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Rob Mercer Confesses to Fabricating Terminal Cancer Diagnosis to Receive Donations

Las Vegas — An amateur poker player who claimed to have terminal cancer and received thousands of dollars in donations for a World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas now admits it was all a lie.

Rob Mercer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he fabricated a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis for his GoFundMe page in June, according to the newspaper’s report on Wednesday.

“I did lie about having colon cancer. I don’t have colon cancer. I used that to cover my situation,” Mercer confessed.

“What I did was wrong,” he continued. “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.”

Mercer, from Vallejo, California, was attempting to raise enough funds to meet the $10,000 buy-in for the No-limit Hold’em World Championship. He received contributions ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, including a stay at a suite in the Bellagio. Another player from Arizona, who suffers from a chronic illness, donated $2,500.

“I’m sorry for not being honest about what my situation was. If I would have done that from Day One, who knows what would have happened,” Mercer expressed to the newspaper.

However, the 37-year-old stated that he will not be refunding anyone because he believes he has undiagnosed breast cancer.

He mentioned that he has been mostly shunned by the poker community.

Mercer confirmed to the Vegas-Review that he was contacted by GoFundMe regarding a violation of its terms of service.

People who made donations to Mercer were informed by GoFundMe on Wednesday that they will be receiving refunds, as reported by the newspaper.

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