Card Player Media

Card Player Media

January 04, 2013 03:14 ET

Greg Merson Wins 2012 Card Player Player of the Year Title

Former Drug Addict Gets Clean And Wins Two World Series of Poker Bracelets Including Main Event For $9.66 Million And Card Player Title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 4, 2013) -

Editors note: There is one photo associated with this press release.

Twenty-four-year-old poker pro Greg Merson from Laurel, Maryland is the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year, Sponsored by Lock Poker.

Merson successfully kicked a serious drug habit just over one year ago before going on to win two World Series of Poker bracelets in the summer - the $10,000 buy in no-limit hold'em six max championship and the $10,000 no-limit hold'em main event - netting himself just over $9.66 million in the process.

This enabled him to successfully fended off a strong and sustained challenge from runner-up Dan Smith.

Las Vegas resident Smith won a remarkable six events in 2012 and made four other final tables collecting over $3.67 million along the way.

He fell just short of the Player of the Year title scoring 5,040 points - just 60 less than Merson who told Card Player after his main event victory, "I'm just so lucky to even be alive. When I won [my first] bracelet I just started crying. To have a second chance at life and to do what I want to do - it's amazing."

A spokesperson for Card Player said, "Greg Merson is a worthy champion, joining the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi and Ben Lamb in the pantheon of greats who have secured the title with a year of outstanding poker triumphs. In Greg's case it was in the face of additional adversity and his World Series of Poker victories will live long in the memory."

The top 10 rankings in the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year title race were:

Rank Player Location POY
Titles Final
POY Winnings
1 Gregory Merson Laurel, MD 5,100 2 2 $9,664,179
2 Dan Smith Las Vegas, NV 5,040 6 9 $3,673,806
3 Marvin Rettenmaier Leonberg 4,130 4 8 $2,423,741
4 Kyle Julius Naperville, IL 3,752 0 3 $2,103,282
5 Ole Schemion 3,676 3 6 $2,032,454
6 Joseph Cheong La Mirada, CA 3,590 0 7 $1,062,822
7 Antonio Esfandiari San Francisco, CA 3,330 2 4 $18,990,987
8 Phil Hellmuth Palo Alto, CA 3,210 2 4 $4,293,213
9 John Dibella Cave Creek, AZ 3,064 2 4 $1,901,113
10 Oliver Speidel Melbourne 3,046 1 5 $1,767,371

Note to editors:

For further information on Greg Merson's Card Player Player of the Year victory please visit

For further information on the Card Player Player of the Year scoring criteria please visit

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