A 24-year-old Maryland poker professional won the World Series of Poker main event Wednesday, outlasting his final opponents in a marathon card session of nearly 12 hours for the $8.53 million title.
Greg Merson emerged with the title before dawn in Las Vegas after a session that proved to be a showcase for his skills amid the unpredictability of tournament no-limit Texas Hold 'em. On the last hand, Merson put Las Vegas card pro Jesse Sylvia all-in with a king high. Sylvia thought hard, then called with a suited queen-jack.
Merson's hand held through the community cards -- two sixes, a three, a nine and a seven -- to give him the title and put his name alongside former champions including Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan.