Mercier & Barbour Get Married, Hastings Retires to Open Tea Shop
Jason Mercier and Natasha Barbour spend a large parts of their lives at the tables and now they will continue that journey together, both on and off the felt, on a permanent basis.
The two recently wed and are now one of the premier power couples in poker.
Meanwhile, Brian Hastings has come to the point where he realizes that his personal happiness and well being is more important than the money he can win at poker.
Hastings will step away from being a full-time poker pro and open a tea shop in the hopes of finding the right life balance.
Jason Mercier and Natasha Barbour Wed
PokerStars pro Jason Mercier popped the question to then-girlfriend Natasha Barbour just after she was eliminated in the $5,000 NL Event at the 2016 World Series of Poker this summer.
She accepted and the pair spent months planning for their wedding. The two tied the knot on November 20, making them poker's newest power couple.
Mercier is one of the game's premier players with over $18.5 in live poker tournament earnings. He also has five World Series of Poker bracelets, two of which he won in 2016.
Barbour is one of the game's up-and-coming female players. In addition to a WSOP circuit title she has final-table appearances at the WSOP each of the last two years.
She has a third- and a second-place finish. Now all that's left is for her to win a bracelet.
Both players are moving up their respective money lists. Mercier is #1 on the Florida All-Time Money List and Barbour is 7th for Lebanese players. Overall, Mercier ranks 13th all-time while Barbour ranks 24th on the Women's All-Time Money List.
Hastings Retires to Open Tea Shop
No, this is not a fake news title you see on Facebook.
Brian Hastings announced on his blog earlier this week that he will be stepping away from poker as a full-time pursuit and opening his own business.
Hastings has filed paperwork to open UniTea, a tea shop that clearly has a dual purpose of promoting unity amongst all people.
In his blog, Hastings wrote about his rise to prominence in poker and his battles with depression. Despite his best efforts his therapist has urged him to move on from being a poker pro in order to achieve happiness.
Hastings has admitted that he will not leave the game entirely but rather will cut his play back to about 10-20 hours a week. Granted, any future plans will likely hinge on the success of his business and whatever personal happiness he can achieve.
Poker is a game and often a lonely one. Sometimes one has to leave the game in order to become a better person. We wish Hastings the best of luck in whichever life path he continues upon.