On the 5th April 2017, Justin Bonomo and Jason Mercier sat at opposite ends of a poker table. The tournament was the $25,500 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, Florida. They were the only two warriors left.
Mercier won the brawl and the $794,600 first prize. Soon after, Mercier stepped away from the tables to concentrate on being the best father he could be, earning less than $300,000 (gross) in live tournaments throughout 2018.
Bonomo didn’t have a baby, nor did he step away from the tables. Instead, he marched to the top of the All-Time Money List winning more than $25m in 2018, including both Super High Roller Bowl events and the Big One for One Drop.
A spit ago, Bonomo took down the £100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck Main Event at the Triton London Super High Roller Series in London. And across the pond, Mercier put down his baby rattle to win the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.
Mercier was one of the 41-entrants to compete in the $50,000 event, and by the time the final table rolled around, Mercier sat behind a chip stack that was five-times larger than his nearest competitor.
The hometown boy began as a clear favourite, but there was still enough talent on the table to create an upset.
Thomas Boivin won the $25k No-Limit High Roller at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Gardens Poker Festival in July. Giuseppe Iadisernia won the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party in November for $845,000. And Manig Loeser won the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event in Monte Carlo for €603,777 in April.
The first player to leave the field was Albert Daher when his KQ failed to beat the AT of Mercier. Iadisernia eliminated Sam Sweilem after hitting a flush when all in on the flop with Sweilem ahead with middle pair. Then Manig Loeser slipped down the pecking order after losing a big flip against Franklin Fok before losing his remaining chips against Mercier when K9 lost to A8.
Fok doubled through Iadisernia before eliminating him in fourth place when AQ beat A9. And despite twice doubling through Mercer, Boivin exited in the third place when T8o fell to the KQs of Fok when all-in, blind on blind.
Fok limped into the heads-up duel facing a 7:1 chip deficit. It was all over after nine hands. The last of which saw Mercier’s pocket fives out flip the AJ of Fok.
Final Table Results
- Jason Mercier – $715,860
- Franklin Fok – $457,355
- Thomas Boivin – $288,330
- Giuseppe Iadisernia – $198,850
- Manig Loeser – $139,195
- Sam Sweilem – $109,370
- Albert Daher – $79,540
The win was Mercier’s 23rd of his career and the $715,860 banked moves his all-time live tournament earnings to the $19.5m mark. It’s his first win at this price point after winning numerous $25k and $100k titles.