Greg Merson, a professional US poker player from Maryland, emerged as the champion of World Series of Poker (2012) Main Event, which last over 11 hours, making it the longest ever Main Event in the history of the WSOP.
To win the bracelet and a huge prize of $8,531,853, Merson had to defeat Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger in the final three-handed play. All three had good-sized chip stacks, and if 21-year-old Jake Balsiger had won, he would have been the youngest player to become a WSOP champion. However, that was not to be and Balisger, a political science major student eager to graduate, finished in the third position.
Ultimately, it was Merson’s hand, which turned out to be superior to Jesse Sylvia’s hand. Speaking after the game, runner-up Jesse Sylvia said, “That was nuts, man. I thought whoever was going to heads-up was going to be much deeper than we were.”
Both Sylvia and Merson are excellent poker players, considering the fact that they were coached by pros such as Ivey and Vanessa Selbst. In fact, Merson had gotten rid of a drug addiction problem before he could make a success of his poker career.
Since Greg Merson won the Main Event of WSOP 2012, he pushed himself before Phil Helmuth in the rankings of WSOP 2012 Player of the Year.
While Merson scooped up the first prize of $8,531,853, runner up Sylvia took home the second prize of $5,295,149.
The players who finished third, fourth, fifth, and sixth were Jake Balsiger, Russell Thomas, Jeremy Ausmus, and Andras Koroknai, respectively. They won $3,799,073, $2,851,537, $2,155,313 and $1,640,902, respectively. Michael Esposito, the player who finished in the seventh position, won $1,258,040; and Robert Salaburu, the player who finished in the eighth position, won $971,360. Steve Gee, the player who finished in the ninth position, won $754,798.