On Friday, Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continued with its second visit at Meskwaki Casino this year. After 14 levels of play, tournament crusher Brandon Meyers bagged 294,000 to book a wide lead over second-place Matt McGrory, who has 247,000. Meyers, a Minnesota native, is a name familiar to many in the tournament poker world with more than $4 million in online cashes under the screen names "oncommand" and "norajean," as well just under $1 million in live cashes.
In addition to Meyers, thirty-five other players made it through the 10-hour grind out of 164 total registrants. They include World Series of Poker bracelet winner Grant Hinkle (183,000), Harold Poignant (166,000), Ken Auker (131,500), John Oetker (117,000), Gennady Shimelfarb (114,000), Phil Mader (103,000), Kou Vang (65,000), Adam Dahlin (56,500), and Jason Seitz (35,000).
Meyers was working with a hefty stack for most of the day. One pot in particular vaulted him to the top of the counts early on. Nemesis Adam Zych doubled him up on a board of when Zych's failed to catch against the held by Meyers, which of course was good for the nut straight. After a costly setback at the hands of Hinkle's boat, Meyers rallied in the late levels to finish with a monster lead.
Of course not everyone was so lucky. Among those to fall on Day 1a, and who will have a chance to try again on Day 1b if they so choose, were Lance Harris, Matt Kirby, Taylor Tollefson, Zych, Brett Kuznia, Jeff Bryan, Allen Kessler, Chris Tryba, Dustin Dirksen, Aaron Johnson, and Tyler Caspers.
In regards to Tollefson, he fell in Level 10 (500/1,000/100) when he got all in preflop from button for his last 10,500 or so against Dustin Dirksen.
The board came , and Tollefson, who has had plenty of success in Season 5 with four cashes in MSPT events, was sent to the rail. Tollefson will no doubt return on Saturday to fire a second bullet.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be at Meskwaki Casino all weekend long to bring you all the action from the MSPT. Day 1b will kick off at 4 p.m. local time on Saturday, and you can follow the day's action over in our live blog.