Deja Vu: Jason Mercier Wins a SHRP High Roller While Wife Natasha Is Seven Months Pregnant, Just as He Did Two Years Ago

2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 18
$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  41
Prize Pool:  $1,988,500
August 8-9, 2019

Natasha and Jason Mercier
Natasha and Jason Mercier

Two years ago, Jason Mercier’s wife Natasha was seven months pregnant when he entered the $25K High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and Mercier won that event — his last tournament victory before he pulled back from the tournament circuit to focus on fatherhood.

Yesterday, Jason Mercier’s wife Natasha was seven months pregnant when he entered the $50K Super High Roller, and today Mercier steamrolled the final table with an overwhelming chip stack to win $715,860.

“We’ve been talking about that the whole time,” said Mercier after his victory. “Even before the event, Natasha said, ‘I’m seven months pregnant. This is exactly when you won the $25K two years ago, so you have to win the $50K.'” Mercier added, “It’s kind of weird that it actually happened this way. I wish she could always be seven months pregnant, but I don’t think she wants that.”

Jason Mercier and His Father
Jason Mercier grew up in nearby Davie, Florida, and his father Rick was here today to watch him win one of his many poker titles.

With 41 entries, this was the biggest $50K Super High Roller in the history of Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, creating a total prizepool of $1,988,500 that nearly doubled the $1 million guarantee.

Mercier entered the seven-handed final table with nearly a 5-to-1 chip lead over everyone else, and none of the other players ever acquired enough chips to pose much of a threat.

The key hand for Mercier came last night to burst the Money Bubble. Mercier raised, and Dan Shak — who was second in chips at the time — reraised. Mercier called and the flop came As4h2c. Shak shoved with KsKc, and Mercier thought for a bit before calling with AhJh. The best hand held up for Mercier to eliminate Shak and end Day 1 with a monstrous chip lead.

Today’s final table was a quick one, finished in a little more than 90 minutes, with the other six players effectively battling for second place. Franklin Fok knocked out Tom Boivin in third place to get heads-up against Mercier, though Fok was still down nearly 7-to-1 in chips. In the ninth hand of heads-up play, Fok got it all in with AsJs, but never improved against Mercier’s 5d5c.

“I won a ton of hands that I probably shouldn’t have, just because of stack sizes,” said Mercier. “I had over half the chips in play when we were seven handed, so I was playing a ton of hands and just taking advantage of spots. But I also got dealt really good hands, and was able to call all ins when I was in the big blind, and those hands won.”

Mercier has won more than $19.5 million in live tournaments over his career, but this was actually his first cash in nearly a year as he’s been spending most of his time with his wife Natasha and two-year-old son, Marco. “I didn’t realize it until I got in the money,” said Mercier. “I hadn’t cashed in a year, so this was a really nice one to win.”

Jason Mercier and Son Marco
Jason Mercier plays with his two-year-old son Marco shortly after his victory.

Final Results:

1st:  Jason Mercier  –  $715,860
2nd:  Franklin Fok  –  $457,355
3rd:  Tom Boivin  –  $288,330
4th:  Giuseppe Iadisernia  –  $198,850
5th:  Manig Loeser  –  $139,195
6th:  Sam Sweilem  –  $109,370
7th:  Albert Daher  –  $79,540

Super High Roller: Jason Mercier Wins ($715,860); Franklin Fok Finishes 2nd ($457,355)

$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 17:  15,000/25,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining:  1 of 41

Jason Mercier and Father Rick
Jason Mercier (right) and His Father Rick

HAND #82  –  Franklin Fok limped for 25,000, Jason Mercier moved all in, and Fok called all in for 515,000.

Jason Mercier:  5d5c
Franklin Fok:  AsJs

The board came 10d6h2h3s8h, and Mercier won the pot — and the SHRPO Super High Roller — with a pair of fives.

Franklin Fok finished as the runner-up, earning $457,355.

