Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continued on Friday as they paid their first-ever stop to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Expectations were high as the venue draws from several poker-heavy markets, but no one expected the turnout of 246 entries, which shattered the guaranteed prize pool of $200,000 with an entire starting flight yet to come; in fact, Day 1b needs just 138 players to set a new state record for largest prize pool — a number the MSPT is a favorites to surpass.
After 14 levels of play, the field had been whittled down to the final 42 players with David Brown and his stack of 312,500 leading the way. Others who punched their ticket to Day 2 with big stacks were Frank Swierczynski (295,500), Dan Goepel (263,500), and Sunny Ali (249,500).
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
Brown may have very well ended with more than 500,000 had it not for a big hand he lost in Level 14 (1,200/2,400/400). It happened when Brown raised to 7,000 under the gun and then called when MSPT regular Adam Lamphere, who finished 41st in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event back in July, three-bet to 19,500. The flop saw Brown check, Lamphere bet 20,000, and Brown check-raise all in. Lamphere called off and just like that there was a 180,000-chip pot on the line.
Brown had flopped top pair, but it was behind the pocket queens of Lamphere. Neither the turn nor river helped Brown, and he shipped a good portion of his stack over to Lamphere, who would go on to bag 193,500
Not everyone was as fortunate as Brown and Lamphere. Among those who fell throughout the day included Judd Greenagel, Bryan Moon, Mike Holm, Ravi Raghavan, Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon, Bob Whalen, and Kou Vang. Currently atop the MSPT Player of the Year Leaderboard, Vang was eliminated in a cooler after running pocket kings straight into the aces of Shawn Quinn. Hours later, Quinn would wake up with aces again in a blind-versus-blind battle with Steve Verrett, the Wisconsin Director for the Poker Players Alliance. Verrett was behind with pocket kings, but a king in the window turned the tables and Quinn was sent packing.
Likewise, Brandon “oncommand” Meyers didn’t have any luck on Day 1a. He busted his first bullet in Level 1, reentered, and then survived until Level 9 (400/800/100) when he got his short stack all in preflop holding the only to run into the of Steve Buell. The board ran out clean and Meyers hit the showers.
While hundreds fell, some notables managed to survive the night and will return on Sunday for Day 2 action including former MSPT champs Ken Baime (202,000) and Jason Zarlenga (68,500); Mike Deis (150,000), who is currently second on the MSPT POY leaderboard; MSPT Team Pro Matt Alexander (107,500); circuit grinder Shiva Dudani (83,500); and WSOP bracelet winner Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin (55,500).
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 Live Reporting Section then for all the latest and greatest from the MSPT Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.