Day 1a of Mid-States Poker Tour Golden Gates in Black Hawk, Colorado, drew 94 runners, and after 15 levels of play, Matt Bingel bagged 316,500 for a narrow chip lead over MSPT team pro Nick Pupillo. Pupillo ended the advancing 22 players with 311,000.
Bingel is a Colorado native with two MSPT cashes to his credit, including a 34th-place finish a year ago when the tour stopped in Black Hawk. Pupillo made his mark on the tour with three final tables in the second half of 2014 before signing on as a team pro.
Others joining Bingel and Pupillo for Sunday's Day 2 will include successful local player Danny Gonzales (274,500), Pupillo's fellow team pro Blake Bohn (262,000), James Hoeland (170,000), Andrew Peragallo (167,500), Nick Trimble (114,000), Kane Lai (98,000), and Olimpia May (79,500).
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
A lucky turn was crucial to Bingel's chip lead, which he took over when he won a massive pot during Level 12 (800/1,600/200). Bingel bet 6,000 on a flop and saw his neighbor raise to 18,000. Bingel asked if his opponent would show, and the player confirmed he would. That only prompted Bingel to shove for about 80,000 effective, at which point his opponent snapped in with .
Bingel held a flush draw, which he need to hit to crack his opponent's flopped straight. Bingel lamented that he thought his opponent didn't have it because he said he would show, but it didn't matter as he spiked the anyway for an unbeatable flush.
Some players who busted out during the 15 levels of play included Bryan Devonshire, Dimitrios Adrianakos, Jason Vanstrom, Max Chrisp, James Wilson, Will Givens, and JT Turner. Givens, Chrisp, and Vanstrom have all scored past final table appearances at MSPTs here at Golden Gates, while Adrianakos banked more than $37,000 when he took down the Colorado Poker Championship recently held here.
As for well-known pro Devonshire, he got his last 38,000 in good, shoving over a raise to 6,000 and a call during Level 13 (1,000/2,000/300) with . He was miles ahead of the caller, who put him at risk with after the opener folded, but an run out meant Devonshire was doomed.
Day 1b kicks off at noon local time on Friday, and PokerNews will once again be bringing the live updates. Be sure to follow the action in our Live Blog.