After four action packed days of competitive poker play among many of the world’s best live tournament professionals at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, David “Chino” Rheem is the first Epic Poker League Main Event Champion. Rheem resides in Los Angeles, Calif. and adds his winnings tonight to his world lifetime earnings of $4,710,297.
On the final hand of this 6-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 Television Network and Discovery Communications’ Velocity will broadcast the action from the Inaugural Main Event this Fall.
“I’m proud to be the first Epic Poker League Main Event Champion,” said Rheem. “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,” said Seidel. “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 Epic Poker League Championship Freeroll, which is open to the 27 players with the highest earnings in the four regular season Epic Poker League Main Events. With their respective earnings of $1,000,000 and $604,330, Rheem and Seidel are each guaranteed one of those 27 seats. The Epic Poker League Season One Leaderboard can be viewed on www.epicpoker.com.
“Crowning our first Main Event champion was so exciting,” said Annie Duke, commissioner of the Epic Poker League. “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.”
“We are pleased with the first event of Epic Poker League’s inaugural season and look forward to continued success on our property during the second event in September,” said George Maloof, owner of Palms Casino Resort. “We congratulate David, and know poker fans and aspiring enthusiasts around the world will be impressed with the Epic Poker League broadcasts later this Fall.”
Fifteen of the top twenty ranked players in the world, according to the Global Poker Index, played the first Epic Poker League Main Event. As play neared the money, it became clear that a new GPI #1 would emerge as GPI #2 Erik Seidel, GPI #3 Jason Mercier, and GPI #4 Eugene Katchalov, were all poised to cash.
With Katchalov finishing 8th, 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.
The Epic Poker League Inaugural Season at Palms Casino Resort includes three remaining rake-free $20,000 Main Events, each with $400,000 in added money, and a $1,000,000 freeroll Championship Event for the top 27 players in the League. To be eligible to compete, Main Event players must earn membership determined by a rigorous set of objective criteria (http://www.federatedinc.com/poker-league/qualification-criteria). A complete roster for players that have qualified for Season 1 of the league can be found on the FS+G website at: http://www.federatedinc.com/poker-league/season-one-roster.
The four Season One Main Events feature different formats of No-Limit Texas Hold’em, including six-handed play, a heads-up tournament with an innovative seeding structure and a special multi-format tournament to round out the season. Each event week will include a Pro-Am event, a charity tournament, and a $20,000 buy-in rake-free main event (http://www.federatedinc.com/our-companies/poker-league/event-schedules).