The long awaited debut of the Epic Poker League

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 06, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

After months of press releases, announcements, marketing and PR campaigns, op-ed columns, and professional poker players chiming in with their two-cents, the Epic Poker league began its life on Friday with its inaugural Pro-Am tournament, which will award 9 seats into the $20k buy-in Main Event.

The Pro-Am tournament is no your typical satellite event, with two Day 1 starting flights and also a Day 2, the structure is extremely slow, so this isn’t going to be the all-in crap-shoot many satellite players are used to participating in.

Day 1a of the tournament began on Friday and a total of 92 participants turned out for the tournament, including 33 players who have already qualified for the exclusive Epic Poker League Main Event that would like to get in for $1,500 instead of the $20,000. Amongst the big names in attendance were Allen Cunningham, Ike Haxton, John Hennigan, JJ Liu, Vanessa Selbst, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Peter Jetten, Mike “Timex” McDonald, Sorel Mizzi, John Racener, Mike Sexton, and Justin Bonomo.

The structure calls for play to be halted after 15 levels or when only 15% of the field remains: On Friday play was halted at the beginning of level 13.

Day 1b is expected to draw an even larger field, with even more star players, and considering the tournament only needs $42,000 more in the prize-pool to avoid having to go into their pockets for the nine $20k seats, the debut of the Epic Poker League has to be viewed as a rousing success. Epic Poker League Commissioner Annie Duke was quoted by the EPL site as saying: “Today exceeded my expectations. I’m especially happy about how many pros are supporting the event – not just the Main Event but the whole concept. It’s really gratifying.”

Here is a look at the 14 players who survived Day 1a of the Epic Poker League pro-am courtesy of

1. VANESSA SELBST — 159,900

2. ELI ELEZRA — 133,000

3. CLIFFORD WAITE — 102,000


5. ANDY BLOCH — 68,300

6. PETER JETTEN — 61,600

7. BRANDON MEYERS — 57,500

8. MIKE MATUSOW — 48,700


10. DAN FLEYSHMAN — 47,900

11. MATT GLANTZ — 40,000

12. JORDAN JAYNE — 26,800

13. GEORGE LONG — 24,200

14. AARON JAMES — 24,000

On Sunday, these 14 players will be combined with the survivors from Day 1b where they will play down to the final 9 – at which point the tournament will be halted since 1st place through 9th place are worth the same; a seat into the EPL Main Event.

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