From now until July 27, Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa is playing host to Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT), which will culminate with a $1,100 buy-in Main Event featuring a $300,000 guaranteed prize pool from July 25-27.
The stop, which only requires participants to be 18 years old to play, has proven to be one of the most popular on the schedule, though it’ll be hard-pressed to surpass the MSPT Mid-Season Championship which attracted a record-setting field of 854 players to Las Vegas back in June and was won by Chicago native Drake Bronk.
With Bronk's massive success in Vegas, we began thinking about how other MSPT regulars fared out west during the 2014 World Series of Poker. There were actually a few familiar MSPT faces that struck it big at the WSOP, and what better place to start than with the defending champ of the MSPT Meskwaki event.
Now we’re bending the rules a little with this one, but bear with us. Back on April 4, Matthew Anderson topped a record field of 389 players to win the MSPT Meskwaki for $100,085 first-place prize, which included defeating MSPT-sponsored pro Matt Kirby in heads-up play.
Anderson traveled to Vegas this summer, but only managed a 62nd-place finish in a $400 No-Limit Hold’em event in the Deepstack Extravaganza III, which earned him $880. However, before that he had some WSOP success, though not in Vegas. Less than two weeks after winning the MSPT, Anderson topped a field of 160 players to win the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs $580 No-Limit Hold’em for $21,600 and his first gold ring.
With the win, Anderson showed his MSPT win was no fluke, and he is expected to return to Meskwaki to try and defend his title.
The construction supervisor from Sioux City, Iowa is a long-time supporter of the MSPT, though he has yet to break out on the tour. That said, he had a major score in Vegas this summer when he made a deep run in the 2014 WSOP Main Event, ultimately finishing 18th for $347,521.
There’s a good chance Mahin, who likes NASCAR, listening to country music, and playing golf, will use some of his winnings to play at the MSPT Meskwaki, which just so happens to be taking place in his home state.
Back in March 2013, Thomas Midena defeated Adam Lamphere heads-up to emerge victorious over a 272-player field to win the MSPT FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan for $73,456.
Since then, Midena has notched a runner-up finish in a Heartland Poker Tour event, won a WSOP Circuit ring, and took down a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza III tournament. In June, he place 48th in the aforementioned MSPT Mid-Season Championship, and he followed that up with a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, ultimately finishing in 124th place for $52,141. Whether or not Midena will travel to Meskwaki remains to be seen, but he’s proven that those who break through on the MSPT can go on to accomplish big things in the poker world.
Not only did Lamphere finish runner-up to Midena at MSPT FireKeepers Casino, he returned to the MSPT FireKeepers five months later and once again finished runner-up, this time to Jordan Townsend. Amazingly, Lamphere managed to cash the third time the MSPT visited FireKeepers, placing 17th for $3,138 earlier this year. Lamphere has established himself as one of Michigan’s best up-and-coming players, so much so that he’s even got the support of 2013 WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess, who had a piece of his friend in this year’s Main Event.
Lamphere, who previously took 186th in Event #9 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $1,972 and 448th in Event #51 $1,500 Monster Stack for $4,670, followed in Midena’s footsteps by making a deep run in the 2014 WSOP Main Event. Lamphere actually came back on Day 6 77th in chips out of the 79 returning players, but he held strong and laddered up to 41st place, good for a career-high $186,388.
Team MSPT Pros
Team MSPT Pros Blake Bohn, Matt Kirby, and Matt Alexander were all able to cash at the 2014 WSOP, though to varying degrees of success.
Bohn and Kirby only managed a single cash apiece, but Bohn's was a ninth-place finish in Event #49 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $54,792. Meanwhile, Alexander notched four cashes, with his best being a 10th-place finish in Event #60 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $35,327.
Here’s a breakdown of their respective 2014 WSOPs:
|Player||WSOP Cashes||WSOP Final Tables||WSOP Earnings|
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the felt at Meskwaki with the goal of winning my first MSPT bracelet,” Bohn previously said of the Meskwaki stop. “It's been on my annual goal list since Bryan Mileski launched the tour in 2010.”
The Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel is located in Tama, Iowa, between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids on Highway 30. With a huge bingo hall, table games, active craps tables, good blackjack games, horse book, indoor pool, exercise room, spa, and a large number of hotel rooms, Meskwaki has something for everyone.
For more information on the MSPT Meskwaki, which is happening now, visit msptpoker.com.