MERCIER DENIED FOURTH WINNERS BRACELET AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Ray Dehkharghani defeats Mercier in $10,000 buy-in Razz heads up.
Online and live tourney poker pro Jason Mercier has been thwarted in an attempt to win his fourth World Series of Poker bracelet by high stakes cash game poker pro Ray Dehkharghani (45).
Claiming his first WSOP gold bracelet, Dehkharghani stopped Merciers advance toward a fourth and back-to-back bracelet in its tracks in the heads up of the $10,000 buy-in Razz competition, and collected the $273,338 winners prize.
In the process, Dehkharghani may also have made it more difficult for Mercier to claim some big prop-bets he has reportedly made on his ability to add bracelets to his collection, including one worth $1.8 million with Vanessa Selbst (see previous InfoPowa reports).
It was all going swimmingly for Mercier, who held the chip lead when the final table formed and powered his way through to the heads up. However, by then Dehkharghani had assembled a 3 to 1 advantage which Mercier battled to overcome.
He managed to seize the lead at one point, but Dehkharghani was having none of that and quickly reclaimed the chip advantage, leading to Merciers ultimate defeat and a second placing consolation prize of $168,936.
A delighted Dehkharghani said that WSOP tournament victories were regarded with respect, and one of his goals at WSOP this year was to claim a winners bracelet.
“When he lost his chip lead, it was really clear the stress really set in and affected him,” Dehkharghani said of Mercier and his large prop bets after the game.
"It wasn’t a matter of my capitalizing on that, but I do believe the weight of them affected him negatively in the match. It was palpable.”
Final table cashes included:
Yueqi Zhu $116,128
Brian Hastings $82,078
Robert Campbell $59,694
John Racener $44,712
Bart Hanson $34,521
Jyri Merivirta $27,499
The foot note to this competition involves a professional player who was not involved in the final table. Vanessa Selbst is allegedly one of those who took on massive side bets that Mercier would not win multiple bracelets this WSOP season.
It is claimed that Selbst bet a stunning $1.8 million against Mercier succeeding in adding three bracelets to his collection, and he referred to the bet after his defeat by Dehkharghani, noting that the loss harmed his chances of winning several large bets of this nature.
“Its almost impossible to win three when you get a second-place because that means youre going to have to get heads-up four times,” he explained.
Social media exchanges between Selbst and Mercier indicate how serious the side betting issue has become, with Selbst claiming she was inebriated when the bet was made and suggesting it be abandoned, and Mercier then declining further comment, other than to say he understood Selbst had sold off most of the action anyway.
“We have different views on prop-betting I guess and what exactly happens between friends," he said, adding that he believed Selbst was out of the picture, and that if he wins three bracelets "Ill be getting paid from someone else.”
Mercier gave an indication of the sort of side-money riding on his activity at WSOP this year, commenting:
“It doesnt affect me from the standpoint of pressure but it is a little daunting when the difference between first and second is $100,000 but for me its five or six-hundred thousand or whatever it is.”
But he remains hopeful, saying:
“Theres tons of huge buy-in, small field events that are good chances to win so if I can get myself to a couple more final tables who knows whatll happen.”