The Mid-States Poker Tour's first journey to Maryland Live! Casino drew 70 runners for Day 1a of the Main Event, and Mo Mostafa raced out ahead of the field and finished with 238,900 in chips to top the 14 survivors. MSPT Team Pro Blake Bohn (142,600) and well-known pro Christian Harder (104,500) also bagged stacks.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Perhaps Mostafa should have known it was going to be a good day early on. After all, it's not every day you win an early four-bet pot with nine-high, but that's what happened for Mostafa in Level 1 (50/100).
A player opened to 300, MSPT Team Pro Matt Alexander made it 750 on the button, and both blinds called (Mostafa was in the small blind). The opener made it 2,350, and everyone but Alexander came along to see the flop. Mostafa check-called 3,000, the big blind folded, and two checks followed the turn card. Another queen hit the river, and Mostafa checked. His opponent gave up and showed the for a counterfeited pair, and Mostafa won with the — also counterfeited pair, but now using a nine as a kicker to the board.
Mostafa parlayed that early stack into the chip lead, and his hot run continued as he flopped quad sixes on a flop. Getting action with quads isn't always easy, but when your opponent flops top boat, as John Qreitem did, that tends to make things easier.
Flopping monsters continued to be the order of the day for Mostafa, as he three-bet from the big blind to 15,000 after the player in the cutoff seat opened during Level 8 (300/600/75). The opener got his stack in with and flopped a set, but Mostafa flopped top set of aces and eliminated yet another opponent. This hand put Mostafa at a monstrous 300 big blinds, a rarity six hours into a tournament.
Other players making the cut on Day 1a included Andrew Hippler (167,000), Gabriel Ohana (145,300), Frank Bonacci (119,800), Jason Eisele (88,700), Sorin Marinca (67,500), and Eugene Yun (66,700).
A number of players busted one or more bullets and will need to take shots on Day 1b or Day 1c if they want to compete for the championship on Sunday. MSPT Player of the Year points leader Mark Hodge will be one of those, and Adam Friedman, the aforementioned Alexander, and World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Jeromy Bittan also fell during the course of Day 1a play.
Day 1b commences on Friday at 11:15 a.m. local time, and PokerNews will be back for more live reporting.