$10,000 Main Event - Live Updates

Day 9 Live Updates

10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

Greg Merson Wins 2012 Main Event for $8,531,853

Greg Merson
Greg Merson

Greg Merson was widely-considered to be the best player at the final table of the 2012 WSOP Main Event and he certainly played like it today.

Merson showed an incredible amount of poise surviving over 11 hours of three-handed play with Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger.

It was a roller-coaster affair that saw Merson, Sylvia and Balsiger all take turns as the chip leader. It was also the longest Main Event final table ever held in Las Vegas coming in at 399 hands.

Despite the chips being swapped back and forth it always seemed to be Merson’s tournament to lose as every time he fell behind in chips he would grind his way back to the top.

It seemed the final three players were simply too deep for anyone but Merson to walk out on top.

Merson overcame getting unlucky in a couple spots to finally bust Balsiger in third place with king-queen over queen-ten.

Heads-up took far less time as Merson steam-rolled Sylvia in 17 hands. Merson won the final hand with K 5 over Sylvia’s Q J.

Merson is the new world champion and $8.5 million richer. Amazingly it was his second WSOP bracelet of the summer and he also passed Phil Hellmuth to win WSOP Player of the Year.

Congratulations to Merson for his fantastic performance here at the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table.

Average Stack
$98,970,000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Merson Busts Sylvia in 2nd ($5,295,149)

Jesse Sylvia
Runner-up finisher Jesse Sylvia

Three-handed play may have lasted for over 11 hours but it took Merson less than one hour to land the knockout blow against Jesse Sylvia.

In the final hand of the tournament Merson opened for 4 million and Jesse Sylvia raised to 9 million. Merson 4-bet jammed, having Sylvia’s 69 million covered.

That sent Sylvia deep into the tank. Sylvia pondered his options for several minutes but eventually announced a call.

Somewhat surprisingly Sylvia could only offer Q J but Merson was ahead with K 5.

The crowd was whipped into a frenzy as the dealer threw laid out a 9 6 3 flop. The turn came 6 and the tension in the air was palpable with one card left to go.

Finally the river came… 7!

Merson busts Sylvia to win the 2012 WSOP Main Event. The room exploded as Merson’s fans jumped onto the stage to cheer on their hero.

Sylvia picks up $5,295,149 for coming in second place. Stay tuned for a complete recap.

Average Stack
$98,970,000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Merson Builds on Lead

Greg Merson
Greg Merson looking strong.

Greg Merson has further cemented his status as chip leader over the first 10 hands of heads-up play.

Although we haven’t seen any enormous pots yet, Merson did just take down a significant pot off Sylvia.

Merson opened for 4 million but Sylvia re-popped it to 9.1 million. Merson thought for a minute, grabbed two massive stacks and pushed them into the middle to raise it up to 18.4 million.

Sylvia couldn’t make the call and threw his hand into the muck. Merson scooped the rather large pot.

Here’s how the chip counts look after the hand:

1. Greg Merson: 130,900,000
2. Jesse Sylvia: 67,300,000

Average Stack
$98,970,000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Merson Eliminates Balsiger in 3rd ($3,797,558)

Jake Balsiger
Jake Balsiger finishes third.

After more than 11 hours of play we finally have our first elimination of the day.

Jesse Sylvia opened betting for 4 million from the button and Jake Balsiger immediately moved all-in for about 20 million from the small blind.

Merson didn’t appear to be folding, and after several minutes of thought, he decided to call. Sylvia got out of the way and Merson and Balsiger revealed their hands:

Merson: K Q

Balsiger: Q T

Merson had Balsiger crushed and the young poker player was going to need some serious help from the board to continue in this tournament.

The dealer put out a 6 6 6 flop, which caused the audience to gasp. Despite the beastly look of the flop, Merson was still in the lead. The J peeled off the turn and finally the board finished with the 5.

Despite busting, Balsiger has to be happy with a performance that saw him go from second-to-last in chips to finishing in third place for $3,797,558.

Here are the chip counts going into heads-up play between Merson and Sylvia:

1. Greg Merson: 117,600,000
2. Jesse Sylvia: 80,600,000

Average Stack
$98,970,000
Players Left
2
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Breaking Records

Final table
It just goes on and on and on.

It’s official: the 2012 Main Event has broken the official record as the longest final table in the history of the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.

The record was set at 364 hands at the final table in 2009 and we’re now up to over 380 hands. Of course if you include the WSOPE Main Event, that one still has the record with 484 hands played.

We may very well break that number too before this night is over, however.

Over the last 30 minutes we’ve seen Jake Balsiger once again get busy with several all-in shoves but Sylvia and Merson weren’t ready to make the call.

Here’s a look the most recent chip counts:

1. Greg Merson – 92,700,000
2. Jesse Sylvia – 84,900,000
3. Jake Balsiger – 20,600,000

Blinds are now 1,000,000/2,000,000 with a 300,000 ante.

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Sylvia Strikes Back, Doubles Through Balsiger

Jesse Sylvia
Jesse Sylvia not going anywhere.

It didn’t take long for Jesse Sylvia to retrieve the majority of the chips he lost against Jake Balsiger.

