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Epic Poker League Main Event #2 Day 1: Kaplan On Top

Jaime Kaplan

Day 1 of the Epic Poker League Main Event #2 concluded on Tuesday, and of the 96 players who began the day, only 51 remain. At the top of the chip counts is Pro/Am qualifier Jaime Kaplan, who built his stack up to 324,600 by the end of the day. Kaplan finished in tenth place in the Pro/Am earlier this week, just short of getting a seat into the Main Event, but the original ninth-place finisher, Michael DiVita withdrew from the tournament and Kaplan was awarded the seat.

Of the nine Pro/Am final table members who earned their seat into this event, current EPL card holders Phil Hellmuth, Nam Le and Greg Mueller all survived the day, along with one lone "amateur," Sean Getzwiller. Other Pro/Am qualifiers Brandon Meyers, Jeremy Ausmus, Russell Rosenblum and Andreas Hoivold, were all eliminated throughout the course of the day.

Players who will start Day 2 near the top of the chip counts include Dan O'Brien, Alec Torelli, Mike McDonald and Event #1 champion Chino Rheem.

Notable players who were eliminated throughout the course of the day included Antonio Esfandiari, Gavin Smith, Phil Laak, and Vanessa Selbst. Esfandiari was eliminated by Greg Mueller in a rather dramatic hand.

With the board already reading {k-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Spades}, Esfandiari had made a huge all-in bet for around 60,000 and action was on Mueller. He contemplated the hand out loud stating, "I don't think I can fold this," and counted his chips out. He realized he would only have around 12,000 left if he called and lost. Mueller eventually decided to make call and Esfandiari immediately said, "Good hand," as he revealed his {q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} for a busted flush draw. Mueller flipped over his {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} for kings and threes which was enough to win the pot with two pair.

Another notable to hit the rail was the late-arriving Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi. From the hijack seat, Nam Le raised to 1,800 to start things off with the blinds at 400/800 with a 100 ante. Amit Makhija reraised from the cutoff seat to 5,800. Justin Bonomo flatted on the button and then Mizrachi moved all-in from the small blind for 27,000 even. Action moved back around to Le and he folded. Makhija tanked for a few minutes and then also folded. Bonomo was next in line and took a couple minutes as well. Eventually, he made the call to put Mizrachi at risk.

Mizrachi: {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}
Bonomo: {J-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}

No help came for Mizrachi as the board ran out {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{8-Spades} and he was sent to the rail.

Of the 51 remaining players, only 12 will get a piece of the $2,301,200 prize pool. An impressive $782,410 will go to the eventual champion. All the players still fighting for that top spot will resume play Wednesday 1200 PDT (2000 BST) at the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas so be sure to continue following us here at PokerNews for all your Epic Poker updates!

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