Day 3 of the Epic Poker League Main Event #2 came to a close on Thursday, and what an exciting day it was. The final table of eight is set and it definitely isn't lacking in talented and well-known players.
Heading into the final table at the top of the heap is David Steicke who slid into the chip lead at the end of play to finish with 1,059,000 in chips. Not far behind him is Event #1's second-place finisher and poker juggernaut Erik Seidel with 1,031,000. Seidel won a huge pot late in the day when ended up all-in against Mike McDonald. The board read when Seidel and McDonald got all chips in the middle. McDonald held for tens full of eights, but was bested by Seidel's for tens full of aces. That pot propelled Seidel's stack above the one-million mark and made him the first player in the tournament to reach that milestone.
Sean Getzwiller is the only "amateur," the only player who is not an EPL card holder, left in the field. He won his seat into the event via the Pro/Am Qualifier last weekend.
When the day began with 23 players remaining, the first few eliminations came fairly quickly. David "Bakes" Baker, who began play as the short stack, was the first to be eliminated. Jaime Kaplan, one of the Pro/Am qualifiers, was next to go. Dan O'Brien, who held the chip lead for much of Day 2, hit the rail next and was followed out the door by defending champion Chino Rheem.
After getting all the chips in preflop, Rheem's ran into McDonald's and he was unable to catch up when the board ran out .
Marco Johnson exited next when his was flushed by Mike Watson's on a board that ran out . Next to go was Matt Marafioti, who found himself in the classic cooler situation when his pocket kings ran into Watson's pocket aces. Marafioti failed to improve and his elimination got everyone to the bubble for the final two tables, but no one could have predicted what happened next.
Chris Moore and Christian Harder were both all-in and at risk against Steicke. Moore held ace-king, Harder had pocket threes, and Steicke was leading with pocket queens. As the dealer flipped over the flop, a was in the window, but any joy Harder felt was quickly dashed as the other two cards were revealed, a and a . The turn put out another giving Moore a little more hope, but the river was a and Steicke's queens full of kings sent the other two players to the rail and left a field of 15.
Jonathan Little and Watson were the next two players sent to the rail and with their exit, the tournament was on the money bubble. Fabrice Soulier came very close to being the bubble boy when he ended up all-in holding against Adam Levy's . Luckily for Soulier, the board ran out giving the players the same hand and a chopped pot.
Not long after that hand took place, Allen Bari ended up all-in holding against Isaac Baron's . The board of brought no help to Bari who was out the door the second the river card was revealed. His elimination meant the remaining players were all guaranteed at least $46,020.
Matt Glantz finished in 12th place. He also cashed in the inaugural EPL event, so he is now one of only four players to have cashed in both events. Tim West finished in 11th place after his was unable to fend off the of Baron on a board that read . The 10th-place finisher was Amit Makhija. He ended up all-in after a flop of but found that his was behind Steicke's . Makhija was unable to improve and hit the rail.
With only nine players remaining, each with their eyes on the eight-handed final table, Levy had his dream dashed when he moved all-in holding and was called by Nam Le who held . The flop brought even worse news when it came giving Le a set of eights. The turn left Levy drawing dead and he bubbled the final table. The ironic part is that Levy also bubbled the six-handed final table of the first EPL Main Event.
Two of the eight players at the final table cashed in the first EPL event, including Seidel who finished second to Rheem and Baron who finished in 10th. There's no doubt that Baron is happy to top his prior performance, and we're sure Seidel is looking to do the same and claim the $782,410 that will go to the eventual champion.
Final Table Seating Assignments
The final table will begin at 1500 PT (2300 BST) at Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas. If you're in the area, feel free to come sit in the audience and watch the fun, otherwise keep your browser on PokerNews for all the coverage.
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