After being part of the PokerStars family for over eight years, Jason Mercier, who is considered to be one of the best and most successful tournament poker players in history, has decided to terminate his relationship with the online gambling platform. The five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and the 2016 World Series of Poker Player of the Year officially announced on Sunday that his contract with PokerStars expired and he was not looking to have it renewed. Mercier cited his wife, who is also a poker player, and their three-month-old son as the reasons he had made this decision.
“My contract was set to expire at the end of 2017, and I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to happen there,” Mercier wrote on the PokerStars’ website. “I had a lot of questions rolling around my head. Do I even want to travel now? How much can I travel? Should I continue playing poker so much? How’s it going to be on the road with a baby? Does PokerStars want me to do more? Is my wife going to continue to play poker? 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.”
The announcement comes just a few weeks after fellow poker player and PokerStars ambassador Vanessa Selbst announced her exit from PokerStars and retirement from poker. However, unlike Selbst who intends to work as financial strategy advisor for a hedge fund while only playing poker as a hobby, Mercier was quite clear that he would “not be retiring from poker by any means.” He still plans to compete in various Florida events and the Las Vegas World Series of Poker in the summer as well as 2019’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.
Already, with over $18 million in lifetime tournament winnings, Mercier is the winningest Florida poker player in the state’s history. He is also among the top 20 poker players in Card player’s all-time leaderboard.
While it might seem that PokerStars is losing some of its most prized partners, the renowned poker site is not opting out of sponsoring accomplished poker pros. In fact, it still boasts of some of the best ambassador lineups that include Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Bertrand Grospellier, Jason Someville, Chris Moneymaker and Liv Boeree.