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Jason Mercier: It's been a pretty good summer. The Main Event, the first level was kind of rough. I'm down to like 14,000 from 50,000. Woke up feeling not so great today. Got a cold of some sort.
Matt Showell: Trying to buckle down?
Jason Mercier: Yeah, trying to buckle down. I misplayed a few hands and just whiffed a million draws. But it's early yet. So I'm hoping the next level goes better.
Jason Mercier: I was down here for a couple weeks in June and I must have written five stories about you. It was just crazy. And then recently another big thing happened to you. I'd like to start with the most recent thing. You proposed to your girlfriend, no fiancee, on the live stream which was really cool. I'm wondering what that was like for you. You're dealing with high-pressure situations all the time but stuff like that might be a little different than playing for high-stakes at the table.
Jason Mercier: Yeah it's definitely a little different. I actually wasn't really nervous in the moment to do it but it was more about the weeks leading up to it. I got the idea after I won my second bracelet that if I made another deep run, that was when I'd do it.
So I went out and got a ring and everything and then each tournament I was deep in, I was wondering if that was going to be the one.
So then I had the idea that if she made a really deep run I would do it then as well. Once she made Day 4 of the $5k and there was six players left, she was guaranteed a very good score, $130,000 for sixth. So I was pretty sure I was going to do it then unless she took some horrendous beat or something and it wouldn't have felt like the right moment.
Matt Showell: But she made it to third.
Jason Mercier: Yeah she got like $350,000 for third and she wasn't really involved in any all-ins at the final table until she busted. Three players got knocked out without her really doing anything so I think she was happy with the score and she was happy she laddered three spots without taking any risks.
Matt Showell: She must have been even happier after busting.
Jason Mercier: Yeah it seemed like a perfect moment to do it. I could tell she was a little disappointed but all that disappointment went out the window when I proposed.
Matt Showell: Happy that she said yes? You took a bit of a risk.
Jason Mercier: I knew she was going to say yes. If she had said no it would have been a big shock.
Matt Showell: It would have been even more viral.
Jason Mercier: Yeah that would have been bad.
Matt Showell: Going back a couple weeks. It was definitely one of the craziest things I've seen at the World Series in the 11 years I've been coming here. First, second, first and not to mention you had all these big bracelets bets riding on it. You had a giant run back in like 2008 so how does this summer rank in your career?
Jason Mercier: It's kind of hard to believe how it happened. Just winning the No-Limit Single Draw was awesome in itself. I look forward to that tournament every year. I was really happy win that one and then it was just one thing after another.
I was fortunate that I busted the $1,500 8-game just before dinner break so I got into the $10k at the exact moment I had to to win it all.
Then it was like a butterfly effect. I was the chip leader in all three of those events going into Day 3 which was just crazy. And then to have things go my way in all three events to get heads-up. It was a very surreal six days of poker. Probably the coolest run I've ever had.
Matt Showell: So condensed.
Jason Mercier: Yeah. Six days of playing cards where I got first, second, first. I won all my bets, almost every bet that I had. I scooped a ton of money and and was basically on cloud nine.
Matt Showell: Did anyone buy out of the three-bracelet bets at all after you won that second one? I know that controversy was more or less resolved but did you realize any money from that bet even though you haven't won three?
Jason Mercier: No it's still pending. Right now if I were to win the Main Event or the Little One for One Drop I would win $1.8 million on that and win a bunch more side bets. It seems like it's a long-shot away especially with me having like 28 per cent of the starting stack now, but we'll see what happens.
I'm not disappointed that I didn't win three bracelets. When I made the bet I was mostly doing it to give myself motivation and also I knew that once I made that bet I'd also make bets on winning two and winning one as well. So it was kind of a motivation bet.
Matt Showell: How much do you think the motivation played into it? It seemed like you were jumping into these tournaments and just shooting right to the top. It really impressed me seeing you coming in second and then coming back. I think getting that close and not getting there can be a really deflating experience and the way you handled it was to come back and take the chip lead right away in the third $10k. How much of the success do you attribute to the motivation as opposed to just running good?
Jason Mercier: You have to chalk some of it up to running good for sure. You just can't win tournaments without running good. The extra motivation was key. After I got second in the $10k Razz I was pretty deflated for sure. I was thinking, "Man this $10k HORSE is running and I just blew my opportunity in the second one." I was pretty upset so I took some time to regroup. I went to dinner with some friends and didn't really want to play to be honest. But because I had those bets I felt like I'd be selling myself short if I didn't enter every tournament that I could.
So I just put my head down, put my headphones on and hopped in. I think that's one of my greatest assets or abilities as a poker player is to be able to play through, play long hours and even when things are going bad to be able to continue to play my best.
Matt Showell: That's awesome. I guess that asset will serve you well in the Main Event right now.
Jason Mercier: The blinds just went to 150/300 and the ante hasn't kicked in yet. I still have 50 big blinds and my table is not that tough so I'm hoping I can actually win a pot or two.