Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continued on Thursday with Day 1a action from FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan. This marked the third time the MSPT has visited the property — and the state of Michigan for that matter — and it got off to a good start as 106 entrants took part in the opening flight (up from 81 and 87 the last two times the MSPT was in town).
While plenty of players showed up, just 18 remained after 14 levels of play with Scott Hammnett and his stack of 212,500 leading the way. Also still in contention is Adam Lamphere, who finished runner-up at both of the MSPT’s previous stops at FireKeepers.
Top 10 End-of-Day 1a Chip Counts
Hammett nursed a short stack early in the day, but he came on strong late in the evening due in no small part to a monster three-way all-in pot in Level 13 (1,000/2,000/300). It began when Hammett opened to 7,000 from the cutoff seat, the button flat-called and the big blind pushed all in for around 26,000. That prompted Hammett to announce he was also all in for 110,500 total. The player on the button was covered, but not by much and he took some time to think about it. After some thought, he made the call.
"I have kings," Hammett said, as the button player sheepishly turned over queens and the big blind showed the . The flop was and Hammett was looking good with the in his hand. The on the turn provided a wheel sweat, but the on the river propelled Hammett to the chip lead.
As for Lamphere, he got a good deal of his chips in Level 8 (300/600/75) when he eliminated 2012 World Series of Poker Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em champion Nick Jivkov. It happened when Jivkov raised from the cutoff seat and action folded to Lamphere in the big blind. He looked down at , popped it to 4,000, and Jivkov proceeded to four-bet jam for around 25,000. Lamphere called and Jivkov was behind with suited. Despite drawing to two live cards, Jivkov failed to crack big slick and was eliminated from the Day 1a flight, though he did say he’d be back on Day 1b. Lamphere finished the night with 45,500.
Others who hit the rail on Day 1a were Ashlee McGee, Steve Bahls, Bruce “The Hammer” Swart, Gary Matthews, Heather Schuchaskie, Dusty Feller, and Jay VanStee. It was a particularly brutal exit late in the evening for VanStee after first getting his big slick cracked by the , and then busting a short time later when he shoved holding the only to run into the of Alex Barill.
While many fell, some managed to advance to Day 2 including Taylor Tollefson (210,500), Jake Jarous (181,000), Steve Anderson (156,500), Steve Viant (97,500), Jake Baumgartner (93,500), and Eugene Truxall (37,500).
Day 1b is set to kick off at 12 p.m. local time (Day 1c will take place at the same time on Saturday). The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand to bring you all the action and eliminations, so be sure to check back then. In the meantime, check out this PokerNews Impromptu with MSPT owner and operator Bryan Mileski, who talks about FireKeepers and the tour’s immense success in Season 5.
For more on the MSPT stop at FireKeepers, visit MSPTpoker.com.