A poker player who lied about having terminal cancer to raise funds to enter the prestigious World Series of Poker tournament is now apologizing for his actions. “What I did was wrong,” confessed Rob Mercer, a 37-year-old from Vallejo, California.
A poker player admits to lying about having cancer in order to raise funds to enter the World Series of Poker tournament. Despite his admission, he maintains that he may have undiagnosed breast cancer. The player raised a significant amount of money through a GoFundMe campaign but has no plans to return the funds. He has since ceased playing poker due to his deteriorated health.
In June, Mercer fabricated the story in a desperate attempt to gather the $10,000 needed to participate in the world’s biggest poker event, which takes place in July in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Mercer created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising the cash and managed to touch the hearts of many, raising between $30,000 and $50,000, which allowed him to buy his entry into the tournament.
However, the Review-Journal reports that several members of the poker community became suspicious of Mercer due to his behavior during the event. Apparently, he provided vague answers when questioned about his illness and failed to present concrete evidence of his supposed terminal colon cancer diagnosis.
The outlet also reports that multiple people spotted him gambling at a casino and when asked about it, he was said to have been defensive.
Finally, Mercer came clean and confessed everything to the Review-Journal on Tuesday: “I shouldn’t have told people I have colon cancer. I improvised when someone asked me what type of cancer I had.”
However, Mercer stated that his story was not completely devoid of merit. He claimed to believe that he does have undiagnosed breast cancer and concocted the colon cancer story because he was embarrassed to admit he was dealing with such a rare disease in men.
“Yes, I lied about having colon cancer,” said Mercer, who ended up getting eliminated from the event early on. “I don’t have colon cancer. I used that to cover my situation.”
Mercer mentioned that since he does believe he has breast cancer, he has no intention of returning the money he obtained through his GoFundMe campaign.
As for his future in poker, he told the Review-Journal that he has stopped playing due to his “deteriorated health.” He also revealed that he now spends around 18 hours a day in bed.