Jason Mercier has reached poker immortality. Again.
Mercier, a 24-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, won his second career gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
He won $619,575 in event No. 35, a six-handed pot-limit Omaha tournament that required a $5,000 buy-in at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
According to the WSOP's Nolan Dalla, "No doubt, given the field size and quality of competition, this was as huge a test as Mercier had ever faced."
Mercier won his first gold bracelet two years ago in a $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha tournament.
He graduated from Sheridan Hills School in Hollywood, briefly coached the high school basketball team and attended Florida Atlantic University, until getting the poker bug.
Since then, he's moved toward the top of the poker world, and, in fact is rated No. 2 by Bluff Magazine.
The WSOP says that throughout the three-day tournament, Mercier "looked like a player who expected to win. He gradually built several tall towers of chips, which became increasingly more intimidating as the tournament went on and played down to few players. By the time the final table was reached on the third day, Mercier enjoyed the chip lead and was never in serious danger of being eliminated."
Note: the photo of him with all the chips is because he declined to 'color up,' i.e., convert several lower-denomination chips into one big one.
In worldwide tournaments, Mercier now has more than $6 million in live earnings. He reportedly has accomplished online results that are just as impressive, the WSOP says.
Mercier was cheered on to victory by his high school basketball coach, who was in the gallery, the WSOP says.
Mercier has more than $6 million in overall live tournament earnings. His first major victory took place at the European Poker Tour’s stop in San Remo (Italy), in 2008.
Mercier joins three other players (impressive names) as those with more than one gold bracelet in PLO: “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey.
“It’s important to me for people to think I am one of the best. I think I am getting to that level, if I am not already there. Obviously, winning tournaments and winning bracelets just adds to that. I feel like if I win a third one, it will do even more for me. I’m ready to play in as many World Series events as I can to get as many gold bracelets as I can.”
“Winning is not expected. Putting myself in a position to win is always expected. Being able to close the job when I get there just makes me more confident as I move forward. I expect to make deep runs, and eventually win some tournaments. But I don’t expect to show up at every tournament expecting to win.”
Final table play began at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Play concluded seven hours later, at 1:30 a.m. Thursday.