Greg Merson is WSOP Main Event champion

After the longest final-table in WSOP history, Greg Merson is this years Main Event world champion. The 24-year-old from America out-lasted a field of 6,598 players to take down the most coveted prize in poker along with the gold bracelet and a $8,531,853 payday. Merson now joins an elite list of previous Main Event winners, which include Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Stu Ungar, and Hellmuth.

The final table lasted an incredible 398 hands, with three-handed play alone taking 11 hours. The win also means that Merson, who won his first WSOP bracelet earlier this summer, has pipped Phil Hellmuth at the very final hurdle to become this year’s WSOP Player of the Year.
Merson began to take charge of play once it was down to three-handed, after building up a healthy lead early on there was lots of toing and froing and after 197 hands the trio was eventually split up. Jake Balsiger moved all-in for his remaining 20.3 million chips only to be called by Merson who showed Kc-Qs, which dominated the Qh-Td of Balsiger. The board helped neither player and Balsiger hit the rail along with his hopes of becoming the youngest-ever Main Event winner. 
With play finally down to two, Merson held a 3:2 chip lead and during the early stages of heads-up, Merson managed to stretch his chip lead even further. Then shortly after it was all over.
Merson was dealt kd-5d and min-raised to 4 million from the button, Sylvia who held Qs-Js three-bet to 9.5 million and Merson quickly moved all-in, with his remaining stack covered, Sylvia eventually called after thinking long and hard about it only to find out that he was behind and his fate was left up to the cards. The flop fell as 6c-3h-9s which helped neither player. The turn was another 6 and when a blank 7 fell on the river, both hands remained unimproved and Greg Merson was offically crowned the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champion.

Here’s how the final table finished:

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. Rob Salaburu – $971,360
9. Steve Gee – $754,798
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