The winner of Event 57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em in the World Series of Poker was decided on July 6th after nearly 4 days of playing. After three days and 30 one-hour levels there had still been no champion. On the fourth day, Gregory Merson took one more hand to take the crown of champion and win his first ever World Series of Poker bracelet. Merson beat out Keith Lehr in the final and only hand played on July 6th and completed his trek to securing his first ever World Series of Poker bracelet.
Merson came into day 4 ever the more determined to make the final table at the tournament, given that he bubbled the final table at Event 28 which was the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Four-Max. He was both nervous and excited leading up to the final hand. However, it was his determination that got him to the final table where he entered day 3 of playing in 12th place out of the 27 players who made it back. He won a couple of very important and game changing pots as he commanded the chip lead and never looked back. Merson managed to eliminate Nick Maimone, Layne Flack,Andrew Lichtenberger, Eddy Sabat, and Shannon Shorr during the play of day 3.
It only took Merson one quick hand on day 4 to complete his journey to becoming a first ever champion at the World Series of Poker. The final hand was between Merson and Keith Lehr. It began with Merson opening to 280,000 from the button. Lehr responded with a three-bet to 915,000. This prompted Merson to swiftly show his large stack. Lehr then called all in and the two players showed their cards. Lehr’s hand held an Ace of Spades and a Queen of Diamonds while Merson held a King and 9, both of spades. The excitement started to begin for Merson when the flop of a 10 of clubs and a 10 and 9 of hearts was dealt. It put Merson in the lead. Then a Queen of Spades hit the turn and a Jack of Hearts completed the river. With that one final hand on day four, Merson became the tournament’s latest champion.
The new winner showed great emotion upon his first grab of a WSOP bracelet. Merson admits that he really only plays about five World Series events a year and never actually expected to ever win one. His best place this year previous to the tournament was a very respectable 5th place and he admits that he anticipated having to wait years before ever placing higher, if he ever did at all. Merson got his start playing poker online and believes that he isn’t very well known around the tournament circuit as most of his play is still done in online poker rooms. He does try to play all of the shorthanded tournaments each year and states that playing in the tournament is both fun and nerve racking at the same time.