12/20/11 : Chris Klodnicki triumphant, earning $801,680
The US professional Epic Poker League completed its third major tournament at the Palms in Las Vegas over the weekend, with Philadelphia professional Chris Klodnicki besting a high-powered field to take home the winner's ring and a tidy $801,680 in main event prize money.
Klodnicki's career earnings soared to almost $3 million as a result of his victory, his biggest pay check yet and the latest of three first place finishes and 39 cashes in live tournaments. He plays extensively online under the ‘handle' Sloppyklod.
On the final day, five professionals faced off across the felt, playing down briskly to a three handed tussle between Klodnicki, Andrew Lichtenburger and Joe Tehan which went on for some time before Klodnicki terminated Tehan at hand 246, setting up the heads-up battle between Lichtenberger and Klodnicki, with chip stacks of 1.526 million and 3.47 million respectively.
The duo went on to play a best-of-three match. For the first two matches, the starting stacks were the same as when they commenced heads-up play. If a deciding third match was required, the stacks would be reset to even.
Despite a valiant effort, Lichtenburger was unable to contain his opponent and Klodnicki took the first two matches and the tournament
The final table payouts looked like this at the end of five days of poker:
1 Chris Klodnicki $801,680
2 Andrew Lichtenberger $514,480
3 Joe Tehan $306,800
4 Michael Mizrachi $174,640
5 Scott Clements $89,680
Klodnicki's victory places him in the number two spot on the leaderboard for the top 27 money earners in the first season of the EPL.