The 2012 World Series of Poker came down to a 24-year-old professional poker player from Maryland who outlasted opponents in a 12-hour session to win the $8.53 million title.
Greg Merson beat out his final opponent to win the title just before dawn in Las Vegas, The Associated Press reported. On the final and winning hand, Merson made an all-in call with a king high, and opponent Jesse Sylvia called with a suited queen-jack.
Greg Merson won the hand, and with it the title for 2012 World Series of Poker.
“This whole stage is nothing you could ever prepare for,” Merson said.
The final table at the World Series of Poker took 19 hours in total to complete. During that time Merson remained unflappable, barely moving in his seat, the Washington Post noted.
Once reaching the final three, Merson had a 10-minute break every two hours, but those hours started adding up rapidly as Merson whittled down the chip stacks of his opponents.
After winning the title, Greg Merson said he felt relieved.
“I feel pretty good — got all the tears out so now I feel relaxed,” Merson said.
Greg Merson took more than just the $8.53 million prize and the World Series of Poker. He also moved past Phil Helmuth for the series’ Player of the Year honors, making him the top player throughout the year’s series of card tournaments in Las Vegas and Europe. He can now also be mentioned in the same breath as other notable winners, including Doyle Brunson and Helmuth.