Poker Players

Rob Mercer allegedly lied about cancer to get WSOP buy-in money

The poker player comes under fire for allegedly using pity to gather donations

Rob Mercer was recently accused of faking a terminal cancer diagnosis to scam the poker community and request donations to pay for his entry into the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Todd Witteles exposed the likely scam after tweeting a reply to an old Mike Matusow post, apologizing for a tweet that may have offended Rob Mercer, clueless that he was telling people he had terminal cancer. Witteles later posted a thread that went into detail about why the story doesn’t add up.

In early 2023, Mercer had criticized another player, Jami Lafay, who was also accused of faking a cancer diagnosis, although it’s likely she did have it. Mercer commented that he had terminal cancer and she didn’t, and she was using her manageable form of cancer for financial gain.

People then began offering to pay Mercer’s buy-ins to events in Northern California, which he repeatedly refused. After everything died down, Mercer emerged again after starting a GoFundMe account leading up to the 2023 World Series of Poker.

Mercer communicated on the page that he had 6 to 18 months to live and asked for $12,000 to cover his Main Event buy-in and travel expenses. He quickly raised the $12,000, with help from Nick Vertucci on his platform, and lived out his fantasy.

A couple of months later, Snoopdoug, of Northern California posted a Tweet with suspicions that the whole episode was a scam. Witteles added that he had doubts beforehand but didn’t make them public, although no proof has yet been posted either way.

Mercer closed his Twitter account after being accused of the scam but posted a statement a week ago that didn’t really persuade anyone. While there’s no proof one way or the other, the poker community isn’t currently supporting Mercer.

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