Greg Merson has emerged as the champion of not only the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2012 Main Event, but also the $1000 Six-handed NL Hold’em tournament. He also finished fifth in the $2,500 NL Hold’em Four-handed event and won a cash prize of $70,280. Having achieved all this, Merson has earned the WSOP 2012 Player of the Year title.
However, Merson has not always been this lucky. Before he began playing poker, he dropped out of college and got addicted to drugs. Since he won money playing poker, his addiction to drugs worsened, but fortunately, he realized he had to overcome his problems. He got into a rehabilitation centre in 2007, hoping to make something out of his life.
When he came out of the rehabilitation center, the US federal government cracked down on Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars, as a result of which these three online poker companies had to leave the US market. This depressed him so much that he got addicted to drugs again. In 2012, he forced himself through a detoxification procedure, becoming more determined than ever to give up drugs. Merson has never taken drugs after that. The realization that he is a talented poker player motivated him to stay off drugs throughout his life.
After becoming the champion of WSOP 2012 Main Event, Merson travelled to Macau and Australia to play poker there. He also became a member of Team Ivey of Ivey Poker. He also has an official website on which he maintains a blog, sharing his thoughts with the poker community.
Recently, he visited Macau for the first time and began playing high-stakes cash games. Although he won $300k initially, he quickly lost $500k. Sharing his feelings about live poker, he wrote on his blog:
I think live poker is extremely cutthroat, and I could care less if other pros get upset about me telling the truth about Macau.
Besides blogging and travelling to live poker destinations, Merson is working hard on bettering his game learning different poker strategies. He plays online for hundreds of hours besides playing live poker games all over the world. But one cannot say this early whether Merson will achieve another WSOP Main Event victory. Only three poker players have succeeded in winning the WSOP Main Event more than once—Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Stu Ungar. But Merson is a strong poker player and will surely try to win some more WSOP gold bracelets.