When the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicked off at Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas January 6, it did so without Mercier for the first time in a decade.
Two days later, PokerStars Blog published a post from Mercier announcing he was leaving his PokerStars sponsorship and life on the road behind.
Putting family first
Mercier simply said he’s decided to put family first:
“When my wife and I got married, and then when she became pregnant, we initially thought we would continue to travel even with a baby, at least for a year or two… As I thought more and more over the days and weeks, the answer seemed simple. This was probably going to be the end of my relationship with PokerStars, and the end of my full time travel schedule.”
Mercier proposed to then-girlfriend and fellow pro poker player Natasha Barbour at the final table of the 2016 World Series of Poker $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas, Nevada. She had just finished third for a career-best $348,374 score. She said yes and they married in November of that same year. Mrs. Mercier got pregnant just two months after the wedding and the couple’s son Marco Henry Mercier was born October 6, 2017.
“After my son was born, I knew things were going to be different. One of the major things to address was my relationship with PokerStars. My contract was set to expire at the end of 2017, and I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to happen there. I had a lot of questions rolling around my head.”
Mercier not retiring
Mercier said the answer to those questions was to put his young family ahead of poker. However, that doesn’t mean he is leaving the game behind entirely:
“Just to be clear, I’m not retiring from poker by any means. Not only will I be back at the PCA next year and look forward to playing the PokerStars Player Championship. I still plan to play all the big Florida series events, and as of now I plan to go to Las Vegas for the WSOP this summer. But my most important concern now, and my priority, is being a full time father and husband.”
After successfully rising through the ranks playing online poker, Mercier exploded on the live poker scene in 2008 winning the PokerStars European Poker Tour‘s San Remo stop for $1,372,893. He played bluff catcher against Frenchman Eric Koskas in one hand at the final table still considered to be one of the best calls in EPT history.
Five-time WSOP bracelet winner
At 22 years-old, Mercier won his first WSOP bracelet in the 2009 WSOP $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. He signed with Team PokerStars Pro just days later. Mercier has since won four more WSOP bracelets. The Davie, Florida native has also recorded $18,559,070 in career tournament cashes.
Mercier has also won over $2 million in online poker tournaments playing under the screen name “treysfull21”. This includes a number of vaunted PokerStars World Championship Of Online Poker and Full Tilt Online Poker Series titles.
He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
No hard feelings
Mercier added the split with his now former sponsor is an amicable one:
“There were no hard feelings and there never would or could be. I was a PokerStars Pro for eight and a half wonderful years. I’m forever grateful that they took a chance on me when I was just a 22-year-old kid who had just captured his first gold bracelet in the summer of 2009…Thank you to all of the wonderful people I worked with at PokerStars, your support and friendship has been invaluable. I also want to thank all of my family, friends, and fans for supporting me throughout my career.”
Merciers’ decision to leave PokerStars comes just days after Brooklyn, New York native Vanessa Selbst did the same. The top-earning female player in poker history announced in a New Year’s Eve Facebook post she was retiring from full-time professional poker and leaving her PokerStars sponsorship behind to pursue a career in finance.