Play started at the second Epic Poker League (EPL) Main Event eight-handed final table with some of poker's biggest talent: Mike McDonald, Erik Seidel, Dutch Boyd, Fabrice Soulier, Sean Getzwiller, David Steicke, Nam Le, and Isaac Burton. With 97 players vying for the $782,410 first place prize and the coveted champion's ring, the final table was filled with easily recognized pro players.
Boyd was the first player eliminated when his pocket jacks found Seidel holding pocket aces. The Next player out was Getzwiller; he has now participated in both EPL main events and won his seats through the pro/Am Qualifiers. Since his final table appearance on Friday he now has a temporary EPL card that will allow him to buy in directly to the next EPL event.
The next two players eliminated were Baron and Le, with Le's elimination coming on the 46th hand of the day. The first four eliminations happened fairly fast. Then everything slowed down, a lot of big hands took place but it was over five hours before the next player left the action. That player was Erik Seidel.
Seidel had an up and down run during the day, sometimes the chip leader, sometimes the short stack, he busted out in fourth place. Finishing in second place in the inaugural EPL Main Event, Seidel has made an incredible, well-deserved tournament showing this year.
Soulier managed to shove all-in pre-flop more than a dozen times without being called when it got down to three-handed play. His aggression finally found him all in with when McDonald squared off against him holding . McDonald's hand held up and Fabrice Soulier was gone in third place.
It took 23 hands to end the heads-up play even though they were fairly close in chip stacks when it started. They got all the chips in the middle with a coin-flip situation when McDonald was all-in with against Steicke's . The board added to the tension McDonald must have felt when it ran out . The result left Steicke with only 230,000.
Steicke managed a comeback though and doubled up twice, once when McDonald held to his and the second time when his held up against McDonald's . Steicke was back over one-million and it looked like the game was on.
Steicke made an all-in move pre-flop with the and McDonald accepted the challenge with the . The board brought the and it was over. Steicke settled for second place.
Mike McDonald became the second EPL Champion and is now sporting the Champion's Ring along with a $782,410 payday. Congratulations Mike!
The Final Table Results:
Next up on the EPL schedule is the $1,500 Pro/Am event that takes place December 9th-12th with the $20,000 Main Event running December 14th-18th.
*Photo courtesy of Epic Poker