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The $10,000 six-handed no-limit hold 'em Event 57 started with 474 players which created one of the biggest prize pools of the year. When all was said and done, it was one of the least likely runners who was left standing with the $1,136,197 first prize and the WSOP bracelet.
By his own admission, Greg Merson is far more accustomed to cash games than tournaments.
|Gregory Merson, 24, won $1.1 million and his first bracelet in Event 57|
"It's a pretty surreal experience," Merson told WSOP.com. "I don't really play any tournaments. My biggest tournament score was having five percent of someone who won PCA -- and I got $75,000 for that. I don't really play. This is probably my 10th[$10,000] event, because I just play online cash. I never expected to have an opportunity to realistically win one of these, because they're so tough. The $10,000 especially, shorthanded. It feels awesome."
A 24-year-old professional from Washington, D.C., Merson was the bubble boy in the WSOP's first four-handed event earlier in the series. This win was just his fifth career WSOP cash.
Merson scored the victory on the shortest day ever played at the WSOP. Originally scheduled as a three-day event, the action was pushed to a fourth day after Day 3 was shut down at 1:45 a.m., almost 13 hours after it started. Merson and veteran pro Keith Lehr came back to finish the battle and on the second hand, Lehr moved all-in with As-Qd against Merson's Ks-9s. The board came 10h-9h-10c Qs-Jh, with the river giving Merson the straight he needed to win the hand and the tournament.
Lehr wasn't the only tough pro Merson needed to get past to take the title. The six-player final table included a number of major tournament winners including Shannon Shorr (third), Eddy Sabat (fourth) and Andrew Lichtenberger (sixth). Layne Flack (eighth) Jason Mercier (14th) and Eugene Katchalov (21st) were amongst former bracelet winners who made the money.
Below are the complete results of Event 57 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:
Event 57: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Prize pool: $4,455,600
Players in the money: 48