A strong turnout showed up for Mid-States Poker Tour Golden Gates Day 1b on Friday as 180 runners pushed the two-day total to 306 entries with one starting flight remaining. Thirty-seven of those bagged up chips, and Matt Livingston managed to amass 316,000 to hold a slim lead at the end of the night over Corey Zedo, who finished with 310,000. Livingston has some solid results with more that $242,000 in live cashes, including a 14th-place finish in this summer's World Series of Poker Millionaire Maker for $79,582.
The final chip distribution ended up much more even than Day 1a, when Blake Bohn and Alex Greenblatt bagged vast leads over the competition. Others near the top of the counts included Eric Maier (278,000), Ben Keeline (274,500), bracelet winner John Beauprez (251,500), and Michael Lech (232,000). Feared pro Kevin "1sickdisease" Eyster (161,500), two-time MSPT champ Jason Zarlenga (150,000), Steve Anderson (120,000), Mike Ross (107,000), and former Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka (86,500) also survived the 15 levels of play.
Top 10 Day 1b Chip Counts
Livingston tallied a stack of around 200,000 during Level 11 (600/1,200/200), which put him in contention for the lead. A few levels later, he had run it up to over 300,000, and he sailed to the finish without much variance either way it seemed.
Beauprez jumped into contention for the lead late in Level 13 (1,000/2,000/300), when Zarlenga opened for 4,200 in early position and was called by Noomis Jones in the small blind. Big blind Beauprez made it about 13,000 to go, and both opponents called. The flop brought , and Jones checked. Beauprez continued for 18,000, and Zarlenga folded. Jones was stickier though, and put in a raise of 25,000 more. Beauprez thought only briefly before moving all in, and Jones called for 60,100 more.
It was the worst-case flop for Jones, and he found no king on the last two streets as two tens fell.
As for Zarlenga, he grinded a short stack like a trooper for most of the day, as seemingly every big pot we noted him in involved a raise and maybe a call before Zarlenga jammed it in and won the chips without a showdown. Finally, with just minutes on the clock before the end of the night, he had to turn a hand over when he shoved for about 10 big blinds over a late position open from Beauprez and was called. Zarlenga had the best of it with the against , and his hand held.
Wasicka had an up-and-down Day 1b, busting an early bullet when Phil Mader trapped him on a flop of , getting all in with against Wasicka's and holding. Wasicka got things going on his second try, running his stack up to about 200,000 after dragging a huge three-way all in after a flop. Wasicka had flopped a set with and got his money in way ahead against Anderson's and a short stack holding . Late in the night, however, Wasicka ran into and lost about half of his stack.
Mader, Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, Brady Bullard, Kris Wagner, Will Givens, Adam Friedman, Adam Lamphere, Phanora Prom, John Holley, Josh Reichard, Chris Tryba, Jeff Bryan, and Danny Ray Gonzales who busted on Day 1b. Their final chance to qualify for Sunday's Day 2 will be Day 1c on Saturday at noon local time.