Jason Mercier wins the $50,000 SHRPO High Roller, earning $715,860, a SHRPO trophy, and a custom-framed winner’s photo courtesy of IMPDI.

Congratulations, Jason Mercier!

1st:  Jason Mercier  –  $715,860
2nd:  Franklin Fok  –  $457,355
3rd:  Tom Boivin  –  $288,330
4th:  Giuseppe Iadisernia  –  $198,850
5th:  Manig Loeser  –  $139,195
6th:  Sam Sweilem  –  $109,370
7th:  Albert Daher  –  $79,540

Franklin Fok

Super High Roller: Heads-Up Play Begins Between Jason Mercier and Franklin Fok

$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 17:  15,000/25,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 41

Heads-up play begins with Jason Mercier holding a nearly 7-to-1 chip lead over Franklin Fok:

Jason Mercier  –  4,480,000  (179 bb)
Franklin Fok  –  645,000  (26 bb)

Reminder:  In heads-up play, the button has the small blind and acts first before the flop.

HAND #74  –  Franklin Fok limped for 25,000, and Jason Mercier checked his option in the big blind. Both players checked to the river on a board of Ks6h3h7d5d, Mercier bet 40,000, and Fok folded. Mercier took the pot.

HAND #75  –  Jason Mercier limped for 25,000, and Franklin Fok checked his option in the big blind. The flop came 10d5c3s, Fok checked, Mercier bet 25,000, and Fok folded. Mercier took the pot.

HAND #76  –  Franklin Fok folded, giving Jason Mercier a walk.

HAND #77  –  Jason Mercier raised to 50,000, and Franklin Fok folded.

Jason Mercier  –  4,620,000  (185 bb)
Franklin Fok  –  505,000  (20 bb)

HAND #78  –  Franklin Fok folded, giving Jason Mercier a walk.

HAND #79  –  Jason Mercier raised to 50,000, and Franklin Fok called. The flop came Ad9h5h, Fok checked, Mercier bet 40,000, and Fok called. The turn card was the 10d, and both players checked. The river card was the 9c, and they checked again.

Fok showed JdJc to win the pot, and Mercier mucked.

Jason Mercier  –  4,545,000  (182 bb)
Franklin Fok  –  580,000  (23 bb)

HAND #80  –  Franklin Fok folded, giving Jason Mercier a walk.

HAND #81  –  Jason Mercier raised from the button to 515,000, and Franklin Fok folded.

Super High Roller: Tom Boivin – 3rd Place ($288,330)

$50,000 Super High Roller (Single Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure | Payouts
Level 17:  15,000/25,000 with a 25,000 ante
Players Remaining:  2 of 41

Tom Boivin

HAND #68  –  Franklin Fok completed the small blind to 25,000, Jason Mercier raised from the big blind to 80,000, and Fok folded. Mercier took the pot.

HAND #69  –  Jason Mercier moved all in from the small blind, taking the blinds and ante.

HAND #70  –  Jason Mercier raised from the button to 500,000, taking the blinds and ante.

HAND #71  –  Franklin Fok completed the small blind to 25,000, and Jason Mercier checked his option in the big blind. Both players checked to the turn on a board of QdJc9c2h, Fok checked, Mercier bet 25,000, and Fok called. The river card was the 8d, and both players checked.

Fok turned over KcJs for a pair of jacks, and Mercier showed one card — the Jd — before he mucked. Fok won the pot.

HAND #72  –  Jason Mercier raised from the small blind to about 350,000, taking the blinds and ante.

HAND #73  –  Tom Boivin moved all in from the small blind for 170,000, and Franklin Fok called from the big blind with KcQc.

Boivin turned over 10d8s, and he needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came 5d4s3d9c2d, and Fok won the pot with his king to eliminate Boivin in third place.

Tom Boivin  –  Eliminated in 3rd Place  ($288,330)

And here are the official chip counts for the start of heads-up play:

Jason Mercier  –  4,480,000  (179 bb)
Franklin Fok  –  645,000  (26 bb)