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Poker Enthusiast Masterfully Bluffs Illness to Secure WSOP Entry
In a shocking revelation, a resident of Vallejo, California, has confessed to fabricating a terminal colon cancer diagnosis to secure the $10,000 buy-in for the World Series of Poker Main Event. Rob Mercer, a 37-year-old poker player, successfully generated $12,500 through a GoFundMe campaign and is suspected of obtaining an additional $18,000 from private donations. Even more astonishing, Mercer recently spoke with The Las Vegas Review-Journal, openly admitting his deceit and asserting that he has no intention of returning the funds.
A Betrayal of Trust
The Las Vegas Review-Journal initiated contact with Mercer after previously publishing a heartwarming piece about his experiences at the WSOP. However, as time passed since the article’s release in July, some of Mercer’s supporters began to grow suspicious and turned against him.
“I did lie about having colon cancer. I don’t have colon cancer. I used that to cover my situation,” Mercer candidly confessed to the newspaper. “What I did was wrong. I shouldn’t have told people I have colon cancer. I did that just as a spur-of-the-moment thing when someone asked me what kind of cancer I had.”
The Dilemma of a ‘Dying’ Dream
On his GoFundMe page, Mercer portrayed himself as a semi-professional player who had never possessed the financial means to directly buy into the Main Event, expressing uncertainty about whether he could ever fulfill his lifelong ambition.
“I found myself going back and forth wondering if I was ever going to do this fundraiser because my pride means a lot to me, and I never like asking people for help,” Mercer wrote on GoFundMe. “But my dream has always been to play the World Series of Poker Main Event.”
He alleged that he received a Stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis in August 2022, with a life expectancy ranging from six to 18 months. Suddenly, the urgency to fulfill his dream had intensified.
The Twist of an ‘Embarrassing’ Truth
Mercer revealed to the Review-Journal that he fabricated the colon cancer story because he believes he has breast cancer, though it remains undiagnosed. He opted for the colon cancer claim, believing it to be the less “embarrassing” of the two conditions.
According to Mercer, there is no obligation to repay the donated funds since they were given to him under the assumption that he was genuinely ill, a claim he maintains.
One of the donors was Cody Daniels, a poker player who genuinely battles a terminal illness. Mercer expressed his understanding of the backlash, stating, “They’re making me out to be some kind of monster, like this vindictive villain who planned this months in advance. It’s just crazy. But I understand. I get it.”
Ironically, Mercer’s journey in the World Series Main Event came to an early end, with his elimination within a few hours.