WSOP Main Event: Greg Merson Is Champion

Poker Tournaments | estimated reading time
2012. October 31. |
On Monday night, following 103 days of waiting, they shuffled up and dealt in the World Series of Poker 2012 Main Event Final Table. After two days of play, a new champion emerges in the person of Greg Merson.
The single most important event in poker, the WSOP Main Event Final Table kicked off after over 3 months of waiting, on the night of 29 October, 2012. The chipcount of the finale was as follows:

WSOPE 2012 Main Event Final Table Stacks

Play started on Level 34 (40,000/150,000/300,000) and the first hand went to Steve Gee, who was also the first to be eliminated a Level later (50,000/200,000/400,000): Gee opened to 900,000 from UTG, Merson on his left called and so did Russell Thomas from the Button. The flop came {#}7 {#}4 {#}5 , Gee c-bet 1,600,000, Merson folded and Thomas called. On the {#}J turn, Gee bet 3,250,000 and Thomas called once again. The {#}3 river saw Gee going all-in with 11,350,000, which Thomas eventually called, tanking a lot.

Gee: {#}8 {#}8
Thomas: {#}Q {#}Q

In about half an hour, chipleader Jesse Sylvia shoved from SB and got called by Robert Salaburu from BB.

Sylvia: {#}Q {#}5
Salaburu: {#}7 {#}7

Board: {#}A {#}A {#}4 {#}2 {#}Q

The queen on the river gave the hand to Slyvia and $971,360 to Salaburu.

The WSOP 2012 Main Event Final Table
The WSOP 2012 Main Event Final Table

On Level 36 (50,000/250,000/500,000), it was Michael Esposito’s turn: being shortstack, he shoved with 10,700,000 and got insta-called by Merson.

Esposito: {#}A {#}J
Merson: {#}A {#}K

Board: {#}4 {#}9 {#}7 {#}6 {#}8

Esposito finished in 7th place and about 30 hands later, he was followed by the then chipcount runner-up Andras Koroknai. It was Merson who opened from the Button to 1,000,000, Sylvia from SB 3-bet 2,600,000 and Koroknai from BB 4-bet 5,300,000. Merson continued to 9,200,000, Sylvia folded and Koroknai shoved and got called by Merson with slightly more chips.

Koroknai: {#}K {#}Q
Merson: {#}A {#}K

Board: {#}8 {#}3 {#}2 {#}7 {#}7

A 6th place for the Hungarian – and, for that matter, the only non-US player – was worth $1,640,902.

On Level 37 (75,000/300,000/600,000), Jeremy Ausmus started the action by raising to 1,200,000 from the Button. Sylvia called from BB and the flop came {#}3 {#}8 {#}9 . Both of them checked, but Sylvia check-raised to 3,600,000 on Ausmus’ 1,500,000 bet on the {#}3 turn. Ausmus shoved after tanking a bit and Sylvia called.

Ausmus: {#}T {#}7
Sylvia: {#}A {#}9

River: {#}5

A top pair for Sylvia made Ausmus the 5th finisher. Still on Level 37, the first day of the Final Table ended, when Thomas raised to 1,500,000 from SB and Jake Balsiger went all-in from BB, getting shove-called by Thomas with 15,825,000.

Thomas: {#}A {#}9
Balsiger: {#}A {#}K

Board: {#}8 {#}Q {#}5 {#}5 {#}7

Balsiger’s better kicker set the standings for the finale, the 3-handed game of Tuesday:

Greg Merson: 88,350,000
Jesse Sylvia: 62,750,000
Jake Balsiger: 46,875,000


Greg MersonJesse SylviaJake Balsiger

The first pot of what turned out to be an over 12-hour-long session went to Merson, competing not only for the championship but also the Player of the Year title. The first major pot went to Balsiger, who doubled up on Sylvia with {#}J {#}J against the latter’s {#}9 {#}9 .

On Level 42 (300,000/1,000,000/2,000,000), the heads-up was finally set: Sylvia, at this time well ahead of the shortstack Balsiger, raised to 4,000,000 from the Button, Balsiger shoved with 20,300,000 from SB, Merson called and Slyvia folded.

Balsiger: {#}Q {#}T
Merson: {#}K {#}Q

Board: {#}6 {#}6 {#}6 {#}J {#}5

Merson’s king-high meant the elimination of Balsiger in 3rd place for $3,799,073.

Greg Merson: 117,600,000
Jesse Sylvia: 80,600,000


The first pot of the HU went to Sylvia but it was Merson who dominated the game, increasing his stack to over 130 million in chips in a couple of hands. In hand #399, the 2012 WSOP was over: Merson raised to 4,000,000 from the Button, Sylvia 3-bet 9,500,000, Merson shoved and Sylvia called.

Merson: {#}K {#}5
Sylvia: {#}Q {#}J

Board: {#}6 {#}3 {#}9 {#}6 {#}7

With a king-high, Greg Merson won the world championship title as well as the Player of the Year contest in 2012, with another WSOP bracelet already in his possession for winning the $10,000 NLHE – Six Handed event. With his victory, he added $8,531,853 to his bankroll.

The end results are as follows:


WSOPE 2012 Main Event Final Table Winnings - Finale

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