Jason Mercier stays on Course for $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) Bracelet

Jason Mercier Leads Day 2 $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)Florida’s Jason ‘treysfull21’ Mercier holds a slender chip lead heading into day three of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)’s $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) event in Las Vegas after last night’s 10-level session.

Mercier sits on 358,500 chips and is followed by second-placed Nevada pro Eli Elezra (327,000) and Vegas star Scott Seiver (303,000) as the lucky 13 survivors eye up the $189,818 top prize and gold bracelet.

The event started out with 309 entries to create a prize pool of $702,975 and, following 189 eliminations on day one, another 117 crashed out last night in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino’s Amazon Room.

Team PokerStars Pro Mercier – who only really got going as a poker player a few years back, although he did take up the game as 15-year-old – has enjoyed an incredible WSOP 2011 already, having secured a seventh-placed finish at the $1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit) for $10,524, before following that up with 27th for $16,329 in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship and 14th in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship for $24,043.

However, he saved his best – so far – with a second Pot-Limit Omaha bracelet 10 days ago in the $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha event for $619,575.

If 24-year-old Mercier wins this current event, he will surely take the WSOP Player of the Year title and put himself right up there as possibly the world’s best player.

But he’ll have to overcome some other stars to collect his third WSOP bracelet – to add to his $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha title from 2009 – as the likes of Elezra, who has three cashes from mixed-game poker tournaments at this year’s WSOP, and 2011 WPT World Championship winner Seiver remain well in contention.

Additionally, still in with a shout is Canadian Shawn Buchanan (176,500), who has already picked up $376,458 for his second-place finish at the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship this year among his four cash placings.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s Galen Hall – the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) main event champion – holds 143,000 in chips, Georgia’s David Bach, the 2009 $50,000 World Championship H.O.R.S.E. champ, is on 115,000, and Nevada’s Jon Turner (145,000) and Justin Bonomo (111,500), of Vegas, and they won’t quit easily.

As is the case in every event, some stars failed to make it out of day two, including Robert Williamson III, Gavin Smith, Pat Pezzin, Daniel Negreanu, Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem and Mike Matusow.

But the big question remains: can Mercier collect a second bracelet this summer and tie up the Player of the Year award?

Final 13 and chip counts after day two of the WSOP 2011 $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) event:

1. Jason Mercier (USA) – 358,500

2. Eli Elezra (USA) – 327,000

3. Scott Seiver (USA) – 303,000

4. Leonard Martin (USA) – 242,500

5. Scott Dorin (USA) – 227,500

6. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 176,500

7. Jon Turner (USA) – 145,000

8. Galen Hall (USA) – 143,000

9. David Bach (USA) – 115,000

10. Justin Bonomo (USA) – 111,500

11. Masa Tanaka (Japan) – 79,500

12. Nicholas Verkaik (Canada) – 73,500

13. Fabian Holling (Germany) – 36,000