| 18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
header-bg

Greg Merson Wins Record-Breaking 2012 Main Event for $8.5m

Greg Merson won the 2012 WSOP Main Event in spectacular fashion early Wednesday morning, taking down $8.5 million and the Player of the Year title.

The final table ended up being the longest in Main Event history in Las Vegas lasting an astounding 399 hands.

Starting at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday it was nearly 6 a.m. Wednesday morning when Merson finally won poker’s ultimate prize. Much of it was due to MersonJesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger playing for over 11 hours three-handed.

“You can’t let fatigue get in the way,” explained Merson. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had to just keep grinding it out. You can’t give up.”

Maryland Native Respected, Recovered

Sylvia, Merson and Balsiger all spent time as the chip leader during the 11-hour three-handed playdown but it was eventually Merson who busted Balsiger in third place to start heads-up play.

Jesse Sylvia
Runner-up Jesse Sylvia

The 24-year-old Merson, who hails from Laurel, Maryland, is a very well-respected player in the online poker community and his level of experience certainly paid off at the final table.

It was also well-publicised during the lead up to the final table that Merson suffered from drug addiction in the past.

He said it was part of the reason he was so emotional after winning the Main Event.

"I could possibly not even be alive right now and that's no exaggeration," said a thankful Merson. "We live such a fast-paced lifestyle it's so easy to get caught up in the wrong stuff."

Sylvia Runner-Up, Balsiger Busts in Third

Balsiger, who entered the final table second-to-last in chips, showed an amazing amount of resiliency at the final table and received $3.7 million for coming in third place.

Even Balsiger admitted he didn't expect to place higher than fifth, so finishing third was a remarkable achievement.

It was even more impressive considering Balsiger is a full-time student at ASU and does not consider himself a professional poker player.

Meanwhile Sylvia, who had some of the best fan support in the history of the Main Event final table, finished in second place for $5.2 million.

Greg Merson
Greg Merson, Main Event champ.

Merson Triumphs with K-5

In the final hand of the tournament Merson 4-bet shoved all-in and Sylvia called for his tournament life with Q♠ J♠.

Merson ended up being weak, but not weak enough as he had K♦ 5♦. The board bricked and the 2012 Main Event, which began back in July, was over.

Sylvia entered the final table as the chip leader but there’s a good chance he wasn’t too disappointed with the second-place finish as his biggest previous cash in a poker tournament was $33k.

With his victory Merson also passed Phil Hellmuth to become the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year.

It was also Merson’s second bracelet of the year as he won the $10k Six-Handed Event earlier this summer for $1.1 million.

For a full recap of the Main Event action, check our live updates.

Related Articles

Oliver Hutchins Wins the Trophy in the €500K GTD PPC Malta Main Event (€71,000)

Oliver Hutchins Wins 2022 PPC Malta Main Event United Kingdom's Oliver Hutchins won the trophy in the €500,000 guaranteed PPC Malta €550 Main Event for €71,000 after a back and…

April 7, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Final Table Payouts

PlacePrize1Oliver HutchinsUnited Kingdom€74,000*2Damir SavioCroatia€58,000*3Jingchun YuChina€31,0004Massimo RossiItaly€21,0005Wouter SchuurbiersBelgium€16,0006Federico CirilloItaly€13,0007Federico PetruzzelliItaly€10,0008Bradley GudgeonUnted Kingdom€8,0009Guiseppe DiBellaItaly€6,400 *Reflects heads-up deal.

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Damir Savio Eliminated in 2nd Place (€58,000)

Level 41: 400K/800K (800K) Damir Savio It's all over and Oliver Hutchins is the PPC Malta Main Event champion for €71,000 and the coveted trophy. Two hands after Hutchins doubled,…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Hutchins Doubles with Ladies to Take a Massive Lead

Level 41: 400K/800K (800K) Damir Savio jammed for 15 million from the button with 7 6 and Oliver Hutchins quickly made the easy call with Q Q from the big…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Stacks are Thin

Blinds have gone up to 400K/800K with a big blind ante of 800K. The lead swapped twice with small pots and Damir Savio currently is the table captain with 15…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Tides Change Again as Hutchins Doubles Into the Lead

Level 40: 300K/600K (600K) Oliver Hutchins limped from the button with K J and Damir Savio checked back with 10 7 . The 2 7 2 flop generated tons of…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Bottom Two Pair for Savio

Level 39: 250K/500K Oliver Hutchins completed from the small blind with K 10 and Damir Savio checked back with 4 2 . Savio check-raised the 10 2 4 from 750,000…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Savio Takes the Lead

Level 39: 250K/500K (500K) Damir Savio limped from the small blind with J 10 and Oliver Hutchins checked his option with K 7 from the big blind. Hutchins check-called for…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
All Poker News

Comment on that

Your message is awaiting approval