Thursday November 1, 2012
US player wins US$8.5 million poker title
LOS ANGELES: A professional US player, Greg Merson, became World Series of Poker champion Wednesday after a marathon 13-hour final session, organisers said.
The 24-year-old took home US$8,531,853 and the Series' gold bracelet following an all-night game in Las Vegas involving 400 hands, against fellow finalists Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger.
Merson said he plans to travel to Chinese gambling capital Macau to play in high-stakes cash games, instead of traveling the circuit to compete in gruelling tournaments.
"That's what I'm looking forward to doing the most - getting in the biggest cash games in the world," he said, cited by the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, adding: "And not losing all my money."
Sylvia won US$5,295,149 for the second-place finish, saying: "I fought hard ...We were one flip away from having a giant chip lead. Sometimes things don't pan out, and that's fine. I feel like I played really well."
Balsiger, who at 21 was bidding to become the youngest ever winner of poker's World Series, went home with US$3,799,073.
Last year 22-year-old cards pro Pius Heinz, from Cologne, became the first German to win the prestigious title, raking in more than US$8mil in prize money.
The competition has become increasingly international in recent years. The 2010 champion Jonathan Duhamel hailed from Canada, after Peter Eastgate of Denmark won in 2009. - AFP