Created (4/2/2016 2:24:46 AM by Chad Holloway)
The fourth Main Event of the Mid-States Poker Tour's seventh season, and the first in Minnesota, kicked off on Friday as 177 entries took to the felt for Day 1a action, up from 150 the last time the MSPT was in town. After 14 levels of play, just 36 remained with Leo Fussy and his stack of 275,000 leading the way.
Fussy, who hails from St. Cloud, Minnesota, has come close to winning an MSPT title twice in the past. The first time was in February 2012 when he took fourth in the MSPT Running Aces Main Event for $19,423, and then in December 2014 when he placed fifth in the MSPT Canterbury Park for $23,756. Prior to the start of play Fussy said he felt good about this tournament, and his forecast has proved accurate thus far.
Fussy's rise to the top began in Level 6 (200/400/50) when an under-the-gun player raised to 400 and Tony Moses three-bet to 1,100 from the cutoff. Jeff Fielder just flatted the button, Fussy came along from the big blind, and the original raiser called to make it four-way action to the flop.
Three checks saw Fielder bet 1,800, Fussy check-raised to 4,500, and the under-the-gun player folded. Moses then check-raised all in for 9,550, both Fielder and Fussy called, and the appeared on the turn. Fussy checked and then called when Fielder moved all in for 20,000.
Fielder had flopped a straight, but he was drawing dead to the flopped flush of Fussy. Moses had spade outs, but the river was not what he was looking for. Fielder went on to reenter and wound up bagging 130,500.
Others who bagged up big stacks were Mandy Caffee (210,000), Zeph Baer (193,000), Jeremy Dresch (186,500), and WJ Vincent (149,500), who round out the top five.
Of course not everyone was so lucky. In Level 12 (800/1,600/200), a big hand took place when Jason Bender min-raised under the gun and MSPT Pro Matt Kirby just called to his left. Action folded to Muneer “Moon” Ahmed, who was fresh off a fifth-place finish in the MSPT Meskwaki, and he called from the big blind to make it three-way action to the flop, which came down
Ahmed checked, Bender did the same, and Kirby bet 6,000. Ahmed checked-raised to 15,000, Bender folded, and Kirby called to see a 6x appear on the turn. Ahmed opted to shove all in, and Kirby snap-called off his last 30,000 or so with pocket aces. Unfortunately for him. Ahmed had flopped trips with and it held as the river blanked. Ahmed went on to bag 146,500.
Others who fell on Day 1a were former MSPT Running Aces champs Ervin Bjerga and Mark Sandness, "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan, Andrew Null, Jay Philips, Alan Carty, Justin Thurlow, and defending champ Peixin Liu, who fell after shoving with pocket nines only to run into the tens of the aforementioned Fielder.
Dozens of notables fell, but plenty punched their tickets to Sunday's Day 2 including MSPT Pro Matt Alexander (126,500); Joel Klipping (124,500), who came back from a short stack of 6,500 with just two levels remaining; Minnesota pro Aaron Johnson (103,000); and former MSPT champs Dan "DQ" Henderson (84,000), Rich Alsup (37,500), Jason Seitz (35,500), and Johnny Hayes (31,500).
Day 1b of the MSPT Running Aces will kick off at 4 p.m. local time on Saturday. Once again we'll be providing live updates straight from the floor, so be sure to join us then. Until then, goodnight from Columbus!