To collect money for a $10,000 buy-in to the World Series of Poker main event, a poker player said he had Stage 4 terminal colon cancer. He later revealed on Wednesday that he had lied about his condition.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Rob Mercer, a 37-year-old amateur player from Vallejo, California, raised between $30,000 and $50,000 through a GoFundMe and private donation campaign, surpassing his initial target of raising $12,000. He assured the Review-Journal on Wednesday that he never had colon cancer.
When Mercer announced in February that he had been diagnosed with cancer and only had six months to live, the poker community initially took notice of him.
‘I have 6 months to a year left
"I have cancer too and mine is terminal, how much do you think I can pull together from the community to live my dream," Mercer reportedly wrote on his since-deleted social media, according to a screenshot provided by poker influencer Doug Parscal Jr. aka Snoop Doug.
Pascal was one of many individuals who advocated for Mercer's cause in the poker world when it was thought to be worthy. He shared Mercer's tale with others in the neighborhood, including Nick Vertucci, the host of the well-liked high-stakes poker show "Hustler Casino Live." In a tweet in June, Vertucci promised to finish off Mercer's fundraising target of $12,000 if he didn't reach that amount.
Another amateur player, Cody Daniels, who according to the Review-Journal suffers from a true chronic illness, has gained popularity in the poker world and was also staked into the main event. He got along with Mercer and gave him $2,500. On Wednesday, Daniels commented on social media in response to the news of Mercer's apology.
Mercer participated in the WSOP main event before being eliminated on day one. He declined to pay. He remained in a Bellagio suite, according to the Review-Journal, which was also donated.
Mercer doesn't intend to repay the funds.
According to Mercer's account to the Review-Journal, a GoFundMe official informed him that he had broken the company's terms of service. He said that he believes he has undetected breast cancer, making the donations legal in his eyes, and that he has no intention of returning the money to contributors.
According to Mercer, who has not been diagnosed with breast cancer, he originally lied to the Review-Journal about having colon cancer because he was ashamed to disclose he was a man with the disease.
After his earlier supporters, including Parscal, Vertucci, and Daniels, began to doubt his account due to their encounters with him and what they saw him doing in Las Vegas at the WSOP, Mercer came clean. Parscal informed the Review-Journal that he received calls from additional donors who had begun to question the reliability of Mercer's diagnosis.
Then, Parscal continued, "I just started doing some research." I immediately felt nauseated after seeing the quote-unquote proof at that point.
According to Parscal's account in the Review-Journal, Mercer deleted his social media when he was confronted by Parscal in August after asking for documentation of his diagnosis that Mercer was unable to provide.
Mercer's story raised more questions, and on Wednesday he finally admitted lying.
J.C. Meja, a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, was given a 162-game suspension by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance a second time. Mejia will be able to resume playing late in the next season as a result of this suspension.
Stanozolol was found in Meja's sample.
According to a statement released by the Milwaukee Brewers, which was obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Milwaukee Brewers fully support MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and share in the goal of eliminating performance-enhancing drugs from our game."
Mejia is the first player in the league to receive a suspension for violating MLB's drug agreement since Fernando Tats Jr. last year, who received an 80-game ban. Earlier this year, Tats Jr. made a comeback with the San Diego Padres.
In May 2022, Meja was given an 80-game ban after testing positive for Stanozolol, a synthetic steroid made from testosterone.
Mejia, 27, is playing in his third season of league play. With nine appearances under his belt, he has a 1-0 record and a 5.56 ERA. In little over 11 innings on the mound this year, he has struck out 13 batters while walking three. He was placed on the injured list last month due to inflammation in his right shoulder and was later moved to the 60-day disabled list.
In his three seasons in the league, Meja had a 2-7 record and an 8.32 ERA. After his first season with the Cleveland Guardians in 2021, he was moved to the Brewers. This past offseason, Milwaukee re-signed him to a minor league contract.
With an 85-66 record and a six-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, the Brewers went into their game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. Just five games separated the Brewers from winning the division and sealing their sixth postseason participation in the previous six seasons as of the day's start.
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