Sam Trickett Leads Epic Poker League Main Event

Sam TrickettSam Trickett, one of the most successful UK poker players this year and a leading nominee for “Best Tournament Player” at the British Poker Awards, conjured his way into a substantial chip lead in the $3 million Epic Poker League (EPL) Main Event.

With the field playing down last night to the final 18 – all of whom will cash – Sam took advantage of those on the fringe of the bubble to build a stack more than 50% bigger than his nearest opponent – Californian Hasan Habib.

Sam´s Day Starts Quietly

Starting Day 2 of the Main Event, Sam was seated in 23rd position (of 63), with a chip stack of 115,000 – a little above the average and comfortably managing the blinds of 500/1,000. As players started to bust out around him, his only significant event of the early proceedings was to double up against John Racener, when Sam´s Q♣ Q were too strong for Racener´s pocket 6´s. Sam was eventually to eliminate Racener, when he called Racener´s J J♣ with his A Q. The flop fell 10 9 9 – giving Sam plenty of outs. The Q♠ on the turn put Sam in the lead and the K on the river sealed Racener´s fate.

An Enjoyable Lunch

Either side of the lunch break, Sam improved his prospects in the game by first eliminating James Mackey when his A found an ace on the flop to bust out Mackey´s pocket 6´s, and then claiming the chip lead when flopping a straight against Frank Kassela´s two pairs. At this point there were just twenty players remaining, with play scheduled to continue until just 18 remained. The fringe of the bubble proved a very lucrative time for Sam, as he worried short-stacked players of their blinds and increased his post-Kassela chip count from 832,000 to an overnight 1,032,000.

Playing for a Million

One of the most appropriate decisions made by the organisers of the Epic Poker League was to increase the first place price money to $1 million from $982,660. Sadly, they had to knock $17,340 from the second place prize rather than contribute it themselves (it´s about what they spend an hour on PR) but all the remaining players agreed, so the deed was done.

Those remaining players, who are all now guaranteed a minimum cash of $43,190 are as follows:

1 Sam Trickett 1,032,000
2 Hasan Habib 646,000
3 Isaac Baron 637,500
4 Eric Seidel 609,000
5 Adam Levy 587,000
6 Jason Mercier 535,500
7 Matthew Glantz 453,000
8 Eugene Katchelov 418,000
9 David Rheem 408,000
10 Gavin Smith 357,500
11 Noah Schwartz 259,500
12 Hoyt Corkins 252,500
13 Ted Lawson 210,000
14 Hafiz Khan 144,000
15 Brandon Meyers 109,500
16 Huck Seed 93,500
17 Dan Fleyshman 82,500
18 Justin Bonomo 42,000