Jason Mercier Leaves PokerStars2 years ago
In the second big departure of the week, 5-time WSOP bracelet winner Jason Mercier has decided to part ways with PokerStars after more than 8 years as a Team Pro, citing the importance of his young son and family duties as the reason for his leaving.
It’s the second such blow for PokerStars, with Vanessa Selbst announcing her retirement from the game – and hence as a PokerStars pro – earlier this week, the top-earning female of all time planning a career in hedge fund management instead.
Unlike Selbst, however, Mercier has no plans to retire, but will instead choose his events more carefully – missing out on the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) running this week for the first time in 10 years but promising:
“Not only will I be back at the PCA next year and look forward to playing the PokerStars Player Championship, I still plan to play all the big Florida series events.”
“…and as of now I plan to go to Las Vegas for the WSOP this summer. But my most important concern now, and my priority, is being a full time father and husband.”
Mercier, who can boasts $18,559,070 and 15th spot on the all-time tournament money-winners list, became a father 3 months ago with his wife Natasha Barbour Mercier and it was the quarter-year ‘anniversary’ of Marco’s birth which prompted him to make the decision.
“After my son was born, I knew things were going to be different,” Mercier wrote on the PokerStars blog. “One of the major things to address was my relationship with PokerStars. My contract was set to expire at the end of 2017, and I wasn't sure what exactly was going to happen there. Becoming a parent brings about a complete transformation of who you are”, , adding, “I no longer let myself be so concerned with what I want, but more so the well-being of my wife and my child (and future children). Serving and leading my family is of utmost importance.”
Initial plans to continue the life of a high-profile travelling pro were eventually shelved, Mercier explaining:
“As I thought more and more over the days and weeks, the answer seemed simple. This was probably going to be the end of my relationship with PokerStars, and the end of my full time travel schedule.”
“The conversation about my contract was short and sweet. There were no hard feelings and there never would or could be,” Mercier explained how he is “forever grateful that they took a chance on me when I was just a 22-year-old kid who had just captured his first gold bracelet in the summer of 2009” and wished his sponsors and team-mates well saying: “Thank you to all of the wonderful people I worked with at PokerStars, your support and friendship has been invaluable.”
PokerStars blog writer Stephen Bartley said of Mercier’s decision to leave the company:
“It was not really surprising to hear that it was his wife Natasha, and young son Marco took priority over a poker career at this stage of his life. The pride he takes in being a father and husband is clear for anyone to see. So while he'll be missed as a PokerStars regular, we pass on our thanks and best wishes to Jason and his family, and look forward to seeing him at a PokerStars event soon.”
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