There’s no question where Greg Merson's allegiances lie.
Merson, the 2012 World Series of Poker Champ, apparently doesn’t think too highly of the World Poker Tour moving in on the World Series Of Poker's turf. The WPT is currently running their own $1M guaranteed prize pool event, the WPT 500, at the same time as the WSOP Main Event and it’s right down the street at the Aria. That doesn’t seem to sit very well with the 2-time bracelet winner.
World Poker Tour Executive Tournament Director Matt Savage quickly replied to Merson, indicating that he has the utmost respect for the WSOP and would never expect anyone to think of the WPT 500 as an alternative to playing the WSOP event (if they were already going to do so).
But the hits just keep on coming from Merson:
Strong words by Merson as he publicly dresses down the WPT. Merson hasn’t previously had any major public beef with the WPT (to our knowledge) and it was just a couple months ago, the beginning of March, that Merson played (and cashed in) the LAPC, a WPT event, at the Commerce Casino.
The tirade has some speculating as to whether Greggy is just a loyal WSOP customer, thankful for the gifts he’s been given by winning the WSOP ME a couple years ago or if there’s a deeper alliance between the brand and the player. Merson was, after all, sporting a WSOP.com patch during Day 1a of the Main Event.
Or maybe you have noticed that he has also been hyping WSOP.com, pretty much, all summer long.
While there may be some sentiment that the WPT is looking to capture a little of the WSOP’s spillover. Not everyone jumped on the anti-WPT train though, as players and industry came to the WPT’s defense.
Has the World Poker Tour hurt the WSOP numbers? Is the WPT 500 simply an auxiliary event that players can jump in if they aren’t playing in the Main Event, cannot afford the $10K or have a premature evacuation from the Rio? We’ll know soon as Day 1C is expected to be a massive field for WSOP and the WPT 500 is just under 800 people from fulfilling their own guarantee. Maybe everyone can be happy.