David “Chino” Rheem is the first Epic Poker League main event champion. Rheem, who resides in Los Angeles, adds $1 million to his bankroll, giving him world lifetime earnings of $4,710,297.
On the final hand of this six-max tournament, which features six players to a table, Erik Seidel pushed all-in with A-Q. Rheem holding A-K, called and secured the win when Seidel failed to improve. CBS and Discovery’s Velocity will broadcast the action this fall.
"I’m proud to be the first Epic Poker League main event champion,” Rheem said. “This league is setting a new standard for poker players and I’m committed to using this win as an opportunity for a fresh start."
The elite final table included poker professionals Erik Seidel, Hasan Habib, Jason Mercier, Gavin Smith and Huck Seed.
"It was a real thrill to participate in the final table of the first ever Epic Poker League main event,” Seidel said. “It was one of the more exciting final tables I have ever played. What’s special about this league is that the best players in the world compete against each other and ensure that fans will see high-level play across the board. I can say with certainty that the Epic Poker League is good for poker and puts players first. I think it deserves the complete support of the entire poker community."
Rheem and Seidel have both secured their spots in the season-ending $1,000,000 EPL championship freeroll, which is open to the 27 players with the most earnings in the four regular season EPL main events. With their respective earnings of $1 million and $604,330, Rheem and Seidel are guaranteed spots. The EPL Season 1 leaderboard can be viewed on www.epicpoker.com.
“Crowning our first main event champion was so exciting,” said Annie Duke, EPL commissioner. “The final table of this event featured some of the most skilled and most recognizable live tournament players in the world. It has been a pioneering week for the Epic Poker League at Palms Casino Resort and we thank every player that participated.”
Fifteen of the top twenty ranked players in the world, according to the Global Poker Index, played the first EPL main event. As play neared the money, it became clear that a new GPI #1 would emerge as GPI #2 Seidel, GPI #3 Jason Mercier, and GPI #4 Eugene Katchalov, were all poised to cash.
With Katchalov finishing eighth, Seidel and Mercier began a battle for the top spot with the player who finished higher capturing GPI #1 and the other settling for GPI #2. Seidel’s second place finish ahead of Mercier’s third secured Seidel the top spot of the GPI rankings.