The second and final starting flight for the 2015 Mid-States Poker Tour Canterbury Park Main Event drew 251 entries in Minnesota Saturday.
All told there were 470 entries over two starting days in this final event on the MSPT Season 6 schedule, setting a new Minnesota state record. A $454,400 prize pool was created that will pay 45 spots. A min-cash is worth $2,272 and first place will come with a $116,103 payday.
Through 14 levels of play Saturday, another 50 survived, putting a total of 93 through to Sunday's Day 2 where they will play until a champion is crowned.
Top 10 Day 1b Chip Counts
The leader in the race for Minnesota Player of the Year, Rob Wazwaz, played in front for most of the day and despite getting outdrawn in a massive pot midway through, built back and bagged big.
Recent MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells Main Event winner John Hayes also ran good deep into the night to put himself in position for another big score. Plus, MSPT Meskwaki winner Rich Alsup ran hot late to put together a contending stack and give him a shot at the MSPT POY title going into Day 2. He'll need to finish seventh or better to earn that crown.
Bob Cassioppi rose to prominence early cracking queens with a set of tens, then out-kicking a heads-up opponent when they both made trips. He played aces to perfection later to get over the six-figure mark and rode a late heater to bag a huge 281,000-chip stack.
Jeremy Dresch also had a huge second half. The MSPT title holder and six-time final table participant raised 100 percent of hands for the last two hours on the way to bagging a 297,000-chip stack.
But it was Level 1 leader Matt Vaughan that grabbed the overall lead heading into Day 2. He doubled up early with a big call and climbed the counts all day long on the way to bagging 317,000 when it was all said and done.
The 93 Day 1 survivors will get back at it beginning at 11 a.m. local time tomorrow and PokerNews will be there for all the action, which you can follow in our live blog.