When you have five World Series of Poker bracelets, $18 million in career tournament earnings, a dozen career scores worth more than $500,000 and are one of the best players in the world, what motivates you to play a relatively small $565 buy-in tournament? For Jason Mercier, it is the prospect of adding to that five-bracelet total and in his pursuit to do so, he is going to leave no tournament unregistered.

“This is a bracelet event and I have a lot of bracelet bets.” Mercier said, bluntly, before Day 2 of the Event #18 $565 Pot Limit Omaha, which restarted a few moments ago. When he was asked how he’ll approach that Day 2 restart, Mercier didn’t beat around the bush.  

Mercier mentioned that his personal pay scale is much different than the one the rest of the field is competing for. There is $224,000 up top in Event #18, with $138,000 right below that, and after saying he won’t be that worried about pay jumps, Mercier gave a little insight to how much those bracelet bets might be worth, adding, “I’m pretty much playing for, first place for me is like seven times what second is.”

Despite “a lot” of bracelet bets and clear motivations to play for wins this summer, Mercier hasn’t been able to get close just yet. He has only recorded one cash through the first week of the series, a min-cash in the $1,500 HORSE, and despite human nature, Mercier doesn’t seem worried.

“I think it is very hard to not get down on yourself or get down on what is happening, be results oriented. It’s human nature.” Mercier said in relation to his slow start to 2017. “Last year, I started out 0-11, which most people don’t know because I followed that up with four cashes, two bracelets and a second.”

Those two bracelets came in $10,000 Championship events and they did seem to mask a tough start to 2016. The rest of the summer, once Mercier got moving, was cash after cash, final table after final table and Mercier eventually claimed WSOP Player of the Year honors.

After working out the kinks this past week, Mercier could be picking up steam heading into the heart of the summer and while he will be a serious contender in all of the $10,000 Championship events, he will also be playing everything he can. That includes nearly everything under the sun, including small buy-in events like the $365 THE GIANT.

“I’m assuming I’ll get in there at some point.” Mercier said with a laugh, before quickly adding, with a grin, “Maybe not if I win a bracelet.”

Regardless of the tournament and regardless of the buy-in, if Mercier is able replicate a run like last year and win a bracelet, Mercier will be cashing in on those aforementioned bets and perhaps make history, as the only player to ever win back-to-back WSOP POY titles.

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