The inaugural PokerGO Tour Mixed Game Series is in the books and, by all appearances, it was a successful run for the eight-tournament festival (other than not being streamed on PokerGO, that is). In the finale on Saturday (there was a final tournament on Sunday, won by Cary Katz), Jason Mercier captured the 10-Game Championship Event, topping Dan Zack for the title. Don’t feel too bad for Zack, however; with his runner-up finish, he captured the overall championship of the Mixed Game Series, bagging a $50,000 bonus for that performance.
From Eighteen to One
Zack was atop the standings when Day Two of the $25,000 10-Game Championship opened on Saturday, but the lead was a slim one. At 1.15 million chips, Zack only had an 80K chip lead over Jeremy Ausmus and a 130K chip lead over Mercier. Other players like Matthew Ashton, Mike Wattel, and Maxx Coleman were within targeting distance of the leaders, but with the blinds rapid escalation, it was going to take a mighty run to reach the top.
Only nine players would earn a cash from the tournament, so once Craig Chait was eliminated as the unfortunate “bubble boy” by David ‘ODB’ Baker, everyone was assured of a minimum $42,750 payday. Nacho Barbero would use a double-up to garner enough chips to eliminate Wattel from the tournament in ninth place but then would clash against Baker in Stud Hi-Lo that basically ended his tournament.
On that hand, Baker had the bring-in with his trey and Zack completed the full bet. Barbero made the call, as did Baker, and each was dealt a card. Baker bet out on his Ace on fourth street and, while Zack got out of the way, Barbero hung around.
The duo of Baker and Barbero would check through fifth and sixth street, with Baker pairing his trey and Barbero showing three spades. They were dealt their river and, after Baker bet, Barbero folded his 6-2 and didn’t even show his seventh street. Baker was nice about it, showing hole cards of A-A (sixth street full house), and soon afterward Barbero was out of the tournament in eighth place.
Baker Holds Large Lead with Seven Left
Baker held nearly a 2.3 million chip lead with seven to go, but he would lose that edge by the time the table got to Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. Jeremy Ausmus three-bet the action, called by Mercier and Baker, and the first draw saw Baker take two and Mercier and Ausmus take one each. This time it was Mercier who pulled out a check-raise to 160K, but it wasn’t enough to shake either Baker or Ausmus.
For the second draw, Baker and Ausmus took one, but Mercier was happy with his holdings and patted the table. Both Ausmus and Baker called another bet out of Mercier and, after a final draw saw Mercier stand pat and Ausmus and Baker draw one again, the action checked around the felt. Mercier was first to show, dropping an 8-6-5-3-2 on the table, good enough to take the pot and the lead from Baker.
As Mercier started to make his move, so did Zack. His ascent up the leaderboard wasn’t quite as smooth as Mercier’s, but Zack certainly would make it exciting. Zack would take a couple of healthy bites out of Maxx Coleman’s stack, cracking the three million mark, but Mercier was a terror during a Razz round to pass the five million mark in chips. Baker would try to stay viable by knocking off Coleman in fourth, but he would eventually fall to Zack to bring the action to heads up.
The stacks were virtually even between Zack and Mercier to start heads up, hence the twosome decided to adjust the payouts for the tournament. Instead of the normal arrangements, the players decided that first would receive $367,500 (and 257 PGT points), while the runner-up would take home $345,000 (and 171 points). The points were of interest to Zack, as either winning or finishing second would ensure that he would win the overall championship for the Mixed Game Series.
Quick Finish, Two Champions
With the payouts set, the action concluded quickly. On the very first hand of Pot Limit Omaha, both men moved all-in blind and Mercier was at risk. He would make a pair of Aces against a big nothing for Zack and, although Zack would double up twice, the fourth hand ended the tournament. Once again all in, Zack couldn’t muster anything but two pair against the Wheel of Mercier, ending the tournament in Mercier’s favor.
1. Jason Mercier, $357,500*
2. Dan Zack, $345,000*
3. David ‘ODB’ Baker, $199,500
4. Maxx Coleman, $142,500
5. Jeremy Ausmus, $114,000
6. Daniel Negreanu, $85,500
7. Andrew Kelsall, $71,250
8. Nacho Barbero, $57,000
9. Mike Wattel, $42,750
For his part, Zack was happy with the outcome. The points he earned in the 10-Game Championship guaranteed he could not be caught for the overall championship, even though Coleman has a tournament left to finish. Both he and Ben Lamb have to complete their work in Event #4, which was suspended because of the scheduling of the Mixed Game Series, but neither man can catch Zack for the overall title.
1. Dan Zack, 352 points
2. John Monnette, 316
3. Nick Guagenti, 290
4. David ‘ODB’ Baker, 268
5. Jason Mercier, 257
6. Ben Lamb, 256
7. Maxx Coleman, 224
8. Shaun Deeb, 209
9. Scott Abrams, 189
10. Eli Elezra, 180
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)