It is a dream for many aspiring pro-poker players to be like Jason Mercier. Jason Mercier was the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year. He is also a five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and is considered by many as one of the most successful players in the gaming platform PokerStars.
However, it seems that Jason Mercier is already focusing back on his family as his contract with PokerStars expired recently. According to Mercier, he doesn’t have any plans of renewing his contract citing his wife, Natasha Mercier, who is also a fellow poker player, and their three-month-old son as the main reason for his decision.
He mentioned that “my contract was set to expire at the end of 2017, and I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to happen there”. He also added that “I had a lot of questions rolling around my head. Do I even want to travel now? How much can I travel? Should I continue playing poker so much? How’s it going to be on the road with a baby? Does PokerStars want me to do more? Is my wife going to continue to play poker?”
As for his conversation with PokerStars, he mentioned that the conversation regarding the contract “was short and sweet”. He also mentioned that there weren’t any “hard feelings”.
PokerStars staff writer Stephen Bartley extended well wishes for the five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner after Mercier made the announcement.
Jason Mercier has been working with PokerStars since 2009. He mentioned that “I was a PokerStars Pro for eight and half wonderful years”. He also mentioned that “I’m 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”.
A Future Hall of Famer
The announcement came just a few days after Vanessa Selbst, one of the most successful female poker players in history, decided to quit playing professional poker full-time. Selbst’s sponsorship with PokerStars has also ended. However, Mercier doesn’t have any plans of retiring just yet. According to the 31-year old, he still plans to add more to his Hall of Fame career. In addition to this, in order to be inducted into the hall of fame, it is important to meet the standard of “standing the test of time”.
He clarified that “I’m not retiring from poker by any means”. He is currently on the top-20 Card Player’s All-Time Leader Board with more than $18 million worth of total winnings.
Though holding the record as the winningest Florida poker player in history with $18.6 million total earnings from live tournaments, Mercier chose to prioritize his family. Live tournaments can be a bit difficult for players who are already starting to build a family.
In fact, players such as Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson can be considered an anomaly as they find a balance between doing full-time poker and having a family.
Mercier said that “my most important concern now, and my priority, is being a full-time father and husband”. He also mentioned that “becoming a parent brings about a complete transformation of who you are. I no longer let myself be so concerned with what I want, but more so the well-being of my wife and my child”.