The Mid-Stakes Poker Tour drew 191 entries to the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa, today for the first of two starting flights in the $300,000 guaranteed MSPT Meskwaki Main Event.
Through 14 levels of play, just 37 survived with Calmar, Iowa's Marty Faldet bagging the chip lead on 317,000.
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Faldet, who is no stranger to success here in Tama, having made 19th here in March and 16th back in 2013, doubled through early leader Tim Colby with pocket kings versus the nut-flush draw to climb into the lead halfway through the day. He then cemented it by sending 2014 MSPT Meskwaki runner-up Mike Lang home late in the day when he got it in with two red queens versus two black ones and managed to make a heart flush.
While MSPT Pro Nick Pupillo and MSPT Player of the Year contender Mark Hodge were among the casualties today, Team Pro Matt Alexander flourished and will take a healthy stack of 184,500 with him into Day 2 beginning at 11 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Other notables who will be joining Alexander include perpetual short stack Allen Kessler, World Poker Tour final table participant Jose Serratos, and one-time World Series of Poker heartbreak kid Adam Friedman, who got on a late heater to bag 242,500 and put him second in chips to Faldet.
The MSPT Iowa Main Event continues with the second of two starting flights set for 4 p.m. Saturday and an even bigger field is expected.
As always, the PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand for all the action from beginning to end, and you can follow along right here.