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A Historical Look at this Weekend's Mid-States Poker Tour Grand Falls Casino Stop

Grand Falls Casino

This weekend, the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) will host its latest $1,100 Main Event, which features a $150,000 guarantee, at the Grand Falls Casino in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand to bring you all the action from that tournament from Friday, August 15 through Sunday the 17.

"We’re very excited to be returning to Grand Falls Casino, which is located in Larchwood, Iowa just six miles south of Sioux Falls," said MSPT owner and operator Bryan Mileski. "The location attracts players from both states, as well as our regular following of players from Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest. All signs point to another successful event.”

The Grand Falls Casino, which will host two last-chance $250 qualifiers for the Main Event that will be held on Friday and Saturday at 9:30 a.m., has proven to be extremely popular with the players.

"This is my favorite stop on tour," stated Dan Hendrickson of Faribault, MN. "The rooms and pool are beautiful. This is a staple on my poker schedule."

The MSPT has only been to Grand Falls Casino twice in the past, and both stops proved to be memorable. Here’s a historical look back at the stop.

Dan Sun Becomes First Two-Time Champ

The MSPT first visited Grand Falls Casino back in Season 3 from August 11-19, 2012 when 215 entrants entered the Main Event to create a prize pool of $215,000. It was there that Dan Sun emerged victorious to capture the $60,486 first-place prize and become the first-ever two-time MSPT champion. What’s more, he did it in back-to-back fashion after having took down the MSPT Meskwaki for $77,103 three weeks earlier.

“I grinded an average stack all of Day 2 until the final table," Sun said after the win. "I never really felt comfortable. I had a great run of cards at the final table. But also, the experience I’ve had making a couple of other deep runs in major events has definitely helped me learn what I need to do to close things out. I’ve applied that and really focused more on tournaments this past year. It’s paying off.”

A Historical Look at this Weekend's Mid-States Poker Tour Grand Falls Casino Stop 101

1Dan Sun$60,486
2Taylor Tollefson$29,823
3John Hayes$18,770
4Tom Lee$14,599
5Chris Burke$12,513
6Adam Zych$9,385
7Russell Spaid$8,133
8Denver Smith$7,091
9Brad Olson$5,839

Everett Carlton Makes Record Eighth MSPT Final Table

In August of last year, the MSPT returned to Grand Falls Casino and the Main Event attracted 218 entrants and created a prize pool of $218,000. Everett Carlton made his eighth MSPT final table and 10th cash — both records — while at that stop, but it was satellite winner Josh Smith of Brandon, SD, who walked away with the title and $59,221 first-place prize.

It was also at that stop that MSPT regular Brett Kuznia cashed in his third consecutive MSPT Main Event, a feat that had never previously been accomplished. In May of that year, Kuznia took fourth at Northern Lights Casino, and then two months later he placed 20th at Meskwaki Casino. At Grand Falls, he finished fourth when his ace-seven fell short to Smith’s king-queen after the two got it all in preflop.

A Historical Look at this Weekend's Mid-States Poker Tour Grand Falls Casino Stop 102

1John Smith$59,221
2Steve Belland$31,719
3William Perpich$20,088
4Brett Kuznia$14,802
5Luke Blindert$12,687
6Jared Mohnen$9,515
7James Odegaard$8,035
8Everett Carlton$7,189
9Russell Spaid$5,920

"This is the largest tournament of the year in this area,” local player Dan Dykhouse summed up that stop. “Everyone looks forward to it!”

What Lies Ahead

This weekend’s Main Event will be held over three days beginning Friday evening with Day 1a at 4 p.m. Day 1a will play 14 levels. Saturday's Day 1b will also start at 4 p.m. and play 14 levels. Players who advance from Day 1a are not eligible to play in Day 1b. The remaining players from each flight will combine on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and play until a champion is crowned. The Main Event final table will be broadcast live (15-minute delay) worldwide using RFID technology allowing all viewers to see the hole cards.

For more on the MSPT's upcoming stop at Grand Falls Casino, visit Also, don’t forget PokerNews will be live reporting the event, which you can follow in our Live Reporting section.

*Lead photo courtesy of

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