It's over. After 13 hours of play and 399 hands, the American poker pro Greg Merson, 24, was crowned the champion of the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker Main Event! Merson sat down at the final table two days ago with the third largest stack. After about seven and a half hours of play, only three players had chips left and Merson had 88.35 million chips - about 26 million more than his closest opponent, Jesse Sylvia.
The three players battled and battled for several hours today. Several short stacks doubled up, the chip lead changed a few times. However it was Jacob Balsiger, 21, who was the first player to hit the rail (hand 382), then it only took 19 hands until Merson defeated Jesse Sylvia heads up.
This is how the final hand was played out:
Merson had the button and raised to 4 million. Sylvia three-bet to 9.5 million. Merson responded with four-bet for 69.3 million. Sylvia sat up in his chair, counting his remaining red T500,000 chips with his left hand. Finally he made the call.
Sylvia turned over QJ (44.71%). Merson showed K5 (54.59%).
The flop came down 639 and was no help to Sylvia. The 6 fell on the turn and Sylvia's section was silent while Merson's fans started cheering. However, the crowd fell dead silent as the tournament director, Jack Effel, called for the river card. The river card was the 7 and confetti poured from the ceiling as Merson's friends and family rushed to the stage. However, they were stopped by security before they could go too far, and instead they had to cheer from the stands.
Jesse Sylvia, who entered the final table as the chip leader, received $5,295,149, and Greg Merson received the first place prize of $8,531,853!
Final table payouts:
1 Greg Merson $8,531,853
2 Jesse Sylvia $5,295,149
3 Jake Balsiger $3,799,073
4 Russell Thomas $2,851,537
5 Jeremy Ausmus $2,155,313
6 Andras Koroknai $1,640,902
7 Michael Esposito $1,258,040
8 Robert Salaburu $971,360
9 Steve Gee $754,798