Katchalov Leads All-Star Cast on Epic Poker Day 2

1512 Eugene Katchalov
2011 WSOP bracelet winner Eugene Katchalov leads.

The Epic Poker League is already living up to its promise of the most star-studded cast in poker as three 2011 WSOP bracelet winners sit atop the Day 1 chip counts of their first ever $20,000 main event.

Eugene Katchalov, Ben Lamb and Brian Rast are sitting in the one, two and three spots, respectively, as the event heads into its second day of play at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

137 players entered this inaugural event, including eight non-league members who won their way into the tournament through the $1,500 Pro/Am qualifier. Just 63 made it through the day.

The buy-ins, along with the $400,000 overlay provided by the EPL’s parent company Federated Sports + Gaming, created a prize pool of approximately $3.1 million.

$982,660 and the EPL Champion’s Ring will go to the eventual winner.

The small field size, large prize pool and rake-free structure add up to one of the most financially hospitable tournaments in major poker event history.

With the exception of the Pro/Am wildcards, every player in this field passed the EPL’s rigorous league qualification criteria and as such they represent the best of tournament poker’s best.

Chip leader Eugene Katchalov has both WSOP and WPT titles and over $6.4 million in career tournament earnings.

Sitting second in chips after Day 1 is Ben Lamb, leader of the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year race thanks to one bracelet, one second place and a spot in this year’s November Nine.

Brian Rast, third in chips, won two bracelets at the 2011 World Series of Poker, including the prestigious $50,000 Player’s Championship.

Other talented players like all-time WSOP bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth, two-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Clements, two-time WPT winner and former $50k Player’s Champion Michael “Grinder” Mizrachi and 2010 November Niner Joe Cheong all played but failed to advance to Day 2.

Here are the top ten chip counts going into the second day of play.

  1. Eugene Katchalov - 356,300
  2. Ben Lamb - 287,200
  3. Brian Rast - 260,500
  4. Antonio Esfandiari - 248,100
  5. Noah Schwartz - 220,200
  6. McLean Karr - 191,800
  7. Hoyt Corkins - 187,400
  8. Isaac Baron - 167,700
  9. Daniel O'Brien - 163,300
  10. Erik Seidel - 161,200
Action continues at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas today.

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