Greg Merson has been awarded the Card Player of the Year Award for 2012 and ends the year with winnings of $9,755,180.
This comes on top of taking two WSOP bracelets, including the Main Event.
Before this he pocketed $96,377 from playing in live tournaments and $220,199 from online games, with the screen name ‘gregy20723.’ 2012 has been a special year for the 24 year old from Maryland, and Merson said of his success: “You know, I didn’t get much attention when I was playing online, so it was hard to justify my decision to play poker for a living to my friends and relatives. This is validation to myself, showing all of those people who said I wouldn’t make it that they were wrong.”
He started the year by cashing in at two WSOP events, taking 21st place and a prize of $16,850 in the $3k Six Handed event, then 5th place and $70,280 in the $2,500 Four Handed event.
Following this Merson took first place and a prize of $1,136,197 in the $10k Six Handed event. This brought him 1,800 POY points and left him 27th on the POY leaderboard. Subsequently he entered the $10k Main Event and fought through to the final table, holding the third biggest chip stack, and continued on to take the title and winnings of $8,527,982. This success earned him 3,300 POY points because of the huge 6,598 field and large buy-in, enabling him to take the title from Phil Helmuth.
His victory in the WSOP led him to comment on his previous struggles with drug addiction. He said of his fight: “I’m just so lucky to even be alive. When I won [my first] bracelet I just started crying. To have a second chance at life and to do what I want to do — it’s amazing.”