October 9 Spotlight: Greg Merson

by | Published: Sunday, July 29th, 2012

For a player who prefers Online to Live poker Greg Merson has had a remarkably successful 2012 World Series of Poker.

After winning $1.1 million in the $10,000 six-player max no limit hold-em event, Merson has survived to become a member of the October 9 and earn a shot at winning over $8.5 million and the title of poker world champion. Thanks to his success in these two events he is the current leader in the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race.

Merson’s run is even more remarkable considering just a year ago his poker career was at a crossroads. As a freshman at College he began using drugs, a habit which took over his life. Merson cleaned up his act in 2007 and stayed sober until the beginning of last year when he began using again. His drug use clearly effected his poker and Merson had a disappointing 2011, in both online and live games.

However, after going sober again, at the beginning of this year, Merson is in career best form. He is one of the highest stake players on the internet regularly playing cash games with stakes of $400-$800. Merson is the first to agree that the change in his lifestyle has been the catalyst for his success.

“I let the poker life style get the best of me. It was a good experience to go from being at the top of online cash games to six months later struggling to beat $1/$2 Six-Max. I worked really hard to get all the way back to the highest games again, almost to where I was before I came here. I definitely have a way more positive mind set about everything. I am way more comfortable about everything,” Merson said in an interview with WSOP.

Going into the final Merson is 3rd with a chip stack of 28.725 million and as such is third favorite to win with most bookmakers. While he has work to do to catch chip leader Jesse Sylvia,  Merson’s experience in big games and calm under pressure means he will definitely be a contender in October.

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