Want the latest news and gossip emanating from the center of the poker universe in Las Vegas, Nevada? Here's where it's at.
Today in the 3-Bet we find PokerStars pro Jason Mercier quietly building to a WSOP worth remembering, British poker icon Neil Channing keeping Las Vegas and poker's yearly carnival at arm's length and we look forward to a new event aiming at being the World Cup of poker.
1) $130k in Cashes, One Perpetual #BraceletHunter
The runner-up finishes of Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu have stolen much of the attention so far at the 2014 World Series of Poker but there's another prominent poker name quietly doing work at the Rio. That name? Jason Mercier.
A two-time bracelet winner Mercier has gone into previous WSOPs with more fanfare (2013's massive bracelet bets come to mind) but this year he seems laser-dialed for just one thing: another bracelet.
So far things look pretty good. A 9th-place finish in Event #5, Limit 2-7 Triple Draw, a cash in Event #11, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max, and a very impressive 3rd-place finish at last night's deadly 2-7 No-Limit Draw final table.
Immediately after busting Mercier jumped in the next draw event he could find, Event 16, $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball, and bagged up a Top 10 stack with just 54 players left.
Something tells us Mercier is on point right now - and his best is better than just about everyone's. Keep an eye out for another deep run today - oh, and if you have a spare $10k lying around this might be the best deal in poker right now:
2) Channing Stays Home; Won't Miss Vegas Cabbies
One prominent poker name missing from the 2014 World Series of Poker so far? British poker legend Neil Channing.
Not buying into Vegas this summer. Yet.
A perennial staple at the Rio every summer Channing has decided, he says in a new blog post, to stay home this time.
Channing made waves last year when he called out young pros who shun rec players at the table and it seems this year he just wasn't interested in fighting the fight needed to succeed over a long, hot summer. Among those fights:
"No walking up and down that long corridor from Starbucks to the Amazon, not playing poker at noon when you have just woke up, not paying hundreds of dollars for internet, not living in one room for two months ... not being worried about being treated like a criminal when you're entering the country to engage in your hobby and spend loads of money to help the US economy ... and not having to face 100 taxi journeys where every single one has the potential for an argument, a chance to be abused, ripped off, or simply offended by some racist or sexist viewpoint."
All that being said, he's still on the verge of coming over at any point:
"Of course, it won't be easy for me to not be out there. Every day more people will be flying over. I'll have friends constantly trying to tempt me to jump on a plane and 'just come for a week.' They know I can't really do that."
It is tempting, and I may still do that, but right now I feel like the most likely thing is that I book a flight for early July and I go and play the Main Event only.
More from Channing here.
3) GPI Launches Global Poker Masters - Poker's "World Cup"
For all intents and purposes the WSOP really serves as poker's equivalent to the World Cup.
Want a real World Cup feel? Sit with the Brits.
No teams per se, and no real qualifying of course, but with players from almost 200 nations descending on Vegas every year and boisterous, patriotic rails whenever a local hero makes a final table, it does have a World Cup feel at times.
If that's not enough World Cup flavor for you, though, the GPI is launching a new series called the Global Poker Masters next year that could fill that void.
The top 9 highest ranked countries on the GPI will qualify to compete and the top 4 players from each country based on GPI Player of the Year points will get a chance to compete.
Buy-in is $10k, $100k is added to the prize pool and the winner will be the country that accumulates the most points over the course of 16 tournaments.
Sound interesting? More details from the GPI here, including which nations/players would currently qualify. Current Team USA:
- Keven Stammen
- Scott Seiver
- Vanessa Selbst
- Mukul Pahuja
Interesting. More on Mukul Pahuja, btw, coming up shortly on PokerListings.com. Stay tuned.