-Limit Omaha attracted a banner field of 2,076 entries to create a new WSOP record prize pool for this event of $2,771,460 with the top 271 players securing at least a $2,402 min-cash. Check out the final table results below:
|1||David Simon||United States||$410,659|
|2||David Prociak||United States||$253,821|
|3||Eric Pfenning||United States||$185,630|
|6||Robert Mizrachi||United States||$76,910|
|7||Upeshka De Silva||United States||$58,464|
Ryan Miller Wins Event #63: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
Ryan Miller has been battling at the WSOP since 2007 in hopes of won day securing what all poker players dream of in winning a WSOP gold bracelet. Miller’s dreams came true after he came out on top of the tidy field of 141 poker beasts in Event #63: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship.
"I've waited a long time and I wasn't sure if it would ever come," Miller said about winning his first bracelet according to the WSOP. "But, I'm super excited to get one. I feel like I put a lot of time in poker and was deserving of one, and now it finally came and it's great to get it in a Championship event."
We could have been waking up to Twitter being on fire as the controversial Bryn Kenney, who last year was very publicly accused of cheating in online poker, began the heads-up battle with Miller with double his chip stack.
It appeared that Kenney would go on to win his second bracelet with all the early momentum on his side as he had Miller on the ropes with an 8:1 chip advantage before things began to fall apart. Miller came back and eventually took a 3:1 chip advantage himself but this wasn’t the end of the story as Kenney managed to hang around and even regain the chip lead one last time.
"I was always slightly confident, not really expecting that I could win just because of the chip disadvantage,” Miller said. “But once I reached heads up, I said: 'You know what, anything could happen.' And right when I got back from dinner, I won a big pot pretty quickly, and at that point, I thought I could do it."
Event #63: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship Final Table Results
The four-day Event #63: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship boasted a $1,311,300 prize pool with 141 entries getting into the mix. The top 22 players went home with at least a $16,000 min-cash. Check out the final table results below:
|1||Ryan Miller||United States||$344,677|
|2||Bryn Kenney||United States||$213,027|
|3||Maximilian Schindler||United States||$149,981|
|5||Chino Rheem||United States||$79,189|
|6||Eddie Blumenthal||United States||$59,441|
William Kopp Ships Event #66: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better ($259,949)
It isn’t often a brother and sister each win bracelets at the WSOP. We aren’t talking about a tag team situation but recent memory doesn’t lead to any examples of this taking place before the controversial brother and sister combination of two-time bracelet winner Howard Lederer and Annie Duke accomplished this feat in 2004 when Duke won her only bracelet.
Both Lederer and Duke haven’t been back at the WSOP since 2010. Regardless, they wouldn’t be made to feel welcome at the WSOP after both were accused of burning large amounts of the poker community between Lederer’s involvement with Full Tilt leading up until Black Friday and Annie Duke’s involvement with Ultimate Bet during more than one scandal as well as the face behind the defunct Epic Poker League which never hosted a promised $1 million freeroll.
At least now, we have a much better brother and sister combination after William Kopp joined his sister Katie Kopp who won a bracelet last year in Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em, with a bracelet of his own after defeating WSOP champion Michael Rodrigues heads-up to win the $259,949 top prize.
"It feels really good, especially since my best friend won a bracelet this year and my sister won one last year," Kopp said according to the WSOP. "When we were growing up we were always about poker. We're pretty close...me, my sister, and my mom. We all talk poker and help make each other better."
Event #66: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better Final Table Results
The four-day Event #66: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better featured 1,125 entries for a $1,501,875 prize pool. The top 169 players took down at least a $2,409 min-cash. Check out the final table payouts below:
|1||William Kopp||United States||$259,549|
|3||Mike Linster||United States||$113,991|
|4||Sterling Savill||United States||$82,104|
|5||Joseph McCarthy||United States||$59,953|
|6||Loni Hui||United States||$44,391|
|7||John Goyette||United States||$33,335|
|8||Anthony Zinno||United States||$25,394|
|9||Aaron Wallace||United States||$19,627|
Gabriel Schroeder Wins Event #68: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty
Event #68: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty required two days to complete instead of its scheduled one day with Brazil’s Gabriel Schroeder defeating Joey Wertheimer heads-up to win his first bracelet and the $228,632 top prize and any $300 bounties he earned along the way.
We nearly could have had a different outcome with the Guinness flowing in Sin City as Irish poker legend Andy Black had the chip lead with just three players remaining.
Black is an old-school poker player who burst onto the international poker scene after taking fifth place in the 2005 WSOP Main Event for $1,750,000 before becoming a Full Tilt ambassador. Always with a good sense of humor, Black came into this event with more than $5 million in live poker earnings as tracked by The Hendon Mob in the hopes of finally securing his first WSOP gold bracelet.
He would have likely earned it if not for lady luck turning against him at a crucial moment. Schroeder three-bet jammed with king-jack and Black snapped it off with ace-king in a pot that had around 80 percent of the chips in play. Schroeder delivered the crucial bad beat after a jack spiked the flop and Black lost his crumbs shortly after.
Wertheimer was down to just seven big blinds and went home one player shy of winning the bracelet after unsuccessfully jamming with king-seven into ace-five.
