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Kaplan Leads, Chino Lurks at Second Epic Event
Jamie Kaplan is making the most of his second chance at the Epic Poker League Main Event, running up a huge chip stack to take the lead after Day 1.
Kaplan originally bubbled the $1,500 Epic Pro/Am on Monday, finishing 10th and just short of a $20k seat into the Main Event.
When qualifier Michael Divita withdrew on Tuesday due to revelations about his criminal past, Kaplan was bumped up to ninth and was given his buy-in.
He’s doing his best to take advantage of his freeroll, finishing Day 1 with 324,600 in chips. He'll lead the remaining 51 players into Day 2 action today at the Palms in Las Vegas.
He’s not exactly running away with the event, however, with several big names in pursuit and Dan O’Brien, Alec Torelli, Mike “Timex” Macdonald and Nam Le rounding out the top 5 in chips.
Right behind them in sixth is Chino Rheem, winner of the first Epic Poker League Main Event last month for $1 million but currently on probation with the EPL for unpaid debts.
Just 97 players turned out for this second EPL event, down from 137 players in the first, but as always the list is a who’s who of tournament poker.
Also still in contention after Day 1 are Andrew Robl, Adam Levy, Allen Bari, Isaac Baron, Justin Bonomo, Mike Matusow, Erik Seidel, Jonathan Little, Phil Hellmuth, Dutch Boyd, Huck Seed and Ben Lamb.
Another name to keep an eye on: Tom Dwan, who finished the day well back in the pack but still with plenty of chips (63,800) to make a move on Day 2.
Starting the event but not making it through the day were Isaac Haxton, Gavin Smith, Shannon Shorr, Brian Rast, Vanessa Selbst and Antonio Esfandiari, among others.
Play resumes today at noon at the Palms.