By Nathan Carroll, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier continued his dominating tournament performance in 2011 with a victory in the European Poker Tour Champion of Champions event held over the weekend at the Casino Gran Madrid in Spain.
As implied by the name of the tournament, every single one of the 56 players in the Champion of Champions field has had the good fortune to win an EPT event. Notable entrants included Betrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Liv Boeree, and Noah Boeken. The champions were invited to play for €100,000 in EPT Season 8 tournament entries without having to put up any money of their own.
With only a small amount of money on the line when compared to the total tournament winnings of each of the participants, the Champion of Champions event took on a fun, casual atmosphere, more like a home game than an elite-level tournament. Several tables adopted their own game-twisting rules. One table required each player to pay a €100 bounty to anyone winning a hand with 7-2. Another table decided that every time a player won a pot uncontested, they must reveal one of their hole cards.
Mercier, as usual, combined his smart play with just enough luck to lift him to the winner's circle. After cruising through a final table which somewhat unusually featured two female players (Sandra Naujoks and Vicky Coren), Mercier dispatched recent PCA winner Galen Hall in an hour-long heads-up match. The biggest pot came when his A-J triumphed over Hall's A-K all-in pre-flop. As Mercier explained in his post-tournament interview, "I run better than most."
With that, EPT Season 7 comes to a close. The PokerStars sponsored tournament series will be back with Season 8 in the fall, as will Jason Mercier.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, the World Poker Tour World Championship event got underway at the Bellagio this weekend. The $25,000 event featured a starting field of 220 players, just over 100 of whom have been eliminated after two full days of play.
The leader going into day three is Abe Mosseri, who has five WPT cashes and one WPT final table to his name. He's ahead of his closest competitor by almost 80,000 chips (more than 30 big blinds), but he has a long, hard road ahead of him. Several days of play remain and many other elite players are also doing well in the chip counts including Doyle Brunson, Erik Seidel and Yevgeniy Timoshenko.
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