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2014 MSPT Belle of Baton Rouge Day 1a: Bursavich Leads with Souther Second

Austin Bursavich

The first day of play in the 2014 Mid-States Poker Tour Belle of Baton Rouge Main Event came to a close Friday. Austin Bursavich bagged 187,300 in chips to notch a wide Day 1a chip lead over the other 17 survivors of the flight, and Will "Monkey" Souther was next in line with 132,000. Rounding out the top five stacks were Nicholas Graphia (95,700), Jack Carona (81,700), and Claudia Crawford (69,700).

Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

1Austin Bursavich187,300
2Will Souther132,000
3Nicholas Graphia95,700
4Jack Carona81,700
5Claudia Crawford69,700
6Matt Kirby69,300
7Anthony Graphia57,700
8David Chocheles53,800
9Justin Truesdell50,200
10Ken Hughes46,500

A total of 55 entries were recorded, and the remaining 18 players will bide their time before returning on Sunday for Day 2.

Bursavich, who has no recorded cashes that we could find, burst onto the radar in this event with a huge double against Frank Bravata followed by busting the lively Ben Mintz. His upward trajectory took few detours from there, as he seemed to show up with huge hand after huge hand, despite playing what looked to be every other pot.

Souther, meanwhile, owes his hefty stack to two pairs of aces in hole, winning all-in pots against players holding {j-}{j-} on two separate occasions that you can read about here and here.

Graphia, who bagged the third largest stack, played perhaps the most exciting hand of the day when he dragged a pot with quads queens against kings full.

Other notables bagging up for the night include Matt Kirby (69,300) and Justin Truesdell (50,200), while accomplished runners like Kou Vang, Kenny Malim, Matt Alexander, Bill Romer, Nick Jivkov, and Allen Kessler hit the exits before the end of the night.

Be sure to tune in on Saturday as we bring you live coverage of Day 1b here at PokerNews straight from the tournament floor in Baton Rouge beginning at 5 p.m. local time.

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