Day 1a Completed
Day 1a Completed
Pavlin Karakikov bagged 187,800 to log a tiny chip lead over Kou Vang (187,400) and 32 other players on Day 1a here at Mid-States Poker Tour Majestic Star. Leon Morford (147,600), Brian Zimcosky (129,600), and John Simon (108,000) round out the top five.
Amazingly, we didn't catch Karakikov in a single reported pot today. He explained to us that he build his stack almost entirely in the last couple of levels.
"I flopped a set against top pair and a flush draw," Karakikov said of his most critical pot.
Vang showed up late, as seems to be his custom, but he made up for lost time by quickly building a stack. Easily his most important hand came against fellow MSPT grinder Matt Alexander.
A player in the hijack opened for 2,700, and Kou Vang called from the cutoff, as did the small blind. Alexander made it 11,000 in the big blind, and the initial raiser promptly folded. Vang pushed all in, the small blind folded, and Alexander called off for 60,800 total.
The first four cards came , keeping Alexander's kings best but fifth street was the to send him to the rail.
With just about 90 minutes remaining in the tournament, Vang held a huge lead over the field after this pot we witnessed, but evidently Karakikov went on a massive rush to pass him.
Vang, who is coming off of a second-place finish at the last MSPT stop two weeks ago, looks to continue his hot run by adding another big score to his more than $500,000 in career tournament earnings. Karakikov is no slouch himself, sporting just under $150,000 in winnings logged mostly at World Series of Poker Circuit events in the Midwest.
A total of 126 runners entered today, and Karakikov and Vang weren't the only notable survivors. Also bagging stacks were Jeremy Dresch (80,300), Matt Kirby (72,800), Patrick Steele (60,000), Tim Ebenhoeh Jr. (58,300), Bruce "Hammer" Swart (45,200), and John "JohnnyGstaks" Hayes (38,000). Those dropping out included the aforementioned Alexander, MSPT Baton Rouge winner Shawn Schoreck, Tom Midena, and Terry Ring.
Be sure to in to PokerNews tomorrow for coverage of Day 1b.
A tournament official announced that two more hands will be played.
With a board of in front of three players, John Simon bet 7,200 after two checks. Matt Kirby made the call in the small blind, and Ami Sharma came along in the big. Everyone checked the , and Kirby showed for top pair. Nobody could beat it.
Kirby has rebuilt his stack to about where it was before he ran into .
Scott Hammett and Brian Larson got it all in preflop with Larson's shorter stack at risk.
Hammett flopped a pair of kings, and Larson never improved his hand.
Kou Vang bet 3,900 in a three-handed pot after one check with the board reading . The player on the button called, and the small blind folded. A river made trips on the board, and Vang bet 5,900. His opponent quickly called, and Vang showed for the top full house. His opponent showed for a weaker boat.
"Running well," Vang said as he dragged yet another pot.
Leon Morford opened for 5,000 from early position, and the player on the button shoved all in. Action folded back to Morford, who called without bothering to ask for a count. His opponent tossed in as if he knew it was no good, and indeed Morford dropped into the middle.
The board came , and Morford sent his opponent packing.
Level 9, the last of the night, just kicked off with the beeping of the clock.
The players left the room for one last 10-minute break.