The Epic Poker League’s third $20,000 Main Event kicked off on Wednesday and attracted another star-studded field. At the end of registration, 100 players had signed up and generated a prize pool of $2,360,000 after the EPL added $400,000. Leading the 61 players who advanced to Day 2 was Erik Seidel, who bagged up 223,100 in chips.
This third event of the EPL’s first season was a mix-max format. Day 1 was played eight-handed; Day 2 will be played seven-handed with a redraw to six-handed if the tournament reaches 36 players. Day 3 will be six-handed with a redraw to three four-handed tables when 12 players remain. Day 4 will be played four-handed and the final will be a best-of-three heads-up match. The varying formats are set to create an interesting tournament dynamic and really test the different skill sets of the players.
Because they made the final table of the $1,500 Pro/Am event, nine players earned their seats to this Main Event. Those players included Andy Bloch, Ryan Schmidt, Marina Baroco, Chris DeMaci, Chis Woodbury, Tony Gargano, Ben Palmer, Joe Parille and Dwyte Pilgrim. Out of that bunch, only Parille advanced to Day 2. He finished Day 1 with 31,100 in chips.
Joining those eight eliminated players on the rail was "The Godfather of Poker," Doyle Brunson. He gave the "Shuffle up and deal!" announcement at the beginning of the day after being awarded a Lifetime Membership Card from the EPL, but he only lasted until Level 4 of the tournament.
According to the EPL Live Update Team, with the blinds at 300/600/75, Brunson squeezed all-in for 17,925 after a raise from Peter Jetten and a flat-call from Parille. Jetten had opened to 1,500 and made the call while Parille folded. Jetten held against the at-risk Brunson’s . The flop, turn and river ran out and Jetten’s full house was the winner to knock out Brunson.
Other notable eliminations on the day were Justin Bonomo, Sam Trickett, Antonio Esfandiari, Allen Bari, and EPL Event #2 champion Mike McDonald.
Bari was eliminated by Scott Clements during Level 3 with the blinds at 200/400/50. Bari was all-in preflop with , but crushed by Clement’s . After a board of , Bari headed to the rail while Clements went on to finish second in chips with 203,400 in his bag.
Seidel has already crushed the first two EPL events, coming in second in the first one for $604,330 and fourth in the second one for $184,100. One of the key hands that he won to help build his chip-leading stack came during Level 5 with the blinds at 400/800/100 when he eliminated Jonathan Little from action.
Will Molson had opened to 2,000 and Seidel made the call. Little three-bet to 6,800 and that knocked Molson out of the way. Seidel stuck around to see the flop and it came down .
After Seidel checked, Little fired 7,000. Seidel check-raised to 25,000 and Little stuck the rest of his chips in. The total all-in bet was worth 27,000, and Seidel quickly called the extra little bit. He had flopped top pair with against Little’s . Seidel held from there after the turn and river to eliminate Little.
Top 10 Chip Counts
Outside of the top 10, other notables advancing include Victor Ramdin, David "Bakes" Baker, Dan Shak, Chris Klodnicki, Shannon Shorr, Jason Mercier and Dan O’Brien. EPL Event #1 champion Chino Rheem will be the shortest stack returning with 11,000 in chips.
Day 2 is set to begin at 1200 PST (0900 CET) on Thursday. The top 12 places will be paid out and $801,680 will be going to the winner. PokerNews will have the daily recap for you after the day is complete, so be sure to check back for that.
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