Jason Mercier Wins $25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Hollywood, FL
$25,500 High Roller
Entries: 116
Prize Pool: $2,900,000
April 4-5, 2017

Jason Mercier has one of the most impressive poker resumes in the world and doesn’t have much left to prove on the felt. Except to his wife, Natasha, who is a Seminole Hard Rock Tampa team member.

On the way to register for the $25,500 high roller no limit hold’em, Natasha was possibly doubting Jason’s ability in no limit hold’em compared to her own. Jason put any doubts to rest, though. He defeated arguably the toughest field of the series and bested a 116-entry field to win $794,600 in the $25,500 high roller event.

“Well, I was driving over here yesterday and Natasha was going to drop me off and I was going to register this tournament,” said Mercier. “She told me on the way ‘You know, you haven’t really won anything in a while in no limit hold’em. Maybe you should start listening to me on how to play hands because I think I’m more profitable than you are.’

“And I said some very mean things and I took it as motivation to win this tournament. I told her that I won this tournament like 18 months ago, but she said ‘Yeah, that was a really long time ago.’ I probably have dusted off a lot since then. So, it’s nice to get a win.”

With the win, Mercier got to add another Hard Rock trophy to a resume that already includes 5 WSOP bracelets, a WPT Alpha8 title, an EPT title, an EPT high roller title, over $18 million in live tournament earnings and several million more online.

It’s no surprise that he came out on top of the field, but this wasn’t an easy field for Mercier to navigate through. Mercier defeated Justin Bonomo heads-up and had to go through what could only be considered a murderer’s row of final table lineups that included SHRP team member Loni Harwood, WSOP bracelet winners Anthony Spinella and Bryn Kenney, along with top pros Olivier Busquet, Ari Engel, and Sam Soverel.

“The field was pretty tough,” said Mercier. “I mean, it was a lot tougher than last year, even though it was a bigger field. The final table was nine pros basically.”

The nearly seven-figure score comes on the heels of a big personal announcement for Mercier. Natasha is pregnant and they will have a baby boy later this year.

The coming months will dictate how much Mercier is able to travel to poker tournaments. He hasn’t spent much time away from his wife since they met and he likely won’t want to spend much time away from his son either.

“I have to do a few tester trips,” said Mercier. “I’m probably going to go Barcelona. I mean, I might go to Barcelona while she is like seven months pregnant. We’ll see how that trip goes. We haven’t really spent more than two to three days away from each other since we started hanging out two and a half years ago.

“It’s really going to depend on how those trips go and whether we can travel with the baby. That’s what life is about, making adjustments.”

Before the baby comes, Mercier is really going to buckle down and work hard in immediate future. With a busy scheduled ahead of him in the next few months, he’s going to try and secure a couple big scores before he becomes a father.

“I got a pretty intense schedule coming up,” said Mercier. “With playing Monte Carlo, SCOOP, and WSOP, along with the $300K before the WSOP. I’m really going to hard at it for the next three months and hopefully make a lot of money. And then, hopefully just relax and wait for my baby boy to come.”

When the tournament was three-handed, Mercier was involved in a pot worth a lot of equity. It sent Loni Harwood home in third place and gave him the chip lead heading into heads-up play with Bonomo.

Mercier was all in with pocket tens against Bonomo’s pocket queens and Harwood’s king-jack. Bonomo had both players covered and Harwood was the short stack. The turn brought a king, which would send Mercier home, and give Harwood a triple up.

The river was a ten, however, which gave Mercier a set, and more than a double up of his own.

“I was just rooting for no king,” said Mercier. “If there was no king, I just get second for like 500 and something thousand. If a king hits, then I basically lose $200K. I was basically focused on fading a king and when the king came on the turn, I was just like ‘Ugghh. I just lost the Sunday Million.’ So when the ten came on the river, I was just like double shocked.

“That was really nice. The king cost me $200K and the ten basically won me $400,000. It was a nice little three-out, two-out.”

Mercier took the pot, the chip lead and eventually the trophy.

