Already in a dominant position in the world of online poker, PokerStars made additions to Team PokerStars that look to also challenge the live poker world.
It was announced today that veteran poker professional Marcel Luske and up and coming player Jason Mercier are the latest additions to a roster that already sports some of the biggest names in the game. Besides having five former World Champions on Team PokerStars – defending champion Peter Eastgate, Joseph Hachem (2005), Greg Raymer (2004), Chris Moneymaker (2003) and Tom McEvoy (1983) – other professionals who call PokerStars home include Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein and Vanessa Rousso. PokerStars has even created a team of international pros that represent their individual countries, such as Katja Thater (Germany), Luca Pagano (Italy), Victoria Cohen (England) and 2007 World Series of Poker final table finisher Alexander Kravchencko (Russia).
Luske, known for being one of the classiest players in the game today through both his attire and his mannerisms, has a long history of success on the tables. Known as “The Flying Dutchman”, Luske has been a terror on the European stage for well over the past decade. He is a two time winner of the European Player of the Year award (2001 and 2004) and has an impressive history not only on the international poker scene but also on the WSOP.
Over his career of play at the WSOP, “The Flying Dutchman” has cashed a respectable nineteen times. While he hasn’t achieved a bracelet victory yet, Luske has another accomplishment in the WSOP arena for high finishes in the $10,000 Championship Event. In 2003, Luske was eliminated from the tournament in fourteenth place and, the very next year, came back to just miss the final table when he was eliminated in tenth position. Because of the size of those fields in those two years, Luske’s achievement is only rivaled by that of Dan Harrington’s back to back final tables in those same two years (Harrington actually eliminated Luske in 2004). To date, Marcel has won over $3.7 million from his tournament performances alone.
Mercier becomes the second Mercier to join Team PokerStars (Isabelle Mercier was the first) and, with his performance in the online and live arenas, is touted as one of the future stars of the poker world. Known as “treysfull21” online at the time, the Floridian exploded on the poker scene last year when he earned his way into the European Poker Tour event in San Remo. He went on to capture the championship of that event, and the $1,372,893 payday, over a final table that included Team PokerStars members Dario Minieri and William Thorson. Later in 2008, Mercier made a second final table on the EPT at the Season Five stop in Barcelona.
He also has an unofficial EPT championship through winning the 2008 London “High Roller” tournament, where he picked up almost $1 million after defeating John Juanda, who had just won the World Series of Poker Europe prior to the “High Roller” event. Mercier has not slowed down this year, picking up his first WSOP bracelet after winning Event #5, the $1500 Pot Limit Omaha championship. In just a year of active playing on the live circuit, Jason has amassed over $2.7 million.
Luske and Mercier will be a part of the roving band of Team PokerStars that are out in full force. Besides playing in the $10,000 Championship Event at the WSOP, which begins Friday, they will also take part in EPT events around the world. With the addition of these two talented players, PokerStars is putting a team together that can arguably be called the best in the business.

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