Jason Mercier, 23, is regarded as one of the top young tournament pros in the world. In 2008, he won the EPT San Remo main event for $1.3 million and followed it up with a sixth at the EPT Barcelona for another $321,000. He followed it up with another win in the EPT London High-Roller Showdown for $905,000. Jason is a Team PokerStars Pro. At the 2009 WSOP, he won the 1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Event for $237,415. In 2009 He finished 4th in the World Series of Poker Europe Main event. On September 21, 2010, Mercier won his first WCOOP bracelet in Event 42, besting a field of 3122 players. When Jason isn’t traveling the world for poker, he lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When asked about his last name and background, he said his background is a mix of about 7 different ethnicities; the largest single portion being Portuguese (25%).
At what stage did you realise that poker would become such a major feature of your life and at what stage did you realise you could play with and beat the best?
I think that I realized it when I was playing SO much my first year of college. I knew that I had a mind for the game and that I was going to get very good at it. I realized that I could play with and beat the best when I won PokerStars EPT San Remo in 2008. I played against a bunch of top pros in that event and held my own. Winning that tournament gave me a lot of confidence.
What do you think are the key ingredients to being super successful at poker?
I think that surrounding yourself with a group of good players to discuss hands with is the best way to reach the next level.
What is your favourite poker memory from your career so far?
It would have to be winning EPT San Remo still. It’s going to be hard to ever top that for me.
Do you have any amusing, interesting or really tough decision hands from the WSOP this summer that stand out in your memory that you could share with us?
Well, my 5 bet shove with A9o into AA during day 4 of the main event was kind of amusing. Very painful to watch on TV though lol
Do you have a specific approach to tournaments or do you adopt a style of always adjusting to whatever your opponents are doing at any given time?
I mean yes I do have a specific approach to tournaments. However, I don’t really feel like entertaining this question any more than that lol
Can you offer any advice to our readers for being in or avoiding tricky spots?
In poker, no matter how much you play, you will always end up being in tricky spots. Knowing what to do in them just comes with experience.
What do you enjoy doing when not playing poker?
I enjoy all kinds of sports. Playing or watching. I have really starting to get into playing racquetball. I like to just chill with friends and family too.
We read recently that Sarah Underwood said you were cute... How do you feel about that? Can you work your magic off the table as well as you on the tables?
Well, the girl has good taste. What can I say? Lol, she’s a cutie too. My game off the table isn’t lacking much if that’s what you’re asking.
Having achieved so much poker success already what is it that keeps you motivated to continue playing?
Just trying to set myself up financially for the rest of my life keeps me motivated. There’s still plenty I want to accomplish. Win a WPT, win more bracelets, more titles, more money.
Have you considered crossing over to focus on cash games, too?
I have already started to do so. I have been playing an insane amount of 8 game on Pokerstars in the last 5 months. I think I won’t be playing any really small live tourneys in 2011, because I think my expected hourly rate will be higher in cash.
What was your experience like on High Stakes Poker?
My experience on High Stakes Poker was fun, right up until I lost my whole stack to Ivey. I guess that next time I’ll just make sure I have the hand lol. I hope I can avenge myself against Ivey eventually, maybe I’ll beat him heads up in some big live event someday.
Were there any a-ha moments that really stand out for you during your career where suddenly everything began to click and you felt your game jumped a few levels?
I don’t think there were too many a-ha moments for me, it’s more just a gradual process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Again, talking with players that are better than you can help you fix leaks in your game.
Can you tell us something about yourself that nobody else knows?
If there is anything that “nobody else” knows, I don’t think I’m going to share it with you guys. I’m pretty open though, most of my close friends know pretty much all there is to know.
What poker or life advice would you give to our readers?
In both poker and life, you have to stay positive. You’d be amazed at how far positive thinking can take you.
Can you tell us what was in your bag in that now infamous Pokernews video from over the summer? Cash / Drugs / Lucky charms? ;)
Yeah, that was just a joke. I just acted like I didn’t want her to see what was in there. I think I just had some cash/chips, ipod, headphones, sunglasses, normal stuff you know. Sorry to disappoint!
What is your favorite fun poker phrase/slang/acronym?
I guess obv, I type that a lot.
If the poker disappeared completely, what other career would you most like to attempt?
I have no clue, maybe try to get a job in sports somehow, coach high school basketball again or something.
If you were on death row, what would be your last meal?
When your career is over, what would you most like to be remembered for?
I’m not sure, I guess I’d like to be remembered for my integrity and character.