Merson played the $25,000 buy-in Mixed Max event today but is already looking forward to the $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop scheduled to play out at the end of June.
Merson has sold 78 per cent of his action for the event and told PokerListings he'll play if he can sell a total of 85 per cent.
The 26-year-old from Washington, DC won two bracelets in 2012, including the $10,000 Main Event for which he pocketed over $8.5 million.
As the 45th-annual WSOP gets underway Merson spoke to PokerListings.com about his expectations for another summer in Las Vegas.
PokerListings: It’s the beginning of the WSOP, how do you prepare?
Greg Merson: I didn’t get to take off as much time as I wanted to, normally I would take off a week straight or 10 days. I only got to take three days off before this.
PL: What does taking time off entail?
GM: No poker at all, not even talking about it. I like to play so I don’t take that many days off. Most of the unwinding days will be with family and girlfriend, but that’s pretty much my vacation.
"If I had a shot to win one bracelet that would be awesome because it’s hard to have a legit shot."
PL: What are your expectations for the summer?
GM: If I had a shot to win one bracelet that would be awesome because it’s hard to have a legit shot. I kind of had one last week at the National Championship and got 15th.
PL: What’s a good start compared to a bad start for the World Series?
GM: A good start would be cashing in the $25k (Event #2 $25,000 Mix Max). A bad start, I don’t know, maybe getting knocked out on Day 1 for no real reason.
PL: Is there anything you’re not looking forward to this summer?
GM: Playing 10-handed day 1s.
PL: Any changes you’re hoping for at the WSOP?
GM: Another 4-handed event and maybe if they’d consider a 3-handed event.
PL: What events are you looking forward to?
GM: Every short-handed one. Well maybe not the heads-up event, and definitely the One Drop if I’m able to play.
PL: What will it take to get you to play?
GM: If I sell enough, I’ve sold 78% and aiming for 85%.
PL: What’s it like coming back as a champion year after year now?
Merson won $8.5 million when he became the 2012 world champion of poker.
GM: It’s pretty cool; especially since this year is pretty chill. Last year was a little too crazy for me and that’s why I only played four events.
Didn’t really enjoy being here that much. I never really got into poker to be looked at differently than a normal human being.
Obviously this is a profession where we’re not dealing with regular everyday things that we never really notice. That’s the cool thing about being the face of poker; I kind of control how much I want to use it.
But I guess over the last nine to ten months I’ve been more interested in the business side of poker and see where I can use my brand to take me forward. I guess I see the bigger picture more now than a year ago.
PL: What do you want to do with the Greg Merson brand?
GM: Make a lot of money.
PL: What do you do when you get sick of this place?
GM: I’ve never really gotten sick of this place because I’ve never played more than eight events a summer, so this might be the summer it happens. I love poker though.
PL: What do you do in Vegas when you want to relax or take a day off?
GM: I just chill at the pool at my house. Pool or movie, it’s a long f***ing day when you take a day off.
Maybe go to a dinner and a show, that’s always good. Food and shows are awesome; you’d think Vegas would be bad for someone who is sober but it’s actually awesome.
I’ve driven through Red Rock Canyon but I’ve not been hiking because I’m not super outdoorsy. I’m more of a beach person or just lay by the pool.