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By Dianne R. Davis

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Photo credit: Dianne R. Davis or Burton Davis unless otherwise noted.

McDonald Defeats Steicke at  Final Table to Claim $782,410 First Place Prize and Champion’s Ring

Many of the world’s best poker players returned to Palms Casino Resort  for the second event of the Epic Poker League Inaugural Season. After four days  Mike “Timex” McDonald won the title of Epic Poker League Main Event Champion. McDonald, a resident of Waterlook Onterio,  is the youngest member of the Epic Poker League and also sits on the League’s Standards & Conduct Committee.  He adds this championship to his world lifetime earnings of $2,886,114.

On the final hand of this tournament, McDonald’s ace-four trumped David Steicke’s king-deuce. Starting later this month, CBS Television Network and Discovery Communications’ Velocity will broadcast all of the action from the Inaugural Season Main Events.

“I couldn’t have a better birthday gift than this,” said McDonald who turned  22 years old on Sun., Sept. 11. “It was a tough day, against tough players at the table. The Epic Poker League is extremely competitive and it’s rare I’m at a table where I feel that many of the players are better than myself.”

The elite final table included top American poker professionals Erik Seidel, Nam Le, Dutch Boyd and Isaac Baron. International players included Fabrice Soulier from France and David Steicke from Australia. Sean Getzwiller, who does not own a League Card, was also at the final table. Getzwiller qualified for the Main Event after placing in the top 9 of Epic Poker’s second Pro/Am tournament. By making the final table, Getzwiller has earned provisional eligibility and will be able to play in December’s Epic Poker League Main Event.

McDonald and Steicke have both secured their spots in the season-ending $1,000,000 Epic Poker League Championship Freeroll, which is open to the 27 players with the highest earnings in the four regular season Epic Poker League Main Events. With their respective earnings of $782,410 and $506,260 McDonald and Steicke are each guaranteed one of those 27 seats, and join the first Main Event Champion David “Chino” Rheem and runner-up Erik Seidel. The Epic Poker League Season One Leaderboard can be viewed on their website.

“The Epic Poker League intends to introduce the world to today’s best poker talent and Mike McDonald is a rising star with a bright future in the game ahead of him,” said Annie Duke, commissioner of the Epic Poker League. “Our second Main Event at Palms Casino Resort featured some of the best live tournament players in the world, and we’re excited for viewers nationwide to see all of the action from the felt beginning at the end of the month.”

The Epic Poker League Inaugural Season includes two remaining rake-free $20,000 Main Events, each with $400,000 in added money, and a $1,000,000 Freeroll Championship Event for the top 27 players in the League. To be eligible to compete, Main Event players must earn membership determined by a rigorous set of objective criteria. A complete roster for players that have qualified for Season 1 of the league can be found on the FS+G website.

2011-12 Federated Sports + Gaming Season I Tournament Schedule

Pro-Am                                                                Charity Tournament                       League Main Event

Event #3              December 9 - 12, 2011                   December 11, 2011                         December 14 - 18, 2011

Event #4              January 27 - 30, 2012      January 29, 2012                               February 9 - 12, 2012

Championship                    ----                                                        ----                                         February 13 - 14, 2012

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