One of the toughest fields in final table history took their seats to battle it out for victory at the inaugural Epic Poker League Main Event held at the Palms Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. David “Chino” Rheem took down the honors, the $1 million first-place prize money, and the ring.
The final table started with six of the world's best poker players: Erik Seidel, Hasan Habib, Huck Seed, Gavin Smith, Jason Mercier, and Rheem. The final table battle lasted about 10 hours before Rheem claimed the victory.
Huck Seed was the first to go. He was short stacked going into the final table and got his last chips - almost 900,000 - all-in before the flop with Jason Mercier. Seed had and ran into the of Mercier. The flop was bad for Seed; it hit with the . Mercier's huge rail went into a loud roar and then continued with repeated "Yeah-h-h-p-p" and "Yups" from the likes of Dan O'Brien, Vanessa Selbst, Brent Hands, and others. The turn followed by the river were no help to Seed. Huck Seed finished in 6th place for $107,980.
Gavin Smith was gone in 5th place after starting the day as chip leader. Smith had against Mercier's . The board ran out . Gavin Smith took home $154,260.
Chino Rheem opened with a raised to 70,000 and Hasan Habib went all-in for about 600,000. Rheem did the insta call and showed to Habib's . The flop showed and the turn brought the . Habib was drawing wounded to one card; he needed the to stay alive. The crowd appeared to pull for him and his miracle card but it didn't come. The sent Hasan Habib home in 4th place with $237,560.
Then there were three; all fairly close in chips and all playing their A game.
The crowd loved Mercier, he had the largest rail and it appeared that almost everyone wanted a Mercier victory. He lost a big flip to Seidel where he held pocket fives vs. Seidel's big slick and it left him short chips. He pushed the last of his chips in from the small blind holding . Seidel called from the big blind with the . It was over for Jason Mercier, the youngest player at the table. He finished in 3rd place for $360,970.
Seidel and Rheem were off to war. They played nearly 50 hands before the final hand came down and Rheem had been steadily pulling chips from Seidel's stack during heads-up play. Seidel's chip stack was dominated when they got their money in.
The flop brought an ace but Rheem's king kicker was king and he ended up with a flush on the river. Erik Seidel took home 2nd place and $604,330.
Chino Rheem outlasted a superstar field of poker's best; he made it through 137 players to take down the honor of first in the first Epic Poker League event, $1 million, and the gold championship ring. Congratulations Chino!
Final Table Results
|Place || Player ||Prize |
|2||Erik Seidel||$604,330 |
|3||Jason Mercier ||$360,970 |
|4||Hasan Habib||$237,560 |
|5||Gavin Smith ||$154,260 |