The first day of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Grand Falls $1,110 Main Event drew 197 entries to kick things off, almost surpassing the tournament's $200,000 guaranteed prize pool with one flight still to go.
Plenty of big names made their way to Grand Falls Casino, creating a star-studded field with a room full of MSPT champs and Hall of Famers.
With chips flying and players dropping throughout the day, play slowed down after the final break and a full 15 levels were played until completion.
Once players put their chips into the bags, it was Dave Swenson leading the pack with 369,000, edging out Kevin Berthelsen (341,000), and Josh Fordyce (334,00) for the top spot.
Rounding out the top five stacks were Luke Hewitt (306,000) & Dalton Smith (289,000), while MSPT champ’s Aaron Johnson (241,000), Chris Burke (235,000), and Dan DQ Hendrickson (126,00), all found a Day 2 birth.
All who did not bag will have one more flight to try and do so, with that being held tomorrow Saturday, March 11th at 3 p.m. local time.
As usual, the live reporting team will be back at it then, so be sure to come back and see who else adds their name to Sunday's Day 2 roster.
The tournament director has just announced the final five hands of the evening with 28 players remaining.
Action folded to Kitkat Klassen who limped-in from the small blind only to call a 15,000 raise from Dave Swenson in the big blind.
The flop was checked to the turn where Klassen led out for 10,000 and Swenson called to see the complete the board on the river.
Klassen continued with her aggression and fired out a 50,000 bet.
Swenson thought for a moment before calling only to muck his hand after seeing Klassen roll over to win the pot with a king-high flush.
Dave Swenson - 345,000
Kitkat Klassen - 216,000
Luke Hewitt raised to 15,000 from early position and was called by Kevin Berthelsen from the cutoff, along with Terry Williams from the big blind.
The flop was checked by all three players bringing the turn.
Williams check-called a 15,000 bet from Hewitt while Berthelsen folded, and the completed the board on the river.
With three hearts on a paired board, Williams opted to check-call a 20,000 and it turned out to be the right decision.
Hewitt rolled over for air while Williams tabled to win the pot.
Luke Hewitt - 404,000
Kevin Berthelsen - 315,000
Terry Williams - 280,000
The hijack opened for 17,000 and then called the 26,000 three-bet jam Dennis Stevermer made from the small blind.
Stevermer was ahead holding two ladies and the runout secured his double-up.
Dennis Stevermer - 60,000
Terry Williams raised to 11,000 from middle position only to have the player directly to his left three-bet to 27,000.
Action folded to Kevin Berthelsen who four-bet all in for 127,000 from the big blind and only Williams called.
“Oh, nice hand,” Williams said to Berthelsen as a pretty lady appeared in the window on the flop.
The turn was no help to Berthelsen as he needed a miracle on the river to stay alive.
Luckily for Berthelsen, the dealer answered his prayer by dropping the on the river to secure his double-up, and Berthelsen’s opponent who folded preflop let him know, that was the case ace as well.
Terry Williams - 370,000
Kevin Berthelsen - 282,000
Andrew Weber raised to 14,000 from middle position and then called the 28,000 three-bet jam from the hijack.
Weber was behind and the flop wasn’t a great one.
Luckily for Weber, the turn fell the to give him top pair, and the river secured him the elimination.
Andrew Weber - 240,000
MSPT Deadwood champ Chris Burke opened for 9,000 from early position only to have Alex Wheeler three-bet to 30,000 from the cutoff.
Action folded back to Burke who fired back with an all-in four-bet and Wheeler called off his 115,000 stack.
Wheeler didn’t like what he saw after the cards tabled but the flop did give him some life.
Unfortunately for Wheeler, both the turn and river were bricks, ending his Day 1A flight.
Chris Burke - 245,000
Alex Wheeler - 0
The button was all in for roughly 75,000 and Luke Hewitt looked them up from the small blind.
Hewitt was way behind until the flop paired his queen.
The turn and river were of no consequence to Hewitt’s hand as he eliminated his opponent.
Luke Hewitt - 180,000