Card Player caught up with Jason Mercier just after the European Poker Tour Barcelona where he had been juggling both live events and the World Championship of Online Poker . Mercier played the main event and four side events in Spain, while also playing the WCOOP on PokerStars.com , and at the time he had not made his mind up about defending his title at the High Roller in London.Rebecca McAdam: How did EPT Barcelona go for you?Jason Mercier: I three-way chopped the $1,000 side event and haven’t really been doing good online.RM: Does the way you play a WCOOP differ at all from the way you would play an EPT ?JM: Kind of. WCOOPs are so much bigger, almost every event has over 1,000 players, whereas EPTs usually have 400 or 500. Online to live is a totally different game, I don’t know how to explain it it’s just different.RM: When you play an online event where there are thousands of players, how do you play the first few hours, do you sit back for a while?JM: Not necessarily. You want to obviously accumulate chips and pick good spots. In WCOOPs , it’s a very slow structure so you don’t really have to play any hands at the beginning if you don’t want to, whereas in the Sunday Million , the blinds go up pretty quickly, but it’s good in the WCOOP , you have plenty of time to wait for hands.RM: Do you go after a specific WCOOP ?JM: Well the WCOOP main event, it’s like a $5,000 buy-in, $10 million guaranteed, so I definitely get pumped about that one, and also the $2,100 PLO , which would have a smaller field — like there’s a better chance to win that one — and there’s a big prize pool.RM: Do you see all the same faces playing these events?JM: There are a lot of guys playing every single WCOOP . You run into a ton of random people. Like I played the $1,000 buy-in and I think I only came across two or three names that I recognised on the two or three tables that I played at.RM: Will you play the high roller event in London again?JM: I haven’t decided. Since winning the bracelet I’ve kinda been on tilt. So I haven’t really decided, it’s a pretty expensive buy-in. I’ll probably be there, I want to defend my title, I don’t want to miss it but I want to make sure it’s a good opportunity for me.RM: How have you been doing online in general?JM: I’ve been doing OK. I need to probably not pay many big cash games for a while. I’ve been doing well playing mid-stakes PLO and having some decent results.RM: Do you play live cash games?JM: I do when I’m in Vegas or L.A. but I don’t play when I’m home because there’s not really anything worth playing in Florida yet, but hopefully the law is going to change soon and there will be high stakes.RM: What upcoming events have you decided you’re going to play? JM: I know I’m going to the PCA and Monte Carlo next year but besides that I haven’t really planned out anything.RM: How do you choose events – is it just whatever’s good for you at the time?JM: Yeah, it depends on family obligations. You’ll also want to go to certain destinations, like I’d rather go to Barcelona in Spain than say, Russia. You can kind of pick and choose where you want to go.RM: Is it difficult being away all the time?JM: Yeah of course. It’s definitely difficult but I’ve gotten used to it and I’m trying to stay at home a little bit more. Last year I traveled eight months or something ridiculous, so next year I’m going to try and stay at home more and not take trips that are too long, besides Vegas.RM: Do you think you can play less now that you have a few titles to your name?JM: At the beginning of 2008 I went to L.A. and then the Wynn and played, and for five weeks straight I was away from home. I don’t really need to go play a bunch of $1k’s, I can just stay at home and play online now.
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