Greg Merson Wins 2012 Card Player Player of the Year Award
Two Huge WSOP Titltes Including Main Event Win Secure POY Top Spot For Merson
After an incredible twelve months of tournament poker the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year race has finally reached its conclusion. This year’s top player was none other than 2012 World Series of Poker main event champion Greg Merson, who outlasted a total of 7,072 players en route to winning two of the biggest titles of the year, along with $9,664,179 in live tournament earnings and a winning total of 5,100 POY points.
The 24-year-old from Laurel, Maryland started his year off with two cashes in short handed events at the WSOP, first finishing 21st in the WSOP $3,000 no-limit hold’em six-max event for $16,850 and then just days later finishing fifth in the inaugural WSOP $2,500 four-max no-limit hold’em event, earning $70,280 but no POY points as he had bubbled the official four-handed final table.
Merson then catapulted himself into the mix in the POY race when he outlasted a tough 474-player field in the WSOP $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em six-max championship, defeating a tough final table that featured the likes of Keith Lehr, Shannon Shorr and Andrew Lichtenberger to earn $1,136,197 and 1,800 points. As a result, Merson jumped to 27th place in the overall POY standings at the time.
Just days later, Merson was one of 6,598 players to take his seat in the biggest tournament of the year, the WSOP $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event. He survived to day 5, when he played a huge pot with a pair and a flush draw up against his opponent’s set. He didn’t improve, and when the stacks where counted down Merson found himself crippled, left with only a few blinds. He managed to double up, and then double again, and before long was once again sitting with an average stack.
Merson made the final table with the third largest chip stack. Even before he made a name for himself with his bracelet win and two other cashes at this summer’s WSOP, Merson was a successful online cash game player with millions of hands worth of experience. As a result, many in the poker community predicted that he would put up a strong showing at the final table come October.
After 402 hands of final table action, Merson had lived up to the expectations, using his familiarity with short-handed play to finish of his opponents and secure the title. For the win he earned $8,527,982 and his second WSOP gold bracelet.
In addition to all of the accolades and prize, Merson also scored 3,300 POY points, the most awarded in any one event this year. Due to the incredible field size and the large buy-in, the WSOP main event was big enough to catapult it’s winner into the top ten of the POY with that alone, but when combined with Merson’s other huge title, it gave him the outright lead in the race as the year wound down.
“You know, I didn’t get much attention when I was playing online, so it was hard to justify my decision to play poker for a living to my friends and relatives,” said Merson. “Now, they’ll get to see me on television, winning absurd amounts of money. This is validation to myself, showing all of those people who said I wouldn’t make it that they were wrong.”
Merson has spoken publicly about his former battles with drug addiction, but in early December was happily able to report that he had been sober for a whole year. And what an incredible year of redemption it has been for the young professional, who earned more than $9.6 million and two of poker’s most prestigious honors, the title of World Series of Poker main event champion and the title of 2012 Card Player Player of the Year.
“I’m just so lucky to even be alive,” Merson told Card Player after his main event win. “When I won [my first] bracelet I just started crying. To have a second chance at life and to do what I want to do — it’s amazing.”
Merson’s Final Stats for 2012
Total Points: 5,100
Final Tables: 2
Money Won: $9,664,179
|WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max||21||$16,850||0|
|WSOP $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Four-max||5||$70,280||0|
|WSOP $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max||1||$1,136,197||1,800|
|WSOP $10,000 Main Event||1||$8,527,982||3,300|
Card Player Player of the Year Winners:
|1||Blom Wins $500K Online During World Series Of Poker|
|2||Poker Strategy -- Daniel Negreanu On Balance Versus Adaptability|
|3||A Poker Life: Jeff Madsen|
|4||Jerry Yang's World Series Of Poker Watch On eBay|
|5||Poker Strategy With Ed Miller: Dominating Deep Cash Games|
|6||Poker Strategy With Reid Young: Game Theory vs. Pot Odds|
|7||One Of Vegas' Oldest Casinos Finds Internet Poker|
|8||Poker Hand of the Week: 7/17/14|
|9||IGT Acquired By GTECH For $6.4 Billion|
|10||Card Player Poker Tour Choctaw Results: Events 2, 4 & 5|
|1||One Drop Winner Daniel Colman Didn't Talk To Media Because He Sees Poker 'As A Very Dark Game'|
|2||Pamela Anderson Divorces Rick Salomon Just Days After He Won $2.8 Million In 'Big One For One Drop'|
|3||Daniel Negreanu Had 87 Percent Of Himself In $1 Million One Drop Poker Tournament, Agent Says|
|4||Dozens Gamble On $1,000 Flips For World Series Of Poker Main Event Seat|
|5||Poker Pro Johannes Strassmann Dead At 29|
|6||Daniel Colman Wins $15.3 Million In 2014 World Series of Poker Big One For One Drop|
|7||It Appears Poker Legend Doyle Brunson Has Played His Last WSOP Main Event|
|8||High-Stakes Poker Player Paul Phua Arrested In Las Vegas For Allegedly Taking Bets On World Cup|
|9||Poker Pro Chad Brown Loses His Battle With Cancer|
|10||With Top-Two Finish In One Drop, Daniel Negreanu Takes Lead On All-Time Tournament Money List|