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2014 MSPT Canterbury Park Day 1b: Big Turnout Sets New Minnesota State Record

Jay Melancon

Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota was the first-ever stop on the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT). Since then, it has traditionally been the biggest stop on the schedule, and in an already record-breaking Season 5, anticipation was high that the MSPT could once again set another state record.

A total of 232 runners entered the field on Saturday, a slight increase over Day 1a's 215 entries, bringing the total field to 447. That was good enough for a new Minnesota state attendance record for a major event (buy-in of at least $1,000). This record comes after the MSPT broke similar records in Iowa and Wisconsin in their last two events. Needless to say, the MSPT is really coming into its own in Season 5.

After action came to a close on Day 1b, Jay Melancon sat atop the overall counts with 266,400 heading into Sunday's Day 2. Distantly trailing Melancon were Scott Sitron (193,300), Brian Zekus (193,200), Ken Pates (185,000), and Judd Greenagel (182,200). Forty-seven players survived the 14-level grind.

Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts

1Jay Melancon266,400
2Scott Sitron193,300
3Brian Zekus193,200
4Ken Pates185,000
5Judd Greenagel182,200
6Steve Senger168,000
7Jerome Getz162,000
8Alan Ahmann157,300
9Chad Poitra156,100
10Rooster Oien153,500

Melancon seemed to build most of his stack in unknown pots, but we did find him in one good-sized pot. Tom Hammers shoved his last 20,000 or so all in on a {7-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{10-Spades} flop against Melancon, who made the call.

Melancon: {9-Clubs}{9-Spades}
Hammers: {j-Clubs}{j-Hearts}

Hammers had an overpair and a straight draw, but he trailed the set of Melancon. A {5-Clubs} bricked off the turn, and the {2-Clubs} did likewise on the river. Melancon had a wide chip lead with about 300,000 at that point, but the gap between he and the field closed over the final hour. Still, he bagged an amount well clear of the next cluster of players.

2014 MSPT Canterbury Park Day 1b: Big Turnout Sets New Minnesota State Record 101
Mike Schneider

One of the biggest names to advance was Mike Schneider, longtime CardRunners instructor and Minnesota native. "Schneids" got very little going most of the day until a late rush fueled first by a big flip against Jim Lawrence. A short time after that, a player in middle position opened for 6,000, and Schneider bumped it to 15,200 on the button. The raiser called, and the dealer spread a flop of {4-Spades}{8-Clubs}{9-Spades}. Schneider bet 20,000 when checked to, and his opponent quickly called. A {j-Diamonds} fell on fourth street, and Schneider pushed all of his chips forward after his opponent checked. The player called instantly, but he was in worse shape than he likely thought.

Schneider: {q-Spades}{q-Diamonds}
Middle position: {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}

Schneider had two blockers to his opponent's straight draw, and a harmless {6-Spades} river secured his double. He finished out the night with 148,900.

Another notable, Mark Sandness, ended the day with 98,800.

Others navigating through the field today included Adam Dahlin (116,100), MSPT Meskwaki final table participant Marty Martimo (87,500), Lance Harris (78,300), Taylor Tollefson (62,400), Nes Coburn (46,000), and Jason Seitz (40,800).

Players who won't be seeing Day 2 are Todd Breyfogle, Matt Alexander, Peixin Liu, Terry Ring, Tyler Caspers, Dan Sun, David Gonia, Matt Kirby, Marc "Poker Joker" Powers, Jeremy Dresch, Brett Kuznia, Ken Payne and Aaron Johnson.

Play will resume on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. local time, so be sure to come back to PokerNews bright and early for all of the live updates on the final day of the tournament.

For more information on the MSPT and to find an upcoming stop near you, head over to

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