On Saturday, Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continued with Day 1b action from the Belle of Baton Rouge. After Friday’s Day 1a saw 55 entries, Day 1b attracted 63 to bring the total up to 118 entries, which helped the event pass its $100,000 guarantee. Like Friday, just 18 players survived the evening with Erica Sumner and her stack of 232,600 leading the way.
According to a tour official, Sumner may be the first woman in MSPT history to hold the chip lead heading into the final day of play. That said, she does face some stiff competition as Michael Benton (145,300), Kou Vang (117,200), David Holmes (89,700), and Jeff Grimes (85,800) all bagged top-five stacks, while notable players Allen Kessler (82,100) and Gene Dudek (81,900) are still in contention.
Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
Benton, who finished the day second in chips, got off to a quick start by busting two players in one hand. It happened in Level 3 (100/200) when, after two checks, the hijack bet 3,500 on a board of . Benton called in the big blind, and Isidro Sifuentes made it 13,000. The hijack jammed for 14,725, and Benton shoved over that for more than 30,000. Sifuentes called off his stack with no hesitation.
"You have the nuts?" Benton asked him. He didn't, but he did have the lead.
The player in the hijack was drawing dead, but Benton could still win the pot if the board paired. The river did just that, and Benton celebrated while the dealer counted out the chips. Sifuentes was covered, so Benton took both players' stacks.
Alexander's elimination had to be particularly painful, as the sponsored pro was poised to break a recent run of bad fortune (failing to bag a stack in three straight Day 1s) until he was the victim of a big hand at the end of the night.
It happened in Level 9 when Alexander opened for 4,000 in early position and Sumner made it 12,000 from his immediate left. Action folded to the button, who shoved for 14,400. Alexander shipped it as well after the blinds folded, and Sumner snap-called.
"She's gonna be massive chip leader," a player at the table said, and indeed the board came giving Sumner an unnecessary straight and a pile of chips. Aces were also kind to Sumner in another all-in pot against queens, which is when her upward trajectory initially began.
The 36 Day 1 survivors will return on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. local time to play down to a winner. Of course you can follow the action right here on PokerNews and also check out a full recap of the action upon the completion of play.