In a predictably star-studded field of bold international players who had coughed up GBP 20 000 each to participate, EPT San Remo champion Jason Mercier emerged the winner after two days in the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour London GBP1 Million Showdown this week.
The field included Isaac Haxton, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Scotty Nguyen, Masaaki Kagawa, Dennis Phillips and current WSOPE champ John Juanda, along with David Benyamine, who looked likely to take the event at the start of day 2 with a healthy chipstack.
Namesake Isabelle Mercier was the first player to make the cash, busting out at 9th place for a tidy GBP 51 000, and she was followed by Benyamine in the eighth spot on GBP 69 000 – still a good return on investment.
Masaaki Kagawa was taken out by Michael Watson for a seventh placing win of GBP 86 000, with Isaac Haxton out in the number six slot for GBP 103 000 after an unsuccessful tussle with Juanda, who went on to eliminate Scotty Nguyen with a fifth place payment of GBP 137 000.
Peter Jetten was next to go, sent to the rail by Jason Mercier in fourth place and taking home GBP 189 000 before Michael Watson's elimination by Juanda in third place for GBP 241 000 set the scene for the Juanda vs. Mercier heads up, with Juanda well ahead with a more than 2 to 1 chip lead.
That was adjusted on the first hand of the heads up as Mercier doubled up through his opponent and started to dominate the game, which he eventually won, taking the EPT trophy the main prize of GBP 516 000 and leaving Juanda with a still substantial second placing check for GBP 327 000.