Balsiger limped his button, Greg Merson folded the small blind and Jesse Sylvia checked his big blind.

The flop came K 8 2 and Sylvia checked. Balsiger bet 2.2 million and Sylvia raised to 7.6 million. Balsiger moved all-in and Sylvia called.

Sylvia showed 8 2 for two-pair while Balsiger flipped over K 9 for the flopped pair of kings.

The turn came 2, improving Sylvia to a full house, and then the board finished with a meaningless 3 to give Sylvia the double up.

Balsiger is once again last in chips. Here’s a complete look at the updated chip counts:

1. Greg Merson – 73,600,000
2. Jesse Sylvia – 69,200,000
3. Jake Balsiger – 55,400,000

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Balsiger Steals Chip Lead in Shocker

Jake Balsiger
The new King.

Jake Balsiger, who started the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table second-to-last in chips, is suddenly the chip leader.

Balsiger doubled through Jesse Sylvia in a massive 92 million-chip pot.

Sylvia limped his button but Balsiger bet 4.5 million from the small blind. Greg Merson folded the big blind while Sylvia decided to call.

The pair saw a flop of 9 3 3 and Balsiger thought for a minute or two before betting 4.5 million. Sylvia raised to 11.2 million and Balsiger opted to move all-in for his 41 million-chip stack.

Sylvia called in short order and flipped over K 9 but Balsiger had him crushed with a monster K K.

The turn came J and the river finished with the A to send Sylvia spiriling down to 37 million while Balsiger soared to 92 million.

Here are your new chip counts:

1. Jake Balsiger – 92,300,000
2. Greg Merson – 68,800,000
3. Jesse Sylvia – 37,100,000

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Sylvia Takes Chip Lead from Merson

Jesse Sylvia
Jesse James Sylvia regulates.

Jesse Sylvia just displayed some creativity in a huge hand against Greg Merson to take the overall chip lead.

Merson opened the betting with a 3.2 million bet from the button. Sylvia re-popped it to 7.5 million from the small blind, which prompted a fold from Jake Balsiger.

Merson wasn’t going anywhere, however, and decided to raise it up to 12.1 million. Sylvia weighed his options but eventually made the call.

The flop came K 9 3 and Sylvia checked. Merson made a rather small bet of 4.6 million and Sylvia called.

The turn came Q and both players checked. The board finished with the K and once again both players checked.

Sylvia showed Q 9 and that was enough to take the 35 million chip pot down and give Sylvia the chip lead.

Here’s a look at the updated chip counts:

1. Jesse Sylvia – 82,350,000
2. Greg Merson – 70,600,000
3. Jake Balsiger – 45,250,000

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 WSOP: Balsiger Starts Shoving

Final table
The three-handed battle that never ends.

Jake Balsiger finally slipped below 20 big blinds over the last 30 minutes of play and started to take matters into his hands by moving all-in several times.

He hasn’t had any callers yet as Jesse Sylvia and Greg Merson haven’t found anything they want to go to war with.

Thanks to his all-in shoves Balsiger has moved back up to 46 million and should be safer for a little bit longer.

Meanwhile Merson has cooled off and has once again dipped below 100 million.

We’re now up to 339 hands as this marathon final table continues.

Here’s a look at the latest chip counts:

1. Greg Merson – 90,800,000
2. Jesse Sylvia – 60,750,000
3. Jake Balsiger – 46,650,000

Blinds are 800,000/1,600,000 with a 200,000 ante.

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
10/31/2012 (1 year ago)

2012 Main Event: Greg Merson Wearing Them Down

Greg Merson
Greg Merson

Once again action has slowed at the final table but a patient Greg Merson seems to be getting the best of Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger.

Merson has been winning tons of small pots and it’s starting to add up. Merson is up to 110 million right now while both Balsiger and Sylvia have slipped.

The most significant recent hand saw all three players limp to see a flop of A Q 5, which prompted a check from all three players.

The turn came 6 and Sylvia, who was first to act, fired 2.7 million into the pot. Balsiger folded but Merson came over the top and raised it to 6.8 total.

Sylvia called and the board finished with the 2 on the river. Sylvia checked but Merson fired 14 million into the pot. Sylvia tanked but eventually folded.

We’re now up to over 305 hands, which surpasses last year’s mark of 301 hands total at the 2011 Main Event final table.

Here are the updated chip counts:

1. Greg Merson – 112,000,000
2. Jesse Sylvia – 56,000,000
3. Jake Balsiger – 29,550,000

Blinds are 600,000/1,200,000 with a 200,000 ante

Average Stack
65,980,000
Players Left
3
Tables Left
1
1 2 3

Event Information

Event Name
Event 61 - $10,000 Main Event
Venue
Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date
2012-07-07
Final Day
2012-07-16
Buy In
$10,000
Entrants
6598
Prize Pool
$62,021,200
First Prize
$8,527,982

Event Winner

Player Prize Money
1 Gregory Merson $8,531,853
2 Jesse Sylvia $5,295,149
3 Jacob Balsiger $3,797,558
4 Russell Thomas $2,851,537
5 Jeremy Ausmus $2,155,313

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