An amateur poker player says he lied about having terminal cancer in order to pay his way into a championship event—but that he has no plans to repay the money. Californian Rob Mercer admitted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a phone interview that he did not have stage 4 colon cancer, something he claimed to have been diagnosed with when he started a GoFundMe page in June. The fundraiser was meant to be his ticket to the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in main event, according to the newspaper. “I don’t have colon cancer. I used that to cover my situation,” Mercer said. “What I did was wrong. 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.” The player insisted to the Review-Journal that he still does have cancer—just not of the colon. He explained he’d been “scared” and embarrassed to admit he has undiagnosed breast cancer, though it was not immediately clear if this was true. Mercer collected somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 in donations before being contacted by a representative of GoFundMe, who informed him he’d violated the site’s terms of service, he told the newspaper.
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