We are now down to just the Main Event final table before closing the doors on the 2016 WSOP. The series had many great and not-so great performances. Big name pros such as Jason Mercier, Justin Bonomo, and even Chris “Jesus” Ferguson tore it up during poker’s largest event.
The media spent significant time this summer discussing Mercier’s play. And for good reason. So, with that, we’ll begin our story on what many have dubbed The Summer of Mercier.
Jason, a long-time PokerStars pro, made headlines at the start of the series for his bet with Vanessa Selbst. To recap, he put $10,000 against her $1,800,000 that he would win three bracelets in 2016.
Early on, Mercier one a bracelet. Then finished 2nd shortly after in another event, and then won his second bracelet merely days later. It was one of the most incredible runs in the WSOP’s 47-year history.
But then he came back to earth and was unable to score his third bracelet. That didn’t stop him from winning Player of the Year.
Mercier wasn’t the only top pro crushing WSOP tournaments this summer. Social justice warrior Justin Bonomo had one of the best WSOP performances ever for a player who didn’t win a bracelet.
The pink-haired poker pro finished in the top three an incredible four times, most in 2016. His runner-up finish in Event #55, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship was good for $801,048. He also finished 2nd in Event #8, the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
For the first time since 2010, formerly one of the game’s best and most popular pros, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, arrived at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to compete in the World Series of Poker. His presence wasn’t welcomed by most, but he showed all summer he can still play poker.
Ferguson finished in the money an impressive 10 times during the series. His best score came in Event #39, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed championship for $183,989. He busted out in 4th place to boos and cheers. Some cheered because he busted. Others booed because they despise him.
In most other years, Benny Glaser would have won Player of the Year. The Brit took down a pair of tournaments, finished 6th and 5th in two others. It was a dream summer for him.
Overall, he cashed in eight events and won at last $60,000 in three separate events. His biggest win came in Event #32, the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split/8 or Better for $407,194. Glaser won his first bracelet last year in a $1,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball tournament.
Glaser and Mercier weren’t the only players to win a pair of gold bracelets in 2016. Ian Johns, a Washington state native, also pulled off this difficult accomplishment.
He wasn’t in consideration for Player of the Year because he only cashed in two other events. But, still, winning two bracelets is rare. Johns first won a World Series of Poker tournament in 2006 in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.