Jason Mercier's unprecedented week-long performance at the 2016 World Series of Poker has catapulted the 29-year-old Hollywood, Florida, native into the event's historical record books several times over.
Over the course of five days, Mercier sealed his fourth career WSOP bracelet win in the $10,000 no-limit 2-7 Lowball Championship, finished second in the $10,000 Razz Championship and, playing well into the early morning hours of Saturday in Las Vegas, won yet again in the $10,000 HORSE championship.
His official tournament winnings for these three events stands at $865,145, but well-publicized side-bet action with other players pushes Mercier's purse for the summer well into the millions -- and that number can balloon further if he wins once more at the 2016 WSOP.
There is little historical precedent for anything resembling the level of Mercier's success in such a small window of time. The only performance in the modern era of this 47-year-old tournament series that compares is Phil Ivey's run in 2012, during which he made five final tables in a 12-day span; even so, Ivey didn't win any of those tournaments, finishing second, third, fifth, seventh and eighth. While it came in a different era of the WSOP, when tournaments played out in a single session, Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forrest each won three bracelet events in 13-day spans in 1993.
The sheer unlikelihood of Mercier's performance stems from the endurance required to play through the entirety of these tournaments, the skill level of the competition he faced and the variety of games he had to play at a top level to win.
Each of the three tournaments Mercier played in this stretch required three grueling days of play, starting in the afternoon and running well into the morning hours, and the final day of the first two tournaments was also the first day of the ones that followed -- leaving Mercier mere minutes between the pressure-filled heads-up battles he had to play and diving back into the early stages of tournament play once again.
Mercier's lifetime tournament earnings sit at $17.29 million, putting him in 11th place on poker's all-time money list, according to The Hendon Mob poker database. His career accomplishments include a European Poker Tour title, an EPT High Roller title and a World Poker Tour Alpha8 win, among many other accomplishments in both live and online poker, and his current run has pushed him into company with some of the game's all-time best on poker's biggest stage -- the WSOP.
He's the third-youngest player in history to reach five career WSOP bracelets at 29 years, 7 months and 8 days, behind only Hellmuth (28 years, 9 months, 22 days) and Ivey (29 years, 4 months, 26 days). Hellmuth's 14 career WSOP wins put him atop the all-time list, while Ivey's 10 have him tied for second; Mercier now sits tied for 15th all-time.
If he were to win a third bracelet in 2016, he would become only the seventh player ever to do so. Other than Hellmuth, Forrest and Ivey, the feat has been accomplished by Puggy Pearson (1973), Jeff Lisandro (2009) and George Danzer (2014).