Day 1a of the Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki attracted 179 entrants, nearly breaking the previous record. After 14 levels of play, 33 players remained, and it was Yousri "Chicago" Ali who bagged the chip lead with 309,500. If Ali reaches the money on Day 2, this will be his first-ever MSPT cash.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
|10||Andy Van Blair||136,500|
Ali not only played exceptionally well, he also ran hot nearly all day — a killer combination in poker. He became the chip leader early on when he was the first player to amass more than 200,000, and he maintained that lead throughout the second half of play.
A testament to how Ali's day was going, he got Tom Hanson to lay down the to essentially a min-raise preflop. After his opponent folded, Ali showed the . Hanson justified his big preflop laydown by saying, "The guy is just running too hot. No one can win!"
John Joachim also went on a streak at the end of the night. After eliminating a player with the , he continued the upward climb and ended up bagging the third largest stack with 266,500.
Other players bagging at night's end included Rex Clinkscales (286,000), Robbie WazWaz (162,000), "DQ" Dan Hendrickson (135,500), Aaron Johnson (104,000), lone female Patricia Bott (41,000), and Dan Hamm (39,000).
Some of those that were not so lucky and will need to enter again tomorrow on Day 1b if they hope to get a chunk of the prize pool included former MSPT Meskwaki champ Jonathan Olson, Terry Ring, Kou Vang, Josh Reichard, Phil Mader, and MSPT team pros Matt Kirby, Nick Pupillo, and Matt Alexander.
Day 1b kicks off at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and PokerNews will be back on hand for more live updates. Stay tuned.