Greg Merson Joins WSOP.com5 years ago
WSOP 2012 Main Event champion Greg Merson has confirmed via 2 + 2 that he has signed on to represent WSOP.com in both New Jersey and Nevada.
As a newly-sponsored pro, Merson's screen name at the site was changed from one of obscurity to 'GregMerson.' His old moniker was terminated, confirmed by the Head of Online Poker at WSOP.com, Bill Rini.
My name change was due to signing with WSOP.com and apologize if that wasn't more clear by my tweets and instagram," Merson told his followers at 2 + 2.
Merson, a two-time WSOP champ, was previously allied with IveyPoker as a Team Pro and coach at the training website run by poker's best all-around player. That parting of the ways occurred last month, apparently amicably. No reason was provided for Merson's departure as an Ivey Leaguer, but perhaps an association with WSOP.com seemed a better fit for the 26-year-old.
Players adept at reading between the lines may have realized that a partnership with WSOP was in the making roughly two weeks ago when Merson slammed the World Poker Tour for running the WPT500 at the Aria just down the street from the Rio while the WSOP Main Event was underway.
Can't breathe on partypoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP main event," Merson tweeted at the time. "Of course you can play both but very disrespectful IMO.”
WPT organizers apologized for the scheduling conflict, with Executive Tournament Director Matt Savage replying directly to Merson by stating, “Sorry for upsetting you, no one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn't expect a single player to skip ME for this.”
Merson was apparently not in a forgiving mood, as he responded with the following: “The main event is our Super Bowl, save your 5 day re-entry money grab for another date. Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slid since 2006."
A number of pros spoke out on behalf of the WPT in the dispute, many pointing out that the more tournament options available to players, the better. Merson was sporting a WSOP.com patch during the ME, so his allegiance and perhaps sponsorship duties were already in effect at that time although an official announcement had not yet been offered.
A Maryland native, Merson won over $8.5 million in the 2012 Main Event after winning $1.1 million and his first gold bracelet in another $10,000 buy-in tournament just before the ME began. He recorded three cashes at this year's WSOP, his best score a 13th place finish for $24,613 in Six-Handed NLHE after buying in for $5,000, according to the Hendon Mob database.
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