Rheem Rides Bubble Suckout to EPL Main Event Title
The first-ever Main Event of the Epic Poker League concluded on Friday with Chino Rheem outlasting Eric Seidel heads-up to take down the $1 million top prize.
Strong Turnout For First Main Event
The first ever Epic Poker League Main Event was a $20,000 Six-Handed NL Hold'em Event with two start days. After the two start days, a total of 137 players took their seats.
Most of the who's who in the poker world played in this first Main Event. A few notables that chose not to show up were Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Scotty Nguyen, and the very vocal Daniel Negreanu.
Negreanu has been especially critical about the league. You can read more about it in compncards' latest blog.
Eighteen players were paid in this event and originally first place was to receive $982,660.
Once the money was reached, the final 18 players voted to take some money off 2nd place and pay 1st an even $1 million.
Eric Seidel and Jason Mercier Highlight Final Table
The final table of this event showcased some of the best talent in the poker world.
Hasan Habib started the final as the chip leader and former WSOP Main Event champion Huck Seed started as the short stack.
Erik Seidel continued his epic run in 2011 and was joined at the final table by Jason Mercier.
Mercier continues to show that he is the best overall poker tournament player in the world with this final table finish.
Former November Niner Chino Rheem and Gavin Smith rounded out the final table.
Rheem got to the final table off the strength of a major suckout at the bubble. He was all-in with pocket queens against the aces of Justin Bonomo and caught.
He survived the bubble and continued to chip up to make the final of this event.
Seidel Battles Hard But Eventually Gets Rheemed
At the start of heads-up play, Seidel trailed Rheem and the two began a battle that lasted around 50 hands.
The two exchanged the chip lead numerous times, but Rheem continued to chip away at Seidel's stack.
The final hand saw Seidel all-in with A-Q against A-K for Rheem. The flop came with an ace but failed to produce a queen for Seidel.
Seidel took home $604,330. This win will push Seidel up to $6.2 million in winnings this year.
Will Rheem Pay Back His Debts?
Chino Rheem has developed quite the reputation as a debtor and scam artist in the poker world.
After his win in the Epic Poker League Main Event, he paid most players 10% of what he owed them with the exception of Ben Lamb who received all of his money due.
It is not known how much of his action was purchased as the EPL will not release backing arrangements to the public, but it is expected that Chino has very little of himself in this event.