Mike McDonald is the Epic Poker League's newest champion after the young American bested a strong final table to claim the championship ring. McDonald beat David Steicke heads-up for a $782k first prize.
The Epic Poker League this weekend celebrated its second champion, as Mike "Timex" McDonald overcame a strong final table to claim the win at the $20,000 Main Event at Palms Casino.
McDonald entered the tournament alongside 96 of American tournament poker's biggest names, and went on to qualify for an extremely competitive final table, led by Australian David Steicke and Erik Seidel.
Shortly after final table began, three players had already busted out, as Dutch Boyd, Sean Getzwiller and Isaac Baron all left the tournament within the first 25 hands to be played.
Then about an hour later Nam Le
ended his run against Frenchman Fabrice Soulier, who also took care of favorite Erik Seidel shortly after the dinner break.
With three players left, McDonald was the short stack, but after picking up a few good hands, the American eventually built up a stack large enough to put pressure on both of his opponents.
Another decisive moment came as Soulier open-shoved his
and all of a sudden, McDonald was heads-up with Steicke for the title.
An early double gave McDonald the chip lead, and finally Steicke too had to surrender as his
failed to catch up with McDonald's
, giving the just 22-year-old American the win, the championship ring and a $782,410 first prize.
David Steicke took home $506,260 for his runner-up finish, Fabrice Soulier earned $299,160 for finishing third, and finally, Erik Seidel pushed his 2011 winnings to well over $6 million with his fourth place cheque, worth $184,100.