Jason Mercier Describes Aria Private Games As A ‘Tragedy’ For Poker

3 years ago
Jason Mercier Describes Aria Private Games As A ‘Tragedy’ For Poker
07 Aug

The World Series of Poker pushed a few big stories into the background this past month or two, and the ongoing ‘private games’ saga at the Aria was one of them – Jason Mercier the latest to publicly denounce the casino’s policy…

As we reported last year, a furious row erupted on Twitter over the Aria’s policy of ‘reserved seating’ – one which in practice means you can’t play if the other players don’t want you there. Daniel Negreanu called out Aria’s Director of Poker Operations, Sean McCormack, on the ‘semantics’ in play…

This scenario is what happened to Ben Pollak late last month, the Frenchman who took 3rd place and $3.5million in the 2017 Main Event being denied a seat at the $300/600 ‘private’ table.

Asked by highstakes pro Dan Smith: ‘What would happen if you just sat at the table?’ Mercier tweeted the answer for all to see…

Pollak himself was less vociferous in his condemnation of the Aria workings, but clearly still unhappy


Jean-Robert ‘Broke Living’ Bellande, who for years was the mover-and-shaker who built the huge cash games at the Aria, was called out on this long ago by former Main Event champion Greg Merson

McCormack, who controls the Aria poker room, has offered several times to discuss his policy openly, though so far there has been nothing but the sound of tumbleweed

As Matt Berkey found out, even getting a seat and being allowed to keep it doesn’t guarantee you a game

The big question is… who’s the next big name in line to be bumped by the Aria crew?

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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