When poker superstar Jason Mercier won his fourth World Series of Poker bracelet on Monday evening in Las Vegas, taking down the 2016 WSOP $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship, it was worth a whole lot more to him than just the $273,335 first-place prize it came with.
Side action in the form of bracelet bets have long been a part of the WSOP landscape. Back in 2010, the poker world was able to breath a collective sigh of relief when Tom Dwan finished second in an early $1,500 no-limit hold’em event at the Series, with rumors there was enough bet against him winning poker's most coveted prize to break the high-stakes bank.
A few years later, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey famously got together, taking all action against either of them winning, and Ivey was able to help make it a profitable summer for the pair. Then last year, it was Brian Hastings who took a few highly publicized bracelet bets and crushed all naysayers with two wins at the World Series.
This year, it appears to be Mercier's turn.
"I won't get into specifics," he said minutes after the win. "Let's just say I won well, well over what first was, on the side."
Even after making some big bets and bricking a handful of events to start the summer, Mercier was all over Twitter looking to book even more bracelet bet action. Rumors suggest Monday's win was worth somewhere in the high six-figure range, although Mercier wouldn't divulge, and the Series is far from over yet.
"I also have some bets on two bracelets, at like 18- or 19-1," he said. "That one's pretty live, and also I have a huge bet with Vanessa Selbst to win three."
The Selbst bet against Mercier winning three bracelets this year is reportedly for $10,000 at 180-1, and while Mercier is obviously still a long shot to get that done and collect $1.8 million, things could get really uncomfortable for Selbst if Mercier continues on the hot streak he started at Monday's Lowball Championship final table.
Mercier streak is now at two cashes, including this win, and it began after he shaved his beard looking to change up his luck without any in-the-money finishes through the first 14 events.
"If I could go ahead and win another one real quick, it will be a really sick sweat," he said with a smile.
Adding up the side action made this one of the biggest single day wins in Mercier's young, but already illustrious poker career, and he said collecting his fourth WSOP bracelet with all that surrounding it, made it even more special.
"This is the second most important [WSOP bracelet win] to me, behind winning my first one," he said. "The first one was amazing. I was like 21 or 22 and it meant the world to me at the time.
"For this one, I have really wanted to win this $10K No-Limit Deuce every time I've played it. It's one of my favorite tournaments of the year. Also, having this much side action, this ends up being one of my biggest scores of all time. So it is special. It feels really good to win this tournament and get my fourth bracelet.
"Now I'm kind of like freerolling the next year or so. It feels great to collect that kind of money in one day. I'm just really looking forward to playing as much poker as I can, and giving myself a chance to win two in one year, maybe more."
To that end, Mercier immediately jumped in Day 1 of the 2016 WSOP $10,000 Razz Championship, and if she wasn't already, Selbst started paying attention.