This year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) had a noticeable absence as top poker pro Jason Mercier did not show up. With his long track record of attendance in the event, many people were surprised to find him missing.
A recent blog post on the PokerStars website explained the absence: Mercier announced his retirement from PokerStars Team Pro and a major reduction of his traveling for poker tournaments. This announcement comes as no surprise considering the whirlwind changes in Mercier’s life in the last two years.
At the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP), he proposed to his long-time girlfriend Natasha Barbour. He had it good at the WSOP as his girlfriend said yes to his proposal and Mercier went on to add two more WSOP bracelets to his achievements. The happy couple got married and two months later, the Mercier’s were expecting.
They welcomed a son in October 2017 and with the added responsibility, Mercier decided that he had to make a number of changes to his lifestyle.
The poker pro who has won $18.5 million in career prize money is ranked 12th on Hendon Mob’s all-time career prize money list. Mercier has enjoyed great success at the poker tables but he has decided to significantly cut back on playing poker this year. Mercier has played at the PCA for seven consecutive years but decided to skip the 2018 PCA and also step down from Team PokerStars after being with them for 8 years.
In a statement, Mercier said
The conversation about my contract was short and sweet. There were no hard feelings and there never would or could be… 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
With the addition of his son to his life, Mercier needed to make changes to his lifestyle. This is why when January 6 arrived and this year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure started, Mercier was not present. This was a first since the professional player has not missed the opening of the PCA for seven straight years now.
However, Mercier has made it clear that unlike Vanessa Selbst he is not retiring from professional poker but just taking a break. He has made it clear that he will take part at the 2019 PCA and continue playing on the professional circuit as much as long as it does not hinder him from performing his duties as a husband and father.