A poker player, Rob Mercer, has issued an apology after confessing to fabricating a terminal cancer diagnosis in order to raise funds for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Mercer, a 37-year-old from Vallejo, California, concocted the story in June as a means to gather the $10,000 buy-in required for the prestigious tournament, which took place in Las Vegas in July.
Poker player Rob Mercer admits to fabricating a cancer diagnosis to raise funds for the WSOP Main Event.
The Fib and the GoFundMe Campaign
Mercer’s tale of having cancer gained attention when he set up a GoFundMe campaign to finance his participation in the WSOP Main Event. The empathetic response from the poker community and beyond contributed to him receiving an estimated $30,000 to $50,000, enabling him to enter the tournament.
However, doubts surrounding Mercer’s claims began to surface among fellow poker players. He provided evasive answers when questioned about his illness, failed to provide substantiating evidence of his supposed terminal colon cancer diagnosis, and was even seen gambling in a casino despite his alleged condition. When confronted about these contradictions, Mercer reportedly responded defensively.
The Truth Unveiled
Eventually, Mercer came clean about his deception, admitting to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “I shouldn’t have told people I have colon cancer. I did that just as a spur-of-the-moment thing when someone asked me what kind of cancer I had.” He explained that he used the fabricated colon cancer story due to embarrassment about his actual, undiagnosed breast cancer, as it is less common in men.
Reflection and Consequences
While expressing remorse for his actions, Mercer maintains that the money he received through the GoFundMe campaign will not be returned, as he still believes he has undiagnosed breast cancer. He also revealed that he has quit playing poker due to his deteriorating health, spending most of his day confined to bed.
In the end, Mercer acknowledges the consequences of his lies, expressing regret for deceiving so many people out of fear and vowing to face the repercussions of his actions.