WSOP 2012 Final Starts 5:45pm PST: Merson, Sylvia And Balsiger Battle For Poker Glory

WSOP 2012 Final Starts 5:45pm PST: Merson, Sylvia And Balsiger Battle For Poker GloryThe waiting to decide who will claim the title of 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion, as well as the $8.53 million prize, is almost over as Greg Merson (24), Jesse Sylvia (26), and Jacob Balsiger (21) prepare to duke it out one more time for a place in the poker history books.
With the blinds staring at 300k/600k and a 75k ante, here is how the final three stack-up:
Greg Merson (88,350,000)
The 24-year-old originally from Maryland is an online cash game pro, who moved to Toronto so as to continue playing online poker. Merson also has a talent for tournaments and has won $220,199 playing online under the screen name “gregy20723,” in addition to $1,319,704 earned playing live.
That tally is due to increase by at least $3,799,073 for a 3rd place finish but Merson has his sights firmly fixed on bigger things, and as he explains: “When short-handed play starts, I think that’s my game because a lot of players either play too tight, or they over-adjust.”
He is also the only player who can still overtake Phil Hellmuth for the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year, if he wins the Main Event. Merson has had an incredible 2012 WSOP having already cashed in three previous events for $1,222,327, including victory at the WSOP $10k NL Six Handed event for $1,136,197.
Jesse Sylvia (62,750,000)
Jesse Sylvia is a 26-year-old cash game specialist who moved from his native Massachusetts to Las Vegas in March of 2011, where he now plays poker professionally. Incredibly, the strong math student took up poker in the final year of his high school and has only been playing the game for just over three years.
As far as live tournaments go, Jesse Sylvia has had six cashes worth $54,478 prior to reaching the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table, and now he’s itching to walk away with the title. As he commented last night: “I can’t wait to get back up here and play. I wish we could play it out right now. We have a long battle tomorrow.”
Jake Balsiger (46,875,000)
At 21, Jake Balsiger could become the youngest player to win the Main Event,  supplanting Joe Cada, if things go his way tonight in Vegas. The Portland-born Balsiger is currently studying Political Science at Arizona State University and is an amateur poker player, with only $3,884 from live tournaments. He also has played online, but had just $1,100 on Full Tilt before the poker room ran into trouble.
Talking about how he came to enter the $10k Main Event, Jake Balsiger explains: “I wasn’t even going to play it. I was just going to play the $1,000 and $1,500 events, and I was going to go home a few days before the Main, but then my friends, who were having a party at their place, said that they’d buy a bunch of action, so I sold like 80 percent, and then I just played and it went well. I had already packed all of my stuff into my car actually.”
Good luck to all three remaining finalists for tonight’s exciting 2012 Main Event conclusion, which resumes at 5:45pm PST at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

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