Poker Player Rob Mercer Admits to Lying About Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:

Poker pros raised between $30,000 to $50,000 to fulfill the "dying" wish of a poker pro.  Rob Mercer wanted to participate in this year's World Series of Poker main event after claiming he only had a year to live.  Mercer would go on to set up a GoFundMe account.  Pros even got him a suite at the famed Bellagio Hotel.

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But some poker pros became suspicious after Mercer appeared in videos showing no signs of terminal colon cancer.  Furthermore, he was unable to provide any proof when approached by the likes of pro Todd Witteles.

Now Mercer has come forward to confess it was all one giant lie.

"What I did was wrong," Mercer told the Las Vegas Review Journal.

“I did lie about having colon cancer. I don’t have colon cancer. I used that to cover my situation,” Mercer said. “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.

“I’m sorry for not being honest about what my situation was. If I would have done that from Day One, who knows what would have happened.”

Mercer's WSOP plea was as follows:

"Hey Everyone, my name is Rob, I am a 37 year old semi professional Poker Player with Terminal Cancer, I found myself going back and forth wondering if I was ever going to do this because my pride means a lot to me and I never like asking people for help, But my dream has always been to play the World Series of Poker Main Event, Ive never really had the sustainable bankroll to outright buy into the Event and I was conflicted on whether I would ever play it in my lifetime, but in August of last year I was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer and I was told that my timetable wasn't very promising, anywhere from 6 months to 18 months depending on how rapidly it progresses, Ive been fighting hard for months now and my body is definitely doing its best but I can feel the sickness draining on me physically and mentally.

"I spend most days in bed now, I recently took a 1 week trip to Vegas with my dad for the beginning of the WSOP and I played a couple events and managed 3 cashes but nothing major, but it did give me a shot of life back into me and I felt like me again even for just a few hours here and there, and I definitely realized when I got home that if I didn't atleast try to find a way to play the Main once before I die, it will haunt me even in death, so now Im here, asking for help from the Poker Community as well as just the General Public to help me fulfill my wish, the Main starts on July 5th I believe and Im hoping that we can raise the money to make this happen, and if it doesn't, well atleast I know that I didn't give up my dream and I did everything i possibly could to get there.

"Whatever anyone donates will be a blessing and appreciated whole heartedly and you're really helping prolong my life just by my shear joy that poker brings me and keeps me motivated and driven to keep living and fighting, thank you all and god bless.

"I forgot to add a breakdown of where the funds will go, the entry fee for the Main event is $10,000, and the extra $2000 is to cover travel expenses, lodging, Food, miscellaneous expenses, this is a far fetched ask of people I don't know and I know I need to be realistic about expectations and at this point I have zero expectations of this happening, if it does it will be a blessing, if not, I understand and I am good with it, thank you all for your time to read a part of my story in this chapter of life."

Hustler Casino Live co-founder Nick Vertucci and Poker Twitter Spaces host "SnoopDoug" were among those who contributed to the cause and ultimately joined Witteles in calling out Mercer.

Mercer said he understands the strong reaction to his ruse.

“They’re making me out to be some kind of monster, like this vindictive villain who planned this months in advance,” Mercer said. “It’s just crazy. But I understand. I get it.

“At the end of the day I lied to a lot of people because I was scared to tell the truth,” Mercer said. “And I guess I’ll have to pay for that.”

It's unclear whether he intends to pay any of these players back.

- Ace King,

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