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Confident man: Mercier among leaders at WSOPE
It's no surprise that Jason Mercier found himself among the chip leaders as Day 2 of the World Series of Poker Europe main event played out in London Monday.
Every time he sits down at a poker table, the newly minted Team PokerStars Pro believes he's going to win.
"When you feel good, you feel like you're playing well and you feel like you are going to win, then you start making good decisions, you make the right folds, you pick the right spots and everything just kind of clicks," he said. "Confidence, feeling good about yourself, and having a positive attitude really helps a lot."
Mercier burst onto the live poker scene in April of 2008 winning the San Remo leg of the PokerStars European Poker Tour, his first major live tournament. But the 22-year-old Floridian did not stop there.
He went on finish sixth at EPT Barcelona, eighth in the 2008 WSOPE £5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event and first in the £20,000 High Roller Event at EPT London, all within the next six months.
Add in prelim wins at the L.A. Poker Classic and the Wynn Classic before his first WSOP bracelet win in the $1,500 PLO event this summer and Mercier has already accumulated more than $3.3 million in live tournament earnings in less than two years as a pro poker player.
Detractors claim he's simply running well and will come back down to earth before long, but the results keep rolling in and Mercier's confidence continues to build.
"I think confidence is definitely a key to success in poker," he said. "I try to think that I have as good a shot as anyone, if not better, in every tournament I play.
"I try to come in with a positive attitude and hope things go well from the beginning, try to get some momentum going and ride it all the way through."
While Mercier's confidence has been bolstered by all his recent success, he believes it's important to understand that success did not happen overnight.
In 2007, he became just the 16th player in PokerStars history to reach Supernova Elite VIP status by earning 1 million VIP Player Points in one year.
"It's not like I started playing online like two months before I won San Remo or anything," he said. "I had been playing online for almost three years and probably put in over 3 million hands before I won my first live tournament.
"I definitely have played more hands than like 99% of poker professionals. I played more than 2 million hands in one year and that's really hard to do. I doubt there are more than 200 people that have done that ever."
While he's attained a level of success in poker few have achieved, Mercier said he's still constantly working on his game.
"If you stop trying to get better, you're going to get worse," he said.
When Day 3 of the 2009 WSOPE main event presented by Betfair begins Tuesday at 12 p.m. BST inside the Casino at the Empire, Mercier will be in the top ten in chips sitting on a little over 200k.
A host of big names, including November Niner James Akenhead, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, Poker Diva Liz Lieu, Full Tilt Pro Steve Zolotow, Amnon Fillipi, Antonio Esfandiari and recent PokerStars WCOOP main event winner Yivgeniy Timoshenko are all right there with him, chasing chip leader Ian Munns with just 92 players remaining.
To hear more from Mercier himself follow the Jason Mercier Poker Blog right here on PokerListings.com.
For more from Day 2 of the WSOPE main event and beyond, including chip counts, photos and live updates, click through to PokerListings' Live Tournaments page.