The first of three starting flights in the 2015 Mid-States Poker Tour Michigan State Poker Championship at FireKeepers Casino attracted 154 entries, but after 14 levels of play, just 29 remained with Mike Ross and his stack of 311,500 leading the way.
Ross had been building a stack all day until his stack exploded over 200,000, due in no small part to turning a straight flush against George Janssen (pictured left). Janssen had turned an ace-high flush and the two players got their massive stacks all in, leaving Ross with the chip lead and Janssen with about 30,000. Janssen managed to navigate the rest of the night to make Day 2, even with Ross on his direct right for almost the entire day.
Top 10 Day 1a Chip Counts
Bill Rogers, who was the runner-up in May's MSPT FireKeepers event, won a huge pot right before the end of the night to take the number two spot behind Ross. In one hand, with the board reading , James Smith bet 24,000 and Rogers raised to 50,000. Smith then shoved all in for about 132,000, and Rogers agonized for several minutes over his decision.
"You can't have aces," said Rogers, trying to talk himself through Smith's possible holdings.
After a few more minutes Rogers tilted his hand up while still deciding his next move. Standing up, then kneeling on his chair, then standing again. The answer seemed to be eluding him, until finally he threw one orange chip into the pot.
"Alright, show me a four," he said, "I call."
Rogers turned over his hand, the , and Smith turned over his, . The river was the and Rogers won a huge pot shortly before play stopped for the night.
"I'm sorry guys," Rogers said, apologizing to the table for taking so long to make his decision.
Meanwhile former MSPT FireKeepers champions Tommy Midena and Ryan Dykhouse were among the Day 1a casualties, as was 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Ryan Riess.
A big crowd is expected for Friday’s Day 1b flight. The day begins at noon local time and the players will play 14 40-minute levels. Follow live updates from the tournament by visiting our dedicated live blog.