Rheem topples Seidel in first Epic Poker Main Event

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 13, 2011 Posted in Epic Poker League News, Tournament News | No Comments »

On Friday night Chino Rheem became the first-ever Epic Poker League Champion after wading through one of the toughest 137 player fields in poker history; holding his own at a final table that included a former Main Event Champion in Huck Seed, the all-time tournament money winner in Erik Seidel, and the man considered by many to be the best tournament player at the moment in Jason Mercier; and then besting Erik Seidel in heads-up play.

1. Chino Rheem — $1,000,000

2. Erik Seidel — $604,330

3. Jason Mercier — $360,970

4. Hasan Habib — $237,560

5. Gavin Smith — $154,260

6. Huck Seed — $107,980

Although he didn’t win, Seidel’s recent success in high-buy-in tournaments is becoming a thing of legend. In 2011 Seidel has pocketed a whopping $5.6 million in prize-money, the vast majority of which coming in tournaments with buy-ins of $20,000 or more.

It’s been quite an interesting week for former November Niner Chino Rheem. First Rheem’s names was plastered all over the 2+2 poker forums for his failure to repay his debts to his fellow poker pros, and as more players continued to come forward questions emerged regarding Rheem’s reputation, and whether or not he would be allowed to compete in future Epic Poker League tournaments –the league has a Standards and Conduct Committee.

During the whole mess over unpaid debts Rheem was participating in the $20,000 buy-in Main Event, and interest grew –amongst the general poker public and more so amongst the players Rheem owes money to– as he first cashed, then made the final table, and yesterday won the tournament, and the $1 million in first-place prize money.

It’s about 100% likely that Rheem was staked into the event, and quite likely that he will only have about 30% of himself in the tournament ($300k worth of prize-money) which might explain the following Tweets by Mike Matusow on the subject:

“congrats to @ChinoRheem i knew u could do it fuck all the haters hope you got gas money when you leave #markersdown”

“why do people that dont know @ChinoRheem talk so much shit about him he always pays everyone back when he makes a score #hatersstfu”

Although I have to say I don’t agree with Matusow’s notion that telling someone you have the money –which Rheem recently did to Ben Lamb—or telling someone that your friend is going to transfer the money immediately –which he pulled on Will Molson—and then not paying said money is ok as long as you eventually pay the debt when you are cash rich.

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