Greg Merson: From Cash Game Pro To 2012 WSOP Champion

Greg Merson: From Cash Game Pro To 2012 WSOP ChampionThis has sure been an incredible year for US pro Greg Merson, who locked up four cashes at the 2012 WSOP for $9,755,180, including winning gold bracelets at Event 57: $10k NLHE Six Handed ($1,136,197), and this week the coveted Event 61: $10k Main Event ($8,531,853) to take home the WSOP Player Of The Year title.
However, despite being on top of the tournament world, its cash games which continue to give Greg Merson his grounding in poker, and perhaps gave him the edge at this year’s grueling 20 hour plus final table marathon. As the Maryland born pro explains:
“I’ve played a lot of long cash games in my career, which helps you prepare for something like this..You can’t let the fatigue get in the way..you have to get through it somehow.”
The 24 year-old took up playing poker full-time five years ago after quitting college, and later moved to Toronto following the US online poker ban. In spite of enjoying great success, an increasing addiction to drugs unfocussed his approach to the game and quickly threatened to derail his poker career. Merson recalls feeling terrible seeing half his poker bankroll disappear in double-time, which then motivated him to seek out help and turn his life around;
“Poker saved my life. I can’t be more thankful that it was there for me,” explained Merson.
That was 11 months ago and the rest, as they say, is history. As well as having a $150,000 WSOP championship bracelet as a memento of his incredible achievement, Merson has already signed  a sponsorship deal with Phil Ivey to represent his new training site IveyPoker.com, with other offers sure to materialize just as quickly.
In addition, when asked about his poker goals for the future, the cash-game pro said he also plans to head out to Macau, China in order to play high-stakes cash games: “That’s what I’m looking forward to doing the most — getting in the biggest cash games in the world. And not losing all my money. It’s kind of my dream.”

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