Jason Mercier Wins 2016 WSOP Player of the Year

Yesterday was the penultimate day of the summer portion of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event and, in addition, to giving me an excuse to use the word “penultimate,” it was also the day that Jason Mercier clinched the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year (POY) title. In the midst of its live updates, WSOP.com announced last night that Mercier had officially locked down the title with the elimination of Paul Volpe in 29th place.

We all knew Mercier was going to win the POY award after the second week of the Series, but you never know what can happen, so he couldn’t be crowned until the math worked out with 100 percent certainty. He had a tremendous run early on and for a while, it looked like it would be a World Series for the ages. It might not have turned out to be the epic face-melting Series that it was shaping up to be, but it still turned out to be a runaway POY victory for Mercier. Just check out this run he had spanning the middle of June:

$10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship  – 1st place – $273,335
$10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship – 2nd place – $168,936
$10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship – 1st place – $422,874
$10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better – 8th place – $39,269
$2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better – 11th – $10,586

In all, Mercier cashed eleven times in the 2016 WSOP with two victories, a runner-up finish, and four total final tables. He won over $900,000 in total.

Jason Mercier - 2016 WSOP POY Image credit: WSOP.com / Jamie Thomson

Jason Mercier – 2016 WSOP POY
Image credit: WSOP.com / Jamie Thomson

Mercier topped the POY standings with 2,195.57 Player of the Year points, far out-distancing Volpe, who had 1,923.66. Max Silver rounded out the top three with 1,687.67. Volpe still had a chance to pass Mercier during the Main Event, as Mercier did not make the money, but according to the Global Poker Index’s formula (which was revamped prior to the WSOP), Volpe would have needed to win Main Event to claim the Player of the Year honor. Looking at the GPI’s points calculator, first place in the Main Event should award 782.81 POY points, which would have been just enough to overtake Mercier. But alas, Volpe will have to be content with 29th place, the $216,211 that goes along with it, and second place in the POY chase.

Jason Mercier now has nearly $17.4 million in career live tournament earnings. He now has five WSOP gold bracelets to his name and 21 total live tournament wins. I was going to list off his most significant non-WSOP cashes, but it would be a pointless task, as there are so many. Might as well just direct you to his page at TheHendonMob.com.

Had Mercier been able beat Ray Dehkharghani heads-up in the $10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship, he would have also been almost $2 million richer. Of course, part of that would have been the extra $104,402 in prize money, but Mercier also would have come out on the winning end of the now-infamous prop bet he made with fellow pro Vanessa Selbst. He got 180:1 odds from Selbst on him winning three bracelets at the 2016 WSOP. It was his $10,000 against her $1.8 million.

Selbst publicly took Mercier to task after he won the first bracelet and when he was the chip leader of the final table in the Razz Championship. She was upset that he accepted the wager knowing she was very drunk at the time and thus she took to Twitter to try to get public sentiment on her side. She had offered to buy her way out of the bet, but Mercier did not accept.

Flushdraw’s own Haley Hintze weighed in, providing one of many examples of how Selbst’s public complaining didn’t work:

Obviously, making bets while intoxicated that could put a significant portion of one’s net worth at risk is not a good idea, not that Selbst needs any more reminders of that.  Yet it’s hard to understand how anyone can seriously be taking her side in this flare-up.  First, both Selbst and Mercier are professional gamblers, and a case of “wagering while intoxicated” is rarely or never accepted in that fraternity as an excuse to nullify a bet.  Most of these dumbassed prop bets are made with the assistance of and under the influence of alcohol anyway, and why this one should get special treatment — especially since Selbst had made the earlier one with Urbanovitch under similar conditions — is utterly unknown.

In the end, none of it really mattered, though. Mercier didn’t win three bracelets, but he won two and made four final tables to nab the title of 2016 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. We think he is probably feeling just fine about that.


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