Tag Archives: 2017 Showdown

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)

High Roller: Anthony Spinella Doubles Through Justin Bonomo

$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 moved all in for 890,000 under the gun, and Justin Bonomo called in the small blind to put Spinella at risk.

Spinella: AdQc
Bonomo: 4h4c

The JdTs9s was a decent miss for Spinella, giving him eight additional outs with an open-ended straight draw. The 9d turn added even more outs to the win, and the 8c river completed his straight to give him a double-up.

Anthony Spinella – 1,900,000 (24 bb)
Justin Bonomo – 3,975,000 (50 bb)

High Roller: Olivier Busquet Eliminated in 5th Place ($153,700)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 116

Olivier Busquet

Jason Mercier opened to 160,000 under the gun, and Olivier Busquet three-bet shoved for 2,140,000 in the big blind. Mercier quickly called to put Busquet at risk.

Mercier: QsQd
Busquet: TcTh

The Jd6s2s flop was a miss for Busquet, and the 4s turn left him dead to one out. He needed to find the Ten of Diamonds to stay alive, but the river was the Js to seal his elimination in fifth place. Mercier won the pot with a queen-high flush, moving into a dead heat with Justin Bonomo atop the leaderboard

Jason Mercier – 4,740,000 (59 bb)
Olivier Busquet – Eliminated in 5th place ($153,700)

High Roller: Olivier Busquet Doubles Through Loni Harwood

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 5 of 116

Action folded around to the blinds where Loni Harwood moved all in from the small. That put the decision on Olivier Busquet and his stack of 830,000 chips, and he quickly called all in to put himself at risk.

Harwood: Ks6h
Busquet: Ad7c

The board ran out As9c8h3s9d, and Busquet won the pot with aces up to double up.

Olivier Busquet – 1,710,000 (21 bb)
Loni Harwood – 1,330,000 (17 bb)

High Roller: Sam Soverel Eliminated in 6th Place ($113,100)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 116

Sam Soverel

Justin Bonomo opened the button to 180,000, and Sam Soverel three-bet shoved for about 1,100,000 in the small blind. Bonomo called the remainder to put Soverel at risk.

Bonomo: KdQs
Soverel: AcJh

The after-dinner session has not gone well for the chip leader at the break, and this time was no different for Soverel. The board ran out KsKh6c3h9s, and Bonomo won the pot with trip kings. Soverel was eliminated in sixth place.

Justin Bonomo – 4,000,000 (50 bb)
Sam Soverel – Eliminated in 6th place ($113,100)

High Roller: Loni Harwood Doubles Through Sam Soverel

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 6 of 116

Loni Harwood

Sam Soverel opened to 175,000 under the gun, and SHRP Team member Loni Harwood three-bet shoved for about 1,300,000 next to act. Soverel called the remainder to put her at risk.

Soverel: TsTc
Harwood: KhJc

The AhTh2s flop was pretty bad news for Harwood, giving Soverel a set of tens and leaving her dead to a queen or a running flush. The 4h turn was a decent start, though, and the Kh on the river got her all the way over the hump, filling her flush to earn her a double-up.

She’s now contending with Justin Bonomo for the lead with six players left.

Loni Harwood – 2,700,000 (34 bb)
Sam Soverel – 1,150,000 (14 bb)

High Roller: Ari Engel Eliminated in 8th Place ($78,300); Bryn Kenney Eliminated in 7th Place ($92,800)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 8 of 116

Ari Engel

Ari Engel waited as long as he could before ending up all in for his last 70,000 in the big blind. Action folded around to the button where Bryn Kenney moved all in for 935,000, putting the last action on Jason Mercier in the small blind. He spent a few minutes pondering, then called to put both players at risk.

Kenney: QhTd
Mercier: Ah7h
Engel: 8dTd

The board ran out AsKd5s2s8c, and Mercier flopped an ace to win the double knockout pot.

Engel had the shorter of the at-risk stacks when the hand began, so he took the higher finishing position. He’s out in eighth place, Kenney in seventh, and Mercier is now becoming a threat atop the leaderboard.

Bryn Kenney

Jason Mercier – 2,675,000 (33 bb)
Bryn Kenney – Eliminated in 7th place ($92,800)
Ari Engel – Eliminated in 8th place ($78,300)

High Roller: Jeff Gross Eliminated in 9th Place ($75,400)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Jeff Gross

Jason Mercier moved all in for around 1,100,000 in early position, and Jeff Gross called all in for 390,000 to put himself at risk. Loni Harwood called, too, working with a similar stack as Mercier’s. And the same hand.

Mercier: JdJh
Gross: TdTc
Harwood: JsJc

The board ran out 6h4d2c9c2s, and Gross could not catch up. He was eliminated in ninth place, sending half his chips each to Mercier and Harwood.

Jason Mercier – 1,550,000 (19 bb)
Loni Harwood – 1,350,000 (17 bb)
Jeff Gross – Eliminated in 9th place ($75,400)

High Roller: Justin Bonomo Doubles Through Ari Engel

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Two hands after doubling through Olivier Busquet, Justin Bonomo doubled again, this time through Ari Engel.

