$1,100 Main Event ($150K GTD)
$1,100 Main Event ($150K GTD)
Day 1a Completed

Kevin Berthelsen Leads 27 Survivors from Day 1a of MSPT Grand Falls

Chad_Holloway • Level 15: 3,000-5,000, 5,000 ante
Kevin Berthelsen
Kevin Berthelsen

If the Day1a turnout at Grand Falls Casino just outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota is any indication, there’s clearly a hunger for live tournament poker. The first of two starting flights closed with 226 entries, which nearly equaled the venue’s two-day record of 238 total entries back in 2015.

After a hard stop 10 minutes into Level 15, just 27 players bagged and tagged with Kevin Berthelsen and his stack of 541,000 leading the way. Rounding out the top five big stacks were William Chao (427,000), Stephen Cleghorn (357,000), Tim Garles (310,000), and Curtis Vierstraete (296,000).

Others to punch their tickets to Day 2 were Donnie Phan (248,000), Steve Federspiel (227,000), Kyna England (207,000), Jason Seitz (191,000), Tyler Kolness (141,000), and Ryan Phan (95,000).

Of course, not everyone was fortunate enough to make it through the night. Among those to fire and fall in Friday’s flight were two-time South Dakota State Poker Championship winner Ryan Skluzak, WSOP Circuit studs Blake Whittington and Nick Pupillo, Howard Hankin’s BFF Cody Brinn, “Bemidji” Eric Anderson, and MSPT Hall of Famer Rich Alsup.

Day 1b will get underway at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Late registration and re-entries will remain open through Level 12 (approximately 11:40 p.m.). PokerNews will be on hand to capture all the action, so be sure to join us then.

End-of-Day 1a Chip Counts (full)

Chad_Holloway • Level 15: 3,000-5,000, 5,000 ante
Kevin Berthelsen us
Kevin Berthelsen
us 541,000 241,000
William Chao us
William Chao
us 427,000 427,000
Stephen Cleghorn US
Stephen Cleghorn
US 357,000 357,000
Tim Garles us
Tim Garles
us 310,000 220,000
Curtis Vierstraete us
Curtis Vierstraete
us 296,000 171,000
Chiori Gannon us
Chiori Gannon
us 285,000 285,000
Renato Spahiu us
Renato Spahiu
us 279,000 19,000
Josh Skogen
Josh Skogen
262,000 262,000
Lyman Woodworth us
Lyman Woodworth
us 261,000 216,000
Donnie Phan us
Donnie Phan
us 248,000 188,000
Steve Federspiel us
Steve Federspiel
us 227,000 77,000
Dan Bekavac us
Dan Bekavac
us 211,000 46,000
Todd Bergeth us
Todd Bergeth
us 208,000 208,000
Kyna England us
Kyna England
us 207,000 152,000
Jason Seitz us
Jason Seitz
us 191,000 121,000
Yang Yeng
Yang Yeng
187,000 187,000
Brian Opp
Brian Opp
170,000 170,000
John Cap us
John Cap
us 152,000 22,000
Tyler Kolness us
Tyler Kolness
us 141,000 141,000
Jeff Paulson us
Jeff Paulson
us 120,000 120,000
Dan Grossman us
Dan Grossman
us 111,000 111,000
Antonio Delacruz
Antonio Delacruz
102,000 102,000
Ryan Phan us
Ryan Phan
us 95,000 -10,000
Brady Roth us
Brady Roth
us 94,000 14,000
Ben Keeline us
Ben Keeline
us 73,000 -27,000

Read full

Hard Stop

Chad_Holloway • Level 15: 3,000-5,000, 5,000 ante

The field has been whittled down to the final 27 players, which is the hard stop for this flight. there is 30 minutes remaining in Level 15, which means players in Flight B will play to the same point tomorrow.

The remaining players are now bagging and tagging for the night. Stay tuned for a list of chip counts and a short recap of the Day 1a action.


Pocket Rockets Propel Phan to a Double

Chad_Holloway • Level 14: 2,000-4,000, 4,000 ante
Ryan Phan
Ryan Phan

Ryan Phan, who finished 11th in the 2018 WSOP Main Event for $725,000, raised to 8,000 off his short stack from early position only to have the player in the hijack three-bet to 21,000. Action folded back to Phan and he moved in for 49,000 total, which his opponent called.

Ryan Phan: {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}
Opponent: {a-Hearts}{q-Spades}

Phan had the granddaddy of all hands and he shipped the double after the board ran out {3-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{k-Clubs}{j-Clubs} to improve him to the nut flush.

Ryan Phan us
Ryan Phan
us 105,000 56,000

Tags: Ryan Phan

The Hammer Has Been Laid Down

Chad_Holloway • Level 14: 2,000-4,000, 4,000 ante
Bruce Swart
Bruce Swart

Action folded to Bruce "The Hammer" Swart on the button and he moved all in for 43,000, which Denver's Dapo Ajayi called from the small blind.

Bruce Swart: {j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}
Dapo Ajayi: {5-Diamonds}{5-Spades}

It was a race but Swart needed to improve to stay alive. Unfortunately for him, that didn't happen as the board ran out {a-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{a-Spades}{2-Clubs} to send him out the door in 34th place.

Dapo Ajayi us
Dapo Ajayi
us 200,000 30,000
Bruce Swart us
Bruce Swart
us Busted

Berk's Rollercoaster Ride Comes to an End

Chad_Holloway • Level 13: 2,000-3,000, 3,000 ante
Michael Berk
Michael Berk

Chicago's Michael Berk was on an up-and-down ride today. Midway through the tournament he was short but then hit his stride and worked a short stack into one of the bigger ones in the room.

Unfortunately for him, he lost a chip-leading pot that would've put him at 500K had he made it through the river. It happened on a {k-}{3-}{k-} flop when he held {k-}{q-}. His opponent had {k-}{j-}, and long story short a jack spiked on the river.

Berk was left with 100K but lost another big one to knock him down to just 6,000. In what would be his final hand of the Day 1a flight, Berk moved in from the hijack and Mike Lang called from the button. The player in the big blind put in an additional 3,000 and then the two active players checked it down as the board ran out {2-Spades}{3-Spades}{7-Spades}{k-Hearts}{5-Spades}.

Michael Berk: {a-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}
Mike Lang: {a-Spades}{8-Diamonds}
Big blind: {q-Clubs}{j-Hearts}

Lang didn't seem to realize he had the ace-high flush, which proved the winner to send Berk out in Level 12.

Mike Lang us
Mike Lang
us 70,000
Michael Berk us
Michael Berk
us Busted

Tags: Michael Berk

Bekavac Bounces Back

Chad_Holloway • Level 13: 2,000-3,000, 3,000 ante

Not long ago Dan Bekavac was down to just 28,000, but he's bounced back by working it up to 165,000.

In a recent hand, a player was all in preflop for 55,000 and was flipping against Bekavac.

Dan Bekavac: {j-Spades}{j-Clubs}
Opponent: {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}

In this hand, Big Slick didn't do the trick as the board ran out {10-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{q-Hearts}{4-Spades} to give Bekavac the pot and knockout.

Dan Bekavac us
Dan Bekavac
us 165,000 105,000

Tags: Dan Bekavac