Mike Lang bagged up 287,500 to lead the 40 survivors of Day 1b here at Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino. Mike Vanier (267,000), online wizard James "mig.com" Mackey (238,000), Isidro Sandoval (203,500), and Aaron Johnson (193,000) trail close behind Lang in a tightly bunched top five.
A total of 214 runners bought stacks today, which, combined with the 175 entrants on Day 1a, was enough to set a new record for entrants in a major poker tournament (buy in > $1,000) in Iowa. The mark smashed the old record of 367, and it comes just a day after the MSPT set an internal record for Day 1a entrants and two weeks after it broke the Wisconsin entrants record with 383.
Thao "Scratch" Thiem (172,500), Peixin Liu (114,500), Steve Belland (109,500), Jeremy Dresch (99,500), David Gonia (79,000), and "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan (30,000) were among those bagging stacks at the conclusion of today's 14 levels. Not so fortunate: Bill Romer, Matt Alexander, Blake Bohn, Allen Kessler, Jon Hanner, Rob Wazwaz, Mike Deis, Mark Sandness, Larry Ormson, Christian Pham, and Blair Hinkle.
As for Lang, we only caught him in one hand. After a flop of , he got it all in against a shorter-stacked opponent.
Lang was ahead with bottom two pair, and he filled up on the river with the after the bricked off the turn.
Mackey, who sports more than $2.3 million in live tournament earnings and has a World Series of Poker bracelet to boot, seemed to accumulate his stack relatively quietly. He busted Wazwaz in a key hand when Wazwaz opened for a raise in early position and was called by Mackey in the big blind. After the flop, Mackey check-raised all in and Wazwaz called it off. He was unable to catch up with against Mackey's on a board of undercards.
The 30 players who made it through Day 1a will combine with tonight's 40 survivors at 10 a.m. tomorrow for Day 2, when we'll watch them play down to a champion. Be sure to tune in to PokerNews for all of the relevant updates.