On Tuesday, the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, in conjunction with Poker Night in America, live streamed an unprecedented four final tables at the same time. One of those final tables was SHRPO Event #24 $25,400 High Roller, a tournament that attracted 83 entrants and created a prize pool of $2,075,000.
The event attracted some of the biggest names in poker, so it was no surprise to see a star-studded lineup at the final table. Fittingly it was Florida's all-time money winner, Jason Mercier, who took down the title and $517,000 after a heads-up deal with Ian O'Hara.
"It’s pretty awesome because for as many tournament as I’ve won, I’ve never actually had my family here," Mercier told SHRPO officials after the win. "I knew this tournament series was a pretty decent opportunity to make a final table and have them come watch. Anytime there’s a series here I’m really trying so that they can come. I was just happy to still be in. My Dad got here for the start, took off some work, and it was cool to have them both of my parents here and my sister here to watch me win."
Mercier has been on fire in 2015; in fact, the win marked his fourth six-figure score in a row. The hot streak began back in June when he won his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet by taking down Event #32: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed for $633,357. Less than a week later he finished seventh in the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players' Championship for $139,265, and just five days after that finished runner-up in Event #54: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $572,989.
The latest win brought Mercier's 2015 winnings up to $2,258,854, and his lifetime earnings up to $15,879,774, which puts him 11th on the all-time money list.
"It definitely never gets old winning," Mercier elaborated to SHRPO officials. "Each tournament that I have won over the past seven or eight years has definitely had a unique feel to it. It’s a different experience every time. You’re playing sometimes different games, different people, different cities. Anytime you can win a poker tournament it feels good and I’m just glad I won this one."
Final Table Results
|1||Jason Mercier||Davie, FL||$517,000*|
|2||Ian O'Hara||Boca Raton, FL||$527,000*|
|3||Sean Winter||Jacksonville, FL||$245,500|
|4||Ankush Mandavia||Atlanta, GA||$186,200|
|5||Barry Hutter||Bradenton, FL||$141,900|
|6||David Sands||Bozman, MT||$116,600|
|7||Ashwin Sarin||Redmond, WA||$93,400|
|8||Phil Laak||San Francisco, CA||$74,400|
|9||David Peters||Toledo, OH||$57,500|
*Denotes heads-up deal.
According to updates from the event, Mercier got off to a good start at the final table by eliminating David Peters in ninth place, the result of the latter's failing to get there against Mercier's after the board ran out .
In Level 20 (15,000/30,000/5,000), Sean Winter opened for 65,000 from early position and Mercier call from the hijack. Phil "Unabomber" Laak then three-bet to 570,000 from the small blind, O'Hara moved all in from the big, and two folds prompted Laak to call off with the , which was in bad shape against O'Hara's . The board ran out and that was all she wrote for Laak, who took home $74,400 for his eighth-place finish.
Between O'Hara and Mercier, the duo eliminated the rest of the players from the final table, which is when they opted to strike a deal. With the numbers agreed upon, the two played it out for the title. In what would be the last hand of the tournament, which went down in Level 21 (20,000/40,000/5,000), O'Hara opened for 100,000 on the button only to have Mercier three-bet to 265,000. O'Hara responded by moving all in for 1.235 million and Mercier called.
It was a flip, and while O'Hara paired his king on the flop, Mercier spiked a set. The turn left O'Hara drawing dead, and he was officially eliminated in second place after the was run out on the river.
"It was great, it was pretty cool what they did setting everything up," Mercier said of the High Roller after his win. "The rake was very low on this event and it drew a nice field. I think it was awesome that they were able to put a guarantee on a high roller event, which is a very rare thing."
*Lead photo, quotes, and data courtesy of SHRPO.