Action folded to Engel in the cutoff, and he moved all in for 1,110,000. Bonomo called all in for 990,000 on the button, putting himself at risk once again.

Engel: 6d6c
Bonomo: 8s8c

The board ran out safely for Bonomo, coming JdTs3cTcAd to give him another double-up. Thanks to this after-dinner rush, he’s suddenly second in chips and breathing down the neck of leader Sam Soverel.

Engel was left with less than two big blinds after paying off his debt.

Justin Bonomo – 2,190,000 (27 bb)
Ari Engel – 120,000 (2 bb)

High Roller: Justin Bonomo Doubles Through Olivier Busquet

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 24: 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Olivier Busquet opened to 175,000 in early position, and Justin Bonomo three-bet shoved for 460,000 in the big blind. Busquet called the remainder to put Bonomo at risk.

Bonomo: KdQd
Busquet: KcJd

The Jc6d3s flop was bad news for Bonomo, giving Busquet a big lead. The 4d on the turn gave Bonomo a flush draw with one card to come, though, and the Qs river saved Bonomo’s tournament life. He rivered a pair of queens to double up.

Justin Bonomo – 1,050,000 (13 bb)
Olivier Busquet – 1,400,000 (18 bb)

High Roller: Dinner Break

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
End of Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Level 23 concluded, and the field was sent on a 40-minute dinner break. Here’s how the table will be set up when they return for the new level at 6:50 p.m.:

Seat 1: Jason Mercier – 1,220,000 (15 bb)
Seat 2: Jeff Gross – 450,000 (6 bb)
Seat 3: Ari Engel – 1,180,000 (15 bb)
Seat 4: Justin Bonomo – 470,000 (6 bb)
Seat 5: Sam Soverel – 2,935,000 (37 bb)
Seat 6: Loni Harwood – 1,040,000 (13 bb)
Seat 7: Olivier Busquet – 1,870,000 (23 bb)
Seat 8: Anthony Spinella – 1,180,000 (15 bb)
Seat 9: Bryn Kenney – 1,255,000 (16 bb)

High Roller: Sam Soverel Takes the Lead

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Sam Soverel

Ari Engel opened the button with a raise, and Sam Soverel defended his big blind.

The flop was KdJc2c, and Soverel check-called a continuation bet from Engel. The turn was the Ad, and Soverel checked again. Engel bet 280,000, Soverel called, and the river was the 6d. Both players checked.

Soverel showed Kh5h, winning the pot with a pair of kings to move into the chip lead.

Sam Soverel – 2,875,000 (48 bb)
Ari Engel – 1,530,000 (26 bb)

High Roller: Ari Engel Leads Nine-Handed Final Table

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 9 of 116

Ari Engel

With the elimination of Jake Schindler in 10th place, the nine remaining players have drawn for new seats for the last time. Here’s the final table lineup:

Seat 1: Jason Mercier – 1,010,000 (17 bb)
Seat 2: Jeff Gross – 950,000 (16 bb)
Seat 3: Ari Engel – 2,215,000 (37 bb)
Seat 4: Justin Bonomo – 310,000 (5 bb)
Seat 5: Sam Soverel – 2,175,000 (36 bb)
Seat 6: Loni Harwood – 880,000 (15 bb)
Seat 7: Olivier Busquet – 1,700,000 (28 bb)
Seat 8: Anthony Spinella – 1,560,000 (26 bb)
Seat 9: Bryn Kenney – 840,000 (14 bb)

Here are the remaining payouts:

1st: $794,600
2nd: $556,800
3rd: $348,000
4th: $240,700
5th: $153,700
6th: $113,100
7th: $92,800
8th: $78,300
9th: $75,400

High Roller: Jake Schindler Eliminated in 10th Place ($72,500)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 23: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 10 of 116

Jake Schindler

Olivier Busquet moved all in for just over 900,000 in the cutoff, and Jake Schindler called all in for about 650,000 in the big blind, putting himself at risk. It was a flip.

Busquet: AsTc
Schindler: 8s8h

The board ran out Ad6s3cKcJs, and Busquet won the race and the pot with a pair of aces. Schindler was eliminated in 10th place.

Olivier Busquet – 1,690,000 (28 bb)
Jake Schindler – Eliminated

High Roller: Richard Tuhrim Eliminated in 11th Place ($69,600)

$25,500 High Roller No Limit Hold’em (Re-Entry)
Level 22: 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 Ante
Players Remaining: 11 of 116

Action folded around to the blinds where Richard Tuhrim moved all in for 1,165,000 in the small and Sam Soverel called in the big blind, having Tuhrim slightly covered and at risk.

Tuhrim: Ad4c
Soverel: KdJh

The KsJd5h flop was a disaster for Tuhrim, and the 8s turn left him drawing dead. The river was the meaningless Ac, and Soverel won the pot with kings up to eliminate Tuhrim in 11th place.

Sam Soverel – 2,410,000 (48 bb)
Richard Tuhrim – Eliminated