Day 2 of the Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Main Event is currently underway with a top prize of $96,760, but let's recap Day 1b's action that got them there.
Day 1b drew 196 players, pushing the total runners to 371 after two days. Mario Hudson will have a wide lead over the remaining field with 380,500 when everyone comes back for Day 2 on Sunday.
Hudson, a Minnesota native, has more than $180,000 in career cashes and is what you might call an MSPT lifer, having attended tour events since as early as 2010. He cashed for $25,321 after a second-place finish in April of that year when the tour was still branded as the Minnesota State Poker Tour.
Counting Hudson, 37 players advanced from Day 1b, including Joe Matheson (282,000), Thao "Scratch" Thiem (246,000), Josh Reichard (155,000), two-time champ Dan Sun (113,000), Jason Seitz (100,500), Lance Harris (93,000), Ryan Hohenstein (72,000), Mike Ross (66,500), MSPT Ho-Chunk champ Ben Wiora (54,500), and current MSPT points leader Mark Hodge (44,500).
Hodge is seeking an incredible seventh straight MSPT cash, having made three final tables during his surge. His best result was a fourth-place finish at Running Aces for a little over $25,000. He busted Jim Boone late in the night with the against Boone's to get up to about 75,000, but ran into a snag during the last level of the night, Level 14 (1,200/2,400/400).
At that point, Hodge three-bet to 20,000 over an Anselmo Villarreal open to 8,000. Villareal called after some deliberation and then checked a flop. Hodge bet 20,000 again and then folded when Villarreal tank-shoved for Hodge's last 18,000. Villarreal showed the , and Hodge showed he had bricked the flop with the . Hodge was able to double up in the waning minutes and keep his streak alive for at least another day.
With a big field and just a few tables worth of players bagging, plenty of notable names failed to advance. Todd "Sharkslayerr" Breyfogle, "Minnesota" Jon Hanner, Kou Vang, Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler, David Gonia, Mike Lang, Everett Carlton, Shawn Roberts, and MSPT team pros Matt Alexander and Nick Pupillo were among those falling during the course of play. Roberts and Pupillo had heaps of chips with a few levels left before busting out, with many of those chips likely finding their way to Hudson's stack as he ended the night with a huge lead over second-place Matheson and Day 1a leader Rob Wazwaz (244,000).
Play resumed on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. local time at Level 15 (1,500/3,000/500), and you can follow the action by clicking here.