Relative unknown, Jason Mercier from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, captured the title of the European Poker Tour San Remo on Saturday, outlasting 700 other players for the biggest win of his young career.
In the biggest poker tournament to be ever held in Italy, each contestant paid €5,000 to enter, with the prize pool totaling over €3,200,000.
Online wonderkid and local favorite, Dario Minieri, entered the final table with the chip lead and was tipped by many to take the title. However, it was Mercier, who entered the final table in second position, who ended up controlling the table, where he single-handedly eliminated all of the final five players himself on the way to the title.
In a crucial hand, with just three players left, Minieri was dealt pocket Queens and raised to 100,000, Mercier looked down at A – 4 both of diamonds and reraised to 340,000 which Minieri called. The flop came 7(Hearts), 2 (Diamonds), and 8 (Diamonds). Mercier checked his flush draw, and Minieri bet 400,000, which followed Mercier shoving all-in having Minieri covered. Minieri called immediately with his overpair, needing to avoid a Diamond card on the turn and river. The turn came a 4 (Hearts), pairing up Mercier, giving him even more outs. Ultimately Mercier hit his flush with a 2 (Diamonds) coming on the river, sending Minieri crashing out in third.
The final hand of the tournament ended up in a classic coin flip situation, where both were all-in preflop, with Mercier holding K-Q against Lellouche’s pocket sevens. The board dealt Q-A-4-8-2, which paired up Mercier’s Queen, handing him a cheque for €869,000 ($1,350,000 USD) and automatic entrance into the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
EPT San Remo Top 8
1. Jason Mercier- €869,000
2. Antony Lellouche- €505,000
3. Dario Minieri- €287,000
4. Eric Koskas- €223,600
5. Gregory Genovese- €188,500
6. William Thorson- €140,600
7. Dag Palovic- €111,800
8. Marcus Bower- €76,700=700