Results

1st: Jason Mercier – $794,600
2nd: Justin Bonomo – $556,800
3rd: Loni Harwood – $348,000
4th: Anthony Spinella – $240,700
5th: Olivier Busquet – $153,700
6th: Sam Soverel – $113,100
7th: Bryn Kenney – $92,800
8th: Ari Engel – $78,300
9th: Jeff Gross – $75,400
10th: Jake Schindler – $72,500
11th: Richard Tuhrim – $69,600
12th: Jonathan Little – $66,700
13th: Robert Heidorn – $63,800
14th: Sean Winter – $60,900
15th: Erik Seidel – $58,000
16th: Grayson Ramage – $55,100

High Roller: Jason Mercier Wins Title and $794,600; Justin Bonomo Finishes in 2nd Place ($556,800)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 50,000/100,000 with a 15,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 116

Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier opened the button to 225,000, and Justin Bonomo three-bet shoved for 2,555,000 in the big blind. Mercier instantly called to put Bonomo at risk.

Mercier: AdQd
Bonomo: Ac2d

The board ran out Kd7s5d8d3s, and Mercier turned the nut flush to lock up the pot and the title one card early. He collected nearly $800,000 for his work over the past two days, adding yet another title to his world-class stat sheet. His total live winnings now exceed $18 million.

Bonomo was forced to settle for the runner-up consolation prize of $556,800.

Justin Bonomo

High Roller: Jason Mercier Opening Up a Gap

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 50,000/100,000 with a 15,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 116

There haven’t been any particularly significant pots played since the heads-up match began, but Jason Mercier is getting the best of the small ones, so far.

In one such recent pot, Bonomo limped the button, and Mercier checked his option in the big blind. The flop was Ts8h6d. Mercier checked, Bonomo bet 150,000, and Mercier called. Both players checked through the 6c turn.

The river was the 2h, and Mercier bet 480,000. Bonomo considered for a couple minutes, longer than he had for any other decision in the duel, then called to see a showdown.

“Six,” Mercier announced, tabling 6s4h to prove it. Bonomo mucked, and Mercier won the pot with trip sixes.

Jason Mercier – 9,030,000 (90 bb)
Justin Bonomo – 2,570,000 (26 bb)

High Roller: Loni Harwood Eliminated in 3rd Place ($348,000)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 116

Loni Harwood

SHRP Team member Loni Harwood moved all in for about 1,600,000 on the button, and Jason Mercier re-shoved for 2,345,000 in the small blind. Justin Bonomo woke up with a monster in the big blind, and he called both shoves, putting both opponents at risk with a chance to win the tournament right there.

Harwood: KhJc
Mercier: TsTc
Bonomo: QhQc

The 3c2d2h flop changed nothing, but the Kc on the turn gave Harwood a big lead with one card to come. She was suddenly looking down the barrel of a triple-up and a heads-up match against Justin Bonomo, but her lead would not hold.

The river was the Td, and Mercier made a set of tens to scoop the big pot. He more than doubled up, eliminating Harwood in third place in the process.

Mercier and Bonomo are now heads-up for the High Roller title, and they’ve taken their 20-minute break a few minutes prior to the end of the level.

Jason Mercier – 6,410,000 (80 bb)
Justin Bonomo – 5,190,000 (65 bb)
Loni Harwood – Eliminated in 3rd place ($348,000)

High Roller: Anthony Spinella Eliminated in 4th Place ($240,700)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 4 of 116

Anthony Spinella

Justin Bonomo opened the button to 180,000, and Anthony Spinella three-bet shoved for 1,760,000 in the big blind. Bonomo double-checked his hole cards, then quickly called to put Spinella at risk.

Bonomo: TcTh
Spinella: 4s4h

The board ran out safely for Bonomo, coming 8s6d2cQcJs to give him the pot with his pair of tens. Spinella was eliminated in fourth place, earning just shy of a quarter million dollars.

Justin Bonomo – 6,225,000 (78 bb)
Anthony Spinella – Eliminated in 4th place ($240,700)