Epic Poker League off to a good start

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 10, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

After months of speculation and planning the Epic Poker League was set to begin its life on Tuesday with its first $20k buy-in Main Event, and the only remaining question to be answered was; how many people would show up?

In the end, a solid turnout of 137 entrants –including the nine qualifiers from the Pro/Am—showed up at the Palms Casino to take part in the debut tournament from the fledgling league. With an entry-fee of $20k a head, Epic Poker League officials like Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack have to be breathing a sigh of relief, as the future of the tour may very well have hinged on this one tournament – It’s likely that a bad turnout would have scared away players on the fence for subsequent EPL events.

While most of the really big names in the poker world were MIA from the tournament –each with their own various reasons for skipping the high-profile tournament—the inaugural Epic Poker League Main Event did pull in a number of recognizable faces in the poker world, including the vast majority of the up-and-coming players who qualified for the tour.

So, even though fans won’t get to see the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Daniel Cates, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Howard Lederer, and Doyle Brunson they may end up with a new favorite player after seeing the likes of Faraz Jaka, Tom Marchese, Sam Trickett, or Vanessa Selbst play.

Thus far, the Epic Poker League is off to a rousing start; easily surpassing the number of entrants needed in the Pro/Am to award 9 seats to the Main Event, and now a better than expected turnout for the ME considering the maximum number of players eligible for the Main Event was 260, a 50% turnout for their first tournament has to be comforting for the EPL.

At the end of the day there were 63 players remaining from the initial starting field, all with their sights set on becoming the first ever Epic Poker League Champion!

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts heading into Day 2 of the tournament:

1. Eugene Katchalov — 356,300

2. Ben Lamb — 287,200

3. Brian Rast — 260,500

4. Antonio Esfandiari — 244,100

5. Noah Schwartz — 220,200

6. Vanessa Selbst — 205,000

7. Sorel Mizzi — 192,000

8. McLean Karr — 190,000

9. Gavin Smith — 178,000

10. Erik Seidel — 178,000

With the solid turnout and the $400,000 in added money, first-place in the tournament is worth nearly $1 million, and even 18th place will pocket an impressive $43k!

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