Poker Mental Game & Planning

Jason Mercier Poker Strategy

855 Views Comments on 17/4/17

Mercier managed to accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time and he's not even in the middle of his poker journey.

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The list of Jason Mercier's accomplishments is unbelievably long, especially considering his relatively your age. He managed to win five World Series of Poker Bracelets, one EPT title and he has more than $18,000,000 in his lifetime tournament winnings. On top of that Mercier won a few WCOOP and SCOOP titles, which makes him one of the best tournament players of all time, both live and online.

He's also a very good cash game player. Mercier managed to accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time and he's not even in the middle of his poker journey. Lastly, it's important to point out that Jason is a good guy who knows how to enjoy life.

Even though he's an exceptional poker player, he's not your run-of-the-mill degen and his approach to poker can serve as a perfect blueprint, for other players.


Jason Mercier Arrives

 

This is the hand that showed the poker world that Jason Mercier is the real deal. It would be really hard to recreate a similar play in your average $10 sit and go not to mention the first EPT final table of your career.

The hand began with Jason making a loose open followed by an equally loose defend from his opponent. Villain decided to make his best impression of Phil Hellmuth by checking in the dark on the flop, which should cap his range considerably towards value or bluffs depending on his honesty factor. Jason correctly checked behind with his medium strength hand. Then Koskas proceeded to overbet the turn which is very hard to balance especially in the context of his blind check on the flop.

If Mercier had a read that Koskas was on the dishonest side of the spectrum as far as poker players go, he already had enough information to make his impressive river hero call which doesn't change the fact that it's an extremely hard thing to do with television cameras everywhere and bright lights shining in his face.

The fact that Jason was unphased by all that makes his play all the more impressive.


No Fear

High Stakes Poker wasn't exactly Jason Mercier's proudest moment and it could be argued that he simply overplayed the hand linked above.

That being said, going for a cbet/3bet all-in line on the flop against Phil Ivey himself is not something every poker player would be capable of. Also, it's not like Mercier's play was a total spazz, even though he was very unhappy with himself after the hand, he managed to fool the Gabe Kaplan, and almost convince Ivey that he was making a -EV play. It's entirely possible that Jason's uber-aggressive play would've been  +EV against many other players at that table.

Unfortunately for him, instead of going against someone like Gus Hansen, he faced Phil Ivey and that led to his untimely exit from the show.


Tournament Master

While Jason is a perfectly capable cash games player, tournament poker is where he really shines. In this hand from an Aussie Millions tournament, Jason managed the pot absolutely brilliantly in order to make an amazing bluff.

We can witness the first sign of Mercier's mastery on the flop where he decided to make a small one-third pot continuation bet with a hand that had tons of backdoor equity. This, in turn, enabled him to set his stack up for a perfect river bluff sizing with the turn check/raise play.

Many players in Mercier's seat would simply consider giving up on the second street, and the fact that Jason was capable of making this unorthodox play, is what separates him from the rest of the pack.


Perfect Stack Management

Another example of great stack management skills in the tournament poker context. Jason's 3bet sizing was small enough that he gave both Rast and even extremely short-stacked Holz, great odds to continue in the hand. Besides, the smaller sizing meant that he still left himself the option of going over the top in case Fedor decided to go all in preflop.

Lastly, by doing everything in his power to keep Brian Rast in the hand Jason bought himself some insurance (Phil Hellmuth style) by splitting his tournament life between the main pot and the side pot. This basically meant that he only had to beat Rast in order to stay alive in the tournament and being aware of small things like that is what separates truly great players from solid grinders.

Jason's ability to make the most out of small bits of information and manipulate the table dynamics in his favor is extremely impressive and it allowed him to become a remarkably successfully player in a very short amount of time.


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Matt VIP

Matt is predominantly a mental game and planning expert, with a terrific knowledge of science, meditation, practical methods of improvement and of course, a good level of poker skill! Look out for his strategy articles and follow him for his nobel-prize winning forum po ... Read More

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