All over the Island last night and into this morning, folks were glued to ESPN as they watched the final round of the 2012 World Series of Poker featuring West Tisbury native Jesse Sylvia, 26. This morning, after a game that lasted over 12 hours, Greg Merson emerged as the new world champion, winning the jackpot of $8,531,853. Sylvia took home second place and a total of $5,295,249.
At the July 17 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Sylvia emerged as chip leader -making him the lead of the final nine players who met again on October 28 playing for the $8.7 million top prize. At the end of the night, Sylvia, along with Merson and Jake Balsiger, were left. Last night, each of the players saw ups and downs and the large Vineyard contingent in the audience could be heard cheering Sylvia on throughout.
In a video on ESPN, Sylvia describes the Island as “the most beautiful place in the world," and says it will be the place he will “hang his hat at the end of the day.” Sylvia is a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School graduate and a Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School founding student. Sylvia now lives in Las Vegas and is a fulltime high-stakes player. This is his first time as a finalist in one of the biggest and most prestigious poker tournaments in the world.