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2014 MSPT FireKeepers Casino Day 1c: Huge Turnout Brings Total Field to 411 Entries

Nick Perkins

Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) wrapped up its final starting flight at FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan on Saturday. Day 1c attracted an astounding 178 runners, which means along with Day 1a’s 106 and 1b’s 127, the total field was 411 entrants – up from last year’s 301.

That created a prize pool of $397,170 that will be distributed to the final 45 players, with a hefty $101,482 reserved for the winner. The man best positioned to make a run at the six-figure score, at least from the Day 1c field, is Nick Perkins, who lead the advancing 23 players with 368,500. To put that in perspective, Carter Myers was the Day 1b chip leader with 273,000 while Ben Hammnett lead Day 1a with 212,500.

Others who bagged up big stacks were Frank Galilei (311,000), John Michalak (308,000), and “Wild Bill” Romner (282,000).

Top Ten End-of-Day 1c Chip Counts

1Nick Perkins368,500
2Frank Galilei311,000
3John Michalak308,000
4"Wild Bill" Romer282,000
5Ryan Terpstra255,000
6Heather Schuchaskie222,500
7Glen Henbest207,500
8Mike Deis188,500
9Mark Johnson123,000
10Robert West121,500

In regards to Galilei, he got some of his chips in Level 13 (1,000/2,000/300) when he eliminated Nai Gang Lin. It happened when Lin, who was at one point the chip leader on Day 1c, opened for 6,000 and the player in the hijack called. Galilei then three-bet to 15,000 from the button. The blinds both folded, the other two players called, and it was three-way action to the {8-Clubs}{k-Spades}{9-Diamonds} flop.

2014 MSPT FireKeepers Casino Day 1c: Huge Turnout Brings Total Field to 411 Entries 101
Frank Galilei

Lin was first to act and moved all in for 31,000. The hijack folded, but Galilei called.

Galilei: {q-Spades}{q-Hearts}
Lin: {j-Clubs}{10-Hearts}

Lin had flopped an open-ended straight draw, but of course Galilei held two of his outs. Neither the {2-Spades} turn nor {3-Spades} river helped Lin, and he made a beeline for the door while Galilei chipped up to over 300K.

FireKeepers also proved unkind to 2012 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Nick Jivkov. He busted Day 1a, then fired two unsuccessful bullets on 1b, and ultimately fired two more in the early goings of 1c. In what would be his final hand, which took place in Level 4 (100/200/25), Jivkov opened for 500 from early position and fellow WSOP bracelet winner Adam Friedman three-bet to 1,125. The button called, as did Jivkov, and three players saw a flop of {7-}{5-}{2-} with two spades. Jivkov checked, Friedman bet 1,375, and the button folded. Jivkov made the call an offsuit {J-} hit the turn.

Jivkov checked for a second time and Friedman bet 2,875. Jivkov tanked for a solid two minutes before check-raising all in, and Friedman snap-called with {a-}{a-}. Jivkov tabled {6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} for a gutshot, which he wouldn't hit as the river blanked. After five bullets, Jivkov took his leave from the MSPT FireKeepers Main Event. Friedman would also fire two bullets on Day 1c only to bust, though he is slated to return on Day 2 to do commentary on the final table live stream.

Of course he wouldn’t be the last to fall. Among those who failed to advance to Day 2 were MSPT Ho-Chunk champ Daniel Bekavac; current MSPT Player of the Year leader Kou Vang; MSPT Season 4 POY Patrick Steele, who had finished fourth in both the MSPT’s prior stops at FireKeepers; Chicago Poker Classic Opening Event winner Chris Karambinis; and local player Bruce “The Hammer” Swart.

Of course not everyone was so unlucky. Among those to make it through Day 1c were Ryan Terpstra (255,000), Heather Schuchaskie (222,500), Glen Henbest (207,500), Mike Ermie (116,500), Marko Doljevic (106,500), and Santiago Vila (45,000).

On Sunday, the surviving players from all three flights – or which there are 65 – will return for Day 2 action. Not only will the field play through the money bubble, it’ll also play down to a champion. To fit it all in, play kicks off at 10 a.m. local time, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action and eliminations.

For more on the MSPT stop at FireKeepers, visit

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