Jason Mercier came into the 2015 World Series of Poker on a wave of momentum, having won SCOOP Player of the Series after winning three High-level events, making four High-level final tables and five final tables overall.
After missing in the first couple of events he played at the 2015 WSOP, Mercier built up one of the bigger stacks through the first 15 levels of the $1,000 Hyper Hold’em event. With levels of just 20 minutes, they were already nearing the money bubble when BLUFF caught up with Mercier on the third break of the day.
“I mean I basically just won a bunch of coin flips, so I won nines against ace-queen against Jimmy Fricke and then I won with jacks against nines, ace-queen to jacks,” recalled Mercier, “[But] I wasn’t flipping for my stack because I got a hold of those chips. I was just constantly knocking out guys that had less chips than me.”
Mercier plays almost all of the games offered at the WSOP, but he appreciates the different approach to No Limit Hold’em that a tournament like the Hyper Hold’em or the upcoming Turbo event provide.
“I mean, I like how fast it is,” said Mercier. “You have a chance to win a bracelet in basically a day, or at least get down to the final table tonight. It’s unique. All the other tournaments normally take three days, and a lot of them will take four now because of the new structures. We’re almost in the money and we’ve only played six hours, so I like it and I like the opportunity to potentially just win really quickly.”
While most of his experience in turbo events comes from playing online, Mercier’s had opportunities to play these kinds of events live as well. That kind of experience, in buy-ins bigger than the Hyper Hold’em and against top-notch opponents have helped prepare him better than most for this kind of opportunity.
“I played a decent amount of turbos because of the EPT schedule,” said Mercier. “They have one big turbo at the end of each festival, so had a little practice with live turbos there, but yeah mostly you play a lot of turbos online.”
While the structure would seemingly lean towards volatility rather than a significant skill edge, knowing when to push the fine edges and make the most of a stack still favors pros. All you have to do is look at the $1,000 Turbo event in 2014, which Doug Polk won, to know that there’s still a significant skill edge to be had.
“Well, there’s definitely an edge for the people that know what they’re doing,” said Mercier. “I mean, there’s a lot of bad players playing this and obviously you have a bigger edge in a tournament that’s longer where you can maneuver a lot better, but there’s definitely still an edge in this kind of a tournament.”
As of this publication of this story, Mercier’s still running strong with an above-average stack with 88 players remaining. If he can keep it up for a few more hours, he’ll have a shot at winning his third career bracelet with just a day and a half worth of work – along with a $252,068 first place prize.
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