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October 16, 2018

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Chino Rheem wins first Epic Poker League event

Erik Seidel continues monumental year with runner-up finish


Epic Poker League

David “Chino” Rheem contemplates his next move during Day 3 of the Epic Poker League’s kickoff main event. Rheem went on to win the tournament for $1 million.


  • 1. Chino Rheem — $1,000,000
  • 2. Erik Seidel — $604,330
  • 3. Jason Mercier — $360,970
  • 4. Hasan Habib — $237,560
  • 5. Gavin Smith — $154,260
  • 6. Huck Seed — $107,980

David “Chino” Rheem is $1 million richer after winning the Epic Poker League’s inaugural main event at the Palms Friday night.

Rheem, a 29-year old poker pro from Miami, bested a final table that included the Global Poker Index’s No. 2 and No. 3 ranked players in Jason Mercier and Erik Seidel.

The victory marked Rheem’s third tournament cash of more than $1 million and first since 2008 when he took the poker world by storm. That year, Rheem finished seventh in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $1.7 million and won the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Classic at the Bellagio for $1.5 million.

Rheem’s lifetime tournament earnings now exceed $5 million, according to poker database The Hendon Mob.

Rheem did what four others failed to do earlier this year in defeating Erik Seidel heads-up for a title. Seidel, the leader of the all-time poker tournament money list, was out for his fifth major championship of 2011.

But Rheem turned his narrow chip advantage into a large one early against Seidel. He eventually got Seidel to commit all his chips with Ace-Queen, a starting hand that Rheem had dominated with Ace-King.

The community cards didn’t improve Seidel’s hand, which gave Rheem the victory.

Rheem also knocked out Hasan Habib, who entered the final day of play with the chip lead, in fourth when his pocket Aces held on against pocket Jacks. Mercier exited in third.

The Epic Poker League — a tournament series started by card player Annie Duke and former World Series of Poker Comissioner Jeffrey Pollack with hopes of turning into the equivalent of the PGA Tour for poker — returns to the Palms in less than a month for its second event, which begins on Sept. 6.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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