Greg Merson Slams WPT for “Stepping on Toes of WSOP Main Event”

lex Dreyfus: “Don’t be disrespectful now, Greg.”

A couple of months back we covered the story that the WPT would boldly attempt to draw away some of the player traffic from the prestigious WSOP Main Event this year by hosting its own marquee event down the street at the Aria, but WSOP poster boy Greg Merson was evidently less than impressed.

Merson: “Can't breathe on partypoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP main event. Of course you can play both but very disrespectful IMO”

‘The WPT 500’ as it’s been dubbed, offered players in Vegas that would be struggling to ante up the mega $10,000 buy-in for the WSOP Main Event a far cheaper alternative.  As the name suggests, for just $500, players got a shot at a $1m prize pool, and the alternative offering has actually proved a highly popular choice.

With time to spare, the six-day ‘WPT500’ smashed through its seven figure guarantee, with over 2,000 players opting to get involved.

WPT Live Updates: “At this point, it looks very likely we'll break the $1 million guarantee TODAY with Days 1E & 1F still to come!”

Fair enough, it may have drawn away a few punters that were otherwise interested in trying to spin up their $500 stake on a satellite to the big dance; it may have drawn away anyone from the Rio that busted the Main Event early. But there’s nothing left to do at the Rio tournament wise anyway, and it’s hardly a direct competitor to the Main Event – despite WPT actually being a direct competitor to the WSOP - which asks for twenty times as much from its participants.

Matt Savage, the WPT’s Executive Tournament Director, even attempted to politely apologise for any inconvenience the clash may have caused, but Merson reacted viciously once more as his offensive avalanche continued.

Savage:  “Sorry for upsetting you, no one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn't expect a single player to skip ME for this.”

Merson: “The main event is our Super Bowl, save your 5 day re-entry money grab for another date. Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slid since 2006 #showers”

Needless to say, not everyone in the poker community shared Merson’s view of the WPT, with the likes of Russell Thomas, Brian Hastings and Alex Dreyfus speaking up against the 2012 champ.

Thomas: “WPT is a competitor. Who really cares if there is a 500 at the aria? Nice for people who fly in and want to play every day.”

Hastings: “Not seeing anything wrong with WPT 500”

Dreyfus: “Disrespectful comments for the people working for WPT. WSOP exist since 40 years and will always be mecca.”

As the guys at PokerFuse pointed out, Merson’s been donning the WSOP patch since he parted with Ivey Poker recently, so his outburst may have been strictly about business, but don’t be too surprised if you see an apology spilling out from the two time bracelet winner in the near future.



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