Epic Poker League (EPL) expert Erik Seidel tops the leaderboard after Day 1 of the $20,000 buy-in main event at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The eight-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner from New York is aiming to make it three from three final tables at EPL main events as he accumulated a chip stack of 223,000 to leave second-placed Scott Clements, from Washington, as the only other player to break through the 200,000 chip barrier on 203,400.
Some of the players chasing down 52-year-old Seidel include Brooklyn’s Vanessa Selbst, who sits in third spot on 159,000, fourth-placed John ‘Brock’ Parker (155,600), of Maryland, and Texan David Williams (155,400), who is in fifth.
But it is Vegas-based Seidel who leads the way in the race to collect the top prize of $801,680 from the mix-max event, while just 61 players made it through to Day 2 from a starting field of 100 that generated a prize pool of $2,360,000.
Seidel finished fourth at the second EPL main event for $184,100 after picking up $604,330 as runner-up from the first tournament.
Those survivors from the eight-handed tables created an average chips stack of 81,967 as they test out their poker skills in various tournament situations that will result in players facing tables made up of fewer opponents every day.
The legendary Doyle Brunson was honoured with an EPL lifetime membership before play began on the opening day, made a short speech and was also allowed to announce ‘Shuffle up and deal’, before the ‘Texas Dolly’ failed to make it into Day 2.
Also exiting early were players such as David Steicke, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Mike Sowers, Matt Marafioti, Will Failla, Chris Moorman, Jen Harman, Randy Dorfman, Rep Porter, Joe Cheong, Sean Getzwiller, Fabrice Soulier, Adam Levy, Matt Matros, Sam Trickett, Allen Bari, Tim West, Antonio Esfandiari, EPL event two winner Mike McDonald, David Peters, Justin Young, Christian Harder and Justin Bonomo.
The nine Pro/Am qualifiers from the 187-player, three-day $1,500 buy-in event did not enjoy a good day, either, with only Joe Parille – who picked up $1,130 and his seat at the main event for finishing eighth – making it into Day 2.
That means Pro/Am winner Andy Bloch – with $24,085 for his success – Ryan Schmidt (second for $12,040), Marina Baroco (third for $7,150), Chris DeMaci (fourth for $4,890), Chris Woodbury (fifth for $3,390), Tony Gargano (sixth for $2,630), Ben Palmer (seventh for $1,880) and ninth-placed Dwyte Pilgrim all failed to make the most of their qualification.
A quartet of women started Day 1, but only Selbst and Vanessa Rousso made it into the second day, while other survivors include David ‘Chino’ Rheem – who is attempting to win his second EPL main event after taking down event number one for $1 million – as well as Eugene Katchalov, Jason Mercier, Nam Le, Huck Seed and Hasan Habib.
All five of those men will be aiming to make a second final table on the EPL after the payouts were announced.
A dozen players will cash, with second spot picking up $514,480, third collecting $306,800, fourth leaving with $174,460, and fifth winning $89,680, while places six to eight will earn $89,680, and $50,920 will go to nine through 12.
The champion will, of course, be handed a cheque for $801,680, as well as an EPL Championship ring.
Day 2 of the main event will be made up of five levels of seven-handed tables, while the third day’s format will be six-handed, and Day 4 is down as four-handed.
Day 5 of the event will have just four survivors, who will play down to a heads-up encounter, which will then become a best-of-three test.
Top 10 placings and chip counts after Day 1 of the third Epic Poker League (EPL) main event:
1. Erik Seidel (USA) – 223,100
2. Scott Clements (USA) – 203,400
3. Vanessa Selbst (USA) – 159,000
4. John ‘Brock’ Parker (USA) – 155,600
5. David Williams (USA) – 155,400
6. Matthew Glantz (USA) – 148,700
7. Thomas Marchese (USA) – 139,900
8. McLean Karr (USA) – 139,300
9. Amnon Filippi (USA) – 139,000
10. Samuel Stein (USA) – 135,500