PokerStars will look a bit different without one of its top long-time ambassadors, Jason Mercier. The poker player with five World Series of Poker bracelets penned a blog post at PokerStars.com to announce his choice to leave poker full-time so he can be at home with his wife, Natasha, and three-month-old child.
It’s been a long and healthy relationship between the poker player from Florida and online poker’s most popular place to play cards, dating back to the summer of 2009, right after Jason won his first WSOP bracelet at age 22.
Now that Mercier is 31 and has a baby at home, his priorities have changed since early in his poker career. He admitted in the blog post that his family is now his main priority and that he wants to be there to watch his son grow up.
Mercier is in the same predicament as an aging athlete who still loves the game, but realizes sports or, in this case poker, must eventually take a backseat to family life. Most lifelong full-time professional poker players never have kids and some don’t ever get married.
A Peaceful Separation
Like any breakup, the decision is never easy. But, on a positive note, the relationship between Mercier and PokerStars remains pleasant.
“There were no hard feelings and there never would or could be. I was a PokerStars Pro for eight and a half wonderful years. I’m forever grateful that they took a chance on me when I was just a 22-year-old kid,” the poker player said.
Mercier’s decision to leave the company he’s worked for since 2009 wasn’t easy. But he said now is the right time to step away from poker full-time, and decided he wasn’t going to have his PokerStars contract, which ended at the end of 2017, renewed.
“Thank you to all of the wonderful people I worked with at PokerStars, your support and friendship has been invaluable.”
What a Career
Jason Mercier has been one of the most successful poker players since he won that first WSOP bracelet in a $1,500 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event.
He now has five career WSOP titles, $18.5 million in overall live tournament winnings, and, in 2016, was crowned WSOP Player of the Year after winning two bracelets in less than a week, with a 2nd place finished sandwiched in between.
Mercier is Florida’s all-time winningest tournament player, and that says a lot considering the talent that has come out of the Sunshine State. Players such as Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, his brother Michael, 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener, and Jonathan Little, all hail from Florida, but have a long way to go to catch Mercier.