Day 1C of the MSPT Season 9 finale at Canterbury Park drew 423 runners, which along with 1A’s 199 and 1B’s 355 brought the total field up to 977 entries to make it by far the largest major poker tournament ($1K+ buy-in) in Minnesota history.
The top 99 players will get paid a minimum of $2,271 with the eventual winner walking away with a $179,776 top prize.
After 15 levels of play, just 67 remained with Cherukuri Sandeep and his stack of 367,500 leading the way. That is more than both Day 1B chip leader Rocco Crivello (331,000) and Day 1A chip leader Brad Berman (294,000).
Others to bag big stacks were Joel Klipping (333,500), Jonathan Stueve (312,500), Tyler Dietz (271,500), and MSPT Meskwaki champ Taylor Howard (230,500).
They were joined by Rob Wazwaz (185,500), Jon Hanner (150,000), Kevin Eyster (145,000), Matt Alexander (135,500), Howard Hankin (122,000), WSOPC star Maurice Hawkins (102,000), and 2015 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champ Ben Wiora (33,500).
One of the big stories on Day 1C was the final two names being selected in the $30,000 Platinum Pass Giveaway, which will see one lucky winner win their way to next month’s PokerStars Players NL Hold’Em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas!
A pair of names were drawn at random to determine who will return for Sunday’s eight-player heads-up Flipout Tournament and they were Joan Sandoval and Royce Cannon.
They join the three runners from Days 1A/B in Jolene Jensen, MSPT Season 6 Canterbury Park champ Dan “DQ” Hendrickson, MSPT champ Mark Sandness, Kevin "1sickdisease" Eyster, Eric Wasylenko and Brandon Welter.
In other news, current MSPT Season 9 POY points leader Aaron Johnson (24,500) punched his ticket to Day 2. However, the only two players mathematically alive with a chance of catching him – Blake Bohn (135,500) and Kou Vang (126,500) – also bagged. Assuming Johnson doesn’t add any points to his total, the former would need to finish 8th or better to take the lead while the latter would need to take 5th or better.
Among those to try and fall on 1C were former MSPT champs Ryan Skluzak, Jason Sell, Ken Baime, Paul Cross, and Jon Kim. Joining them on the rail were MSPT Season 6 POY Mark Hodge, MSPT Hall of Famer Rich Alsup, four-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Mark Fink, recent Borgata champ Frank Lagodich, and two-time Matt Kirby, who saw his streak of cashing every season of the MSPT fall to the wayside (Hendrickson, Vang and Jeremy Dresch are now the only players tied for the honor).
Days 2 will see 148 (26 From 1A, 55 from 1B, and 67 from 1C) players return to action at 11 a.m. Sunday and play down to a winner. An hour before at 10 a.m., the Platinum Pass Flipout Tournament will play out with the following matches:
Be sure to check back then as we bring you all the action straight from the tournament floor of Canterbury Park!