Out of 147 entrants, just 24 survived Day 1a of Mid-States Poker Tour Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells with Don Coy and his stack of 282,500 leading the way,. Others who bagged up big stacks included tour regular Rob Wazwaz with 254,500 and Jason Mirza with 253,000.
Mark Soik (173,500), Jon Lane (172,000), Nick Pupillo (159,000), Todd "sharkslayerr" Breyfogle (158,000), Lance Harris (158,000), and 2014 bracelet winner Nick Kost (75,500) were also among those making it through the 14 levels of play.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
Coy's surge began late in Level 12 (800/1,600/200), when a player in early position raised to 4,100 and was three-bet to 9,400 by Justin Filtz. Coy, in the cutoff, moved in for 75,900, and action folded back to Filtz. He immediately called.
Coy slapped his bullets down, and a disappointed Filtz could only mutter "again?" in consternation. The board ran out queen-high without bringing any help to Filtz. Earlier in the tournament, the unfortunate Wisconsin native had sent a huge chunk of his stack to Mirza in the same situation. Despite the unlucky hands, Filtz managed to escape the day with 75,000.
Coy kept rolling the very next level when he took out one of the most feared players in the tournament. Coy opened for 4,500 from early position and called a three-bet to 10,200 from MSPT Team Pro Kou Vang. On the flop, Coy bet out 8,400. Vang raised to 17,600, and Coy called. An arrived on the turn, and Coy again decided to lead out small, this time 10,000. Vang immediately moved all in for a raise of 34,100 more. Coy thought only briefly before looking Vang up.
Vang had been trying to blow Coy off his hand, but the Minnesotan now needed either a nine, ace, or jack on the river to win the pot. It wasn't meant to be though as the gave Coy a full boat.
Wazwaz found himself down and out early after he was busted by PokerNews Senior News Editor Chad Holloway, but the second bullet proved to be the charm. The tour regular's second entry put him an ideal position for revenge: to Holloway's direct left. He used the position to good effect right away, taking back many of his lost chips when he bet 8,975 on a board and Holloway called in a large pot at Level 6 (200/400/50). On the river, Holloway checked, and Wazwaz took considerable time before pushing out a relatively tiny bet of 5,875. Holloway snap-folded though, and Wazwaz shot him a surprised look before dragging the pot.
The two went in opposite directions from there, as Wazwaz climbed to the top of the counts, while Holloway dwindled from a peak stack near 70,000 until he was busto.
Plenty of notables found themselves hiking to the exits before the end of the day, including two-time MSPT champs Jason Zarlenga and Matt Kirby, MSPT Player of the Year leader Mike Deis, former MSPT Ho-Chunk champ Josh Reichard, Mark "P0ker H0" Kroon, Tony Lazar, John "JohnnyGstaks" Hayes, Dan Almerli and Tom Midena.
Day 1b is set to kick off at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday, and the PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand to capture all the action. Be sure to visit our PokerNews Live Reporting section then for all the latest and greatest from the MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells.