Jason Mercier of Davie, who graced the cover of Ante Up in December, outdueled Steven Burkholder of Largo, who was profiled in Ante Up’s May issue, for the championship in the World Series of Poker’s Event #5 (Pot-Limit Omaha), a $1,500 event that drew 809 players. The WSOP believes it be the largest live PLO tournament in history.
"Winning always feels good," Mercier told the WSOP after his victory. "Especially after last year. I played in 22 events. I went deep in just one of them. I finished 13th and that made me sick. I cashed three times and all three times I had busted out with the worst (starting) hand in marginal spots. I was really upset with how I played last year. Now, it feels great to win a gold bracelet, especially so eary in the Series."
Mercier is a 22-year-old pro and former teacher. He has $3,069,194 in career tournament winnings.
"Every time I enter a poker tournament I think I can win it," Mercier said. "Of course you have to win some key pots."
Mercier, who goes by "treysfull21," offered advice for players who switch between 6-handed and 9-handed games.
"I tend to play too many hands in early position … because I am used to playing in six-handed games online," Mercier told the WSOP. "But nine-handed games are very different. Today, I folded some hands in early position that I normally would have played. That got me into less bad spots. I was able to play position more and take down a lot of pots that I might (not have won otherwise)."
Mercier won the title when his Q-J-8-2 turned a full house to beat Burkholder’s A-A-J-7.
Burkholder is a 22-year-old college student who is sharing a house at this year’s Series with eight other online pros.
Eight other Floridians cashed in the event.
1. Jason Mercier, Ft. Lauderdale, $237,462
2. Steven Burkholder, Largo, $146,748
24. Cory Ward, Titusville, $7,012
40. Chad Miker, Champions Gate, $4,947
47. Jeffrey Chapman, Wesley Chapel, $4,284
49. Craig Fishman, Heathrow, $4,284
55. Stewart Newman, Weston, $3,765
61. Julian Rodriguez, Miami, $3,765
67. Robert Mizrachi, Sunny Isles Beach/Las Vegas, $3,246
76. Robert Campbell, North Miami, $2,760
<strong>Florida to date</strong>
<strong>Florida players who cash (or their families or friends) are encouraged to e-mail contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.</st rong>