The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) returned to Iowa's Grand Falls Casino, which is situated just outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a $360 Regional Event and it set the bar high with 794 entries over three days. Of those, 113 players found their way into Sunday's Day 2 with their eyes set on the title.
After 12 hours of play, it was Eric Atchison who navigated his way to the finish line to capture a $46,020 first-place prize along with his second MSPT Grand Falls Regional title.
Atchison came into the final day with a stack of 121,000 but continued to grind it out until there were 12 players left where he went on a little heater, taking a top four stack into the final table. From there, he picked his spots wisely and eliminated three of his eight competitors on his way to claiming his second MSPT title.
He previously won the Season 10 $360 Regional Event for $22,457.
"I feel good," Atchison stated after taking down his second title, "I definitely enjoy playing poker, I mean I'm up so it's fun. "
Day 2 Action
It took around an hour of play before the 113 remaining players became 81 when Paul Cross was eliminated from the tournament on the same hand as the bubble boy. The tournament’s half-hour levels kept the blinds escalating and players responded accordingly with chips flying all over the room throughout the afternoon.
Bodies dropped at a furious pace as players like Paul Camby (75th place - $644), Mark Fink (60th place - $736), defending champ Swadeep Mishra (50th place - $782), Lisa Simone (42nd pace - $851), and Day 1b chip leader Justin Rustvold (34th place - $1,012) found themselves out of chips.
Day 1a and overall Day 2 chip leader Abraham Garang started hot out of the gate, taking 629,000 up to over 1 million before the money was reached. He remained one of the largest stacks in the room until some costly bumps ended his tournament in 25th place for $1,334.
Eliminations continued like rapid fire and just a few short hours later, Bridgette Field (12th place - $3,428), Tremayne Blue (11th place - $3,428), and Ken Pates (10th place - $3,428) were eliminated, setting the stage for the final table.
Final Table Action
Darnell White entered the final table with a little over two bigs but started climbing the money ladder after William Reynolds departed in ninth place and Curtis Vierstraete hit the rail in eighth after being hooked by Atchison.
Chip Counts shuffled around for a level before the final table chip leader Lawrence Vigil was eliminated in seventh place after losing back-to-back hands. After getting some pay jumps, White decided to make his move with a made hand of sixes after Terence Reid jammed from the small blind holding a junk king. White was looking for his hand to hold but a cowboy appeared on the flop and ended his tournament in sixth place for $8,972.
A few hands later, Reid found himself in a similar position only this time he held the made hand and was racing against Daryl Oppelt, who held a suited ace-jack. Reid didn't have much of sweat as Oppelt flopped Broadway and ended his tournament in fifth place for $11,733.
Four-handed play went on for another 30 minutes and the beginning of Level 33 saw the next body drop after Day 1c chip leader Jason Lich lost two brutal hands taking home a fourth-place finish worth $15,391.
A full two levels saw the chip lead continue to exchange between Atchison and Chris Moen until the latter bowed out in third place after jamming his ace-eight into Atchison's pocket aces.
From there, the heads-up match lasted no more than 15 minutes as Oppelt got his final chips in the middle holding king-eight and Atchison called holding pocket nines. Oppelt didn't have much of a fighting chance after Atchison flopped a full house, earning his second MSPT trophy and payday good for $46,020, while Oppelt took home $28,297 for second place,