Event #68: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty Final Table Results
Event #68: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty attracted 2,854 entries for a $2,513,360 prize pool. The top 424 players banked at least a $1,062 min-cash with every bounty throughout the tournament worth $300 each. Check out the final table results sans the bounties below:
|2||Joel Wertheimer||United States||$141,298|
|4||Elson Lima||United States||$79,142|
|5||Jordan Jayne||United States||$59,929|
|6||Daniel Lowery||United States||$45,741|
|8||Jonathan Akiba||United States||$27,293|
|9||Ryan Goindoo||Trinidad & Tobago||$21,340|
John Taylor Leads the Final 3 in Event #64: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Championship
Excitement will come to the Horseshoe early on Saturday with the final three players all closely grouped together with their dream alive to win their maiden bracelet in Event #64: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Championship when the action resumes at 12 p.m.
John Taylor (35,200,000) will commence the action with a two big blind lead over David Guay (46,000,000) and you can’t count out Day 1 chip leader Steven Stolzenfeld (35,200,000) who also bagged a healthy stack.
The event attracted a massive field of 4,303 entries for a mouth-watering $2,194,530 prize pool with the final three already locking down $124,850 for their $600 buy-in with their eyes on the $271,032 top prize.
Event #64: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Final Day Seat Draw
|2||Steven Stolzenfeld||United States||35,200,000||29|
|3||John Taylor||United States||48,225,000||40|
Norbert Szecsi Leads Final 6 in Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
Hungary’s Norbert Szecsi is in a prime spot to win his third WSOP bracelet as the field of 1,199 entries is down to just six hopefuls with Szecsi leading the way with a monstrous 93 big blind stack of 18,600,000 in Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.
Meanwhile, many eyes, especially those in the various women’s poker groups, will be focused on Angelina Rich, as she has made her first final table at the WSOP with plenty of hope with 14,000,000 in chips.
Tyler Cornell (7,475,000) is hunting for his second WSOP bracelet, with Weiran Pu (10,475,000), Vitor Dzivielevski (5,850,000), and the formidable online poker beast Pedro Garagnani (4,725,000) all hunting for their maiden bracelet.
The official final table kicks off at the feature table in the Horseshoe on Saturday at 4 p.m. with PokerGO live-streaming the action for poker fans across the globe with hole cards exposed an hour later at 5 p.m.
Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Seat Draw
|3||Tyler Cornell||United States||7,475,000||37|
|4||Angelina Rich||United States||14,000,000||70|
Other Ongoing Events
Mary Dvorkin will lead the way among the 47 remaining women in the four-day Event #67: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship when the penultimate day kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The event attracted 1,286 entries for a $1,152,550 prize pool with the returning players already guaranteed a $3,860 payout with their eyes on Sunday’s top prize of $192,167.
Three-time WSOP champion Yuri Dzivielevski, who already won a bracelet this year in Event #47: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. for $207,678, is well positioned to win his fourth bracelet and a bigger top prize of $367,599 with just 18 players remaining from the original field of 154 entries in Event #69: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship. We already had a brother-sister combination win bracelets in back-to-back years. Today we might have something more special as Yuri’s brother Vitor Dzielevski is hunting for his first bracelet in Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em. Assuming Yuri’s event plays down to a final table, there is a chance we could see a pair of brothers both win bracelets on the same day. However, Yuri has his work cut out for him with many big names remaining including Daniel Negreanu, Ryan Riess, James Chen, Eli Elezra, and recently crowned six-time champion Jason Mercier when the action resumes on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The three-day Event #70: $400 The Colossus No-Limit Hold’em was off to a hot start with 7,705 entries adding $2,532,090 to the prize pool on the first of its two opening days. Chengtzu Lai was the overnight chip leader but that can change quickly with Day 1b starting on Saturday at 10 a.m. expected to be even bigger than Day 1a.
Alex Foxen leads the way after the first of three days in the star-studded Event #71: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. The event attracted 167 entries to add $7,974,250 to the prize pool. These figures will grow with late registration remaining open until the start of Day 2 on Saturday at 1 p.m.
July 1 WSOP Schedule
It will be a busy day to welcome in July at the WSOP with three new bracelet events debuting and four bracelet winners scheduled to be crowned.
To add to the buzz, a massive crowd of conservatively more than 8,000 entries is anticipating for the second of two opening flights in Event #70: $400 Colussus.
Below is a look at today’s schedule while head to the PokerPro opening WSOP article to check out the full schedule of the 2023 World Series of Poker.
|10 a.m.||Event #67: $1,000 LADIES No-Limit Hold'em Championship||Day 3 of 4|
|10 a.m.||Event #70: $400 COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold'em - Flight B||Day 1 of 3|
|12 p.m.||Event #64: $600 Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold'em||Day 4 of 4|
|12 p.m.||Event #72: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold'em||Day 1 of 1|
|1 p.m.||Event #69: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship||Day 3 of 3|
|1 p.m.||Event #71: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller||Day 2 of 3|
|2 p.m.||Event #73: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event||Day 1 of 3|
|4 p.m.||Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em||Day 4 of 4|
Images and hand details courtesy of WSOP/PokerNews.
Article by Jason Glatzer
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