Jason Mercier Continues World Series of Poker Staking Hot Streak with Brent Hanks Victory
Poker Pro Has Horse Win a Bracelet in Back-to-Back Years
Jason Mercier doesn’t need to win to win.
Despite his enormous success on the tournament circuit, he has a second job — backing really good players. Mercier staked Brent Hanks for Event No. 2 ($1,500 no-limit hold’em) at the 2012 World Series of Poker.
Hanks, a former online pro, won more than $400,000 after finishing first (but chopping heads up) out of a field of 2,101. At least half of the prize money will go to Mercier.
Mercier has been putting up Hanks’ live tournament buy-ins for nearly four years.
“He’s been close to a big win a bunch of times, so seeing him here is pretty awesome,” Mercier told Card Player while watching Hanks from the rail.
Although backing is a business relationship, Mercier and Hanks are close friends.
“I’ve been rooting for him not just because I have a financial interest in how he does, but also because I want to see him succeed,” Mercier said. “We talk poker all the time. I’m really happy that he’s able to fulfill his dreams.”
After Hanks finished off his opponent, Mercier was the first one to run over and give the champion a hug. Hanks was stoic in victory, while Mercier was beaming with joy.
Hanks has a pretty sweet deal. Mercier said his plan going into the Series was to put Hanks into pretty much any no-limit hold’em event Hanks wanted to play. However, there’s a possibility the Hanks-Mercier deal could come to an end after Wednesday night.
“This kind of changes things, so we’ll have to talk about it and figure things out,” Mercier said. Hanks has cleared makeup with the score, Mercier added.
“It was a tough go at first,” Hanks said of the early days of their staking deal. “I didn’t really do too much. I had some decent results, but kept getting further and further [into the hole].”
Hanks said that Mercier has been patient through the rough stretches and with his less than ambitious playing schedule. “He’s so good with me,” Hanks said. “I am really happy to earn us both some money.”
When asked if he’d keep Mercier around after the score, Hanks replied, “Yeah, if he keeps me around, for sure.”
Last summer, Mercier put Allen Bari into a $5,000 no-limit hold’em event. Bari ended up with the bracelet and shipped more than $400,000 over to Mercier.
“I’m hoping that this happens every year,” said Mercier, whose third horse is Dan O’Brien. “Though, it’s pretty hard to with these big fields.”
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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