A lot of eyes will be on Greg Merson at this final table, as he's widely regarded as the most skillful player to reach the Octo-Nine. Stack-wise, Merson has just under 29 million and sits behind only Andras Koroknai and Jesse Sylvia.
Earlier this year, Merson won his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em — Six-Handed event for over $1.13 million. If he's able to place in the top seven here, he'll earn his second seven-figure score of the year, and his career.
Prior to his run here, Merson held over $1.3 million in live earnings. Like Jesse Sylvia, Merson took to WSOP Europe, but also came home empty handed after giving it a go in several events.
Not only can Merson win the WSOP Main Event and the greatest title in poker history, he can also claim the WSOP Player of the Year honor. To do so, Merson must win the event and that will allow him to overtake the current front-runner Phil Hellmuth.
Merson has come a long way in his short career. Coming from an online background, he fell into a lot of money from poker and picked up a drug addiction. He's fought hard against that to get his life back in order and has been working on that for quite some time now. It's a feel-good story for sure, and here's what Merson had to say about his struggles:
"Yeah I thought I had it all figured out at a young age. I thought I had my s*** together. I let the lifestyle get the best of me. It was a good experience to go from being at the top of online cash games to six months later struggling to beat $1/2 Six-Max. I worked really hard to get all the way back to the highest games again, almost to where I was before I came here. I definitely have a way more positive mind set about everything. I am way more comfortable about everything. I don’t spend money nearly as much. I’m not flashy."
Merson should have the most pro-filled rail of supporters at the final table, including the likes of Phil Ivey and Michael Phelps. Hopefully, they'll help channel some of that championship heritage over to Merson.