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Jason Mercier Wins Debut EPT Champion Of Champions Event

Mercier Takes Down Champion Of Champions Event At PokerStars EPT Grand Final

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The Gran Casino in Madrid was pure heaven for poker fans on May 13 as 50 European Poker Tour main event winners turned out for the first ever PokerStars Champion of Champions event. Every single EPT champion had been invited to take part in the €100,000 freeroll, from the Tour’s debut winner Alex Stevic to the most recent victor Ivan Freitez.

The field, which included 11 Team PokerStars pros, battled it out into the early hours of Saturday morning, when one of those team members, Jason Mercier, was crowned the champion of champions. Mercier was an apt fit for the title as he first rose to poker fame back in season 4 when he won the very first EPT San Remo for €869,000. Since then Mercier has slaughtered fields and taken down titles all over the world including London, the EPT High Roller for £516,000, Las Vegas with his WSOP win in 2009, and not to forget back-to-back wins in the NAPT Mohegan Sun High Roller event.

The American’s heads-up opponent in his latest victory was PCA champ Galen Hall. Hall was Mercier’s last obstacle on a very tough final table featuring Vicky Coren, Sandra Naujoks, Bertrand Grospellier, Michael Tureniec, Brandon Schaefer, and Max Lykov. Mercier received a first prize worth €50,000 in EPT Season 8 buy-ins. Hall will be making regular trips to Europe now also as he received €25,000 of Season 8 buy-ins for his runner-up finish.

Mercier said, “I’m extremely happy. It was a tough tournament. Really good players came out and, when we got deep, I did think at one point that I was going to bubble it."

Harrison Gimbel left in ninth place when his pocket fours ran into the pocket aces of Galen Hall, narrowly missing out on the debut Champion of Champions final table.

“ElkY” then became the first finalist to bust and he did so at the hands of the eventual champion with K-9 versus A-9 respectively.

One of the EPT’s earlier winners, Brandon Schaefer, was next to hit the rail when his pocket sevens could not withstand Galen Hall’s A-Q with a Q dropping by on the river. Copenhagen hero Michael Tureniec then made his exit when Mercier’s A-J beat the Swede’s Q-10, and the final player to go before the money was EPT Dortmund winner Sandra Naujoks when she shoved with Q-J and was called by Mercier and his K-2. The board fell A-6-3-9-4.

Vicky Coren made the money but didn’t finish where she hoped she would after leading play for much of the event. Coren moved all in with pocket eights and Hall called with K-2. The board was dealt K-J-J-3-Q and Coren left with €10,000 worth of EPT Season 8 buy-ins. Max Lykov followed Coren out and received €15,000 worth of buy-ins for next season for his third-place finish.

Mercier’s crowning completes a season which has seen 13 events, 12 countries, and more than €50 million in prize money.