Season 7 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continued on Friday night with Day 1a action from the latest Main Event at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The stop has traditionally been one of the biggest on the schedule, and the first of two starting flights did not disappoint as 264 entries – up from 246 the last time the tour was in town – took to the felt to surpass the $200,000 guarantee. The question now is, with another starting flight to go, just how big will the prize pool grow?
After 14 levels of play, just 49 players remained in contention with Illinois' Abraham Montenegro and his stack of 387,500 leading the way. Montenegro, who has $37,431 in live tournament earnings including a career-best $22,542 for an eighth-place finish in the 2013 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw $580 No-Limit Hold'em, is seeking his first-ever MSPT cash and is in prime position to make a run at it on Day 2.
Joining Montenegro, who charged up the chip counts when he picked up Big Slick and called an opponent's ace-ten shove for 80,000, at the top of the counts are Brandon Byrne (307,500), Nick Jivkov (283,000), Brant Graves (248,000) and Rob Wazwaz (220,000), who round out the top five.
Others who made it through to Day 2, albeit it with middling to short stacks were Jason Reno (120,000), reigning MSPT Player of the Year Mark Hodge (86,500), Jon Lane (81,000), Leon Morford (77,000), and Oscar Arndt (73,500), who topped a field of 904 entries to win the MSPT Potawatomi Regional Main Event back in January.
Of course not everyone was so lucky. Among those to take a shot and miss on Day 1a were defending champ Dan Goepel; reigning MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champ Andy Rubinberg; online legend Mark "P0ker H0" Kroon; MSPT Pros Blake Bohn and Matt Alexander; and Luke Arora, who was fresh off his win in last weekend's MSPT Running Aces Main Event.
Day 1b will kick off at 4 p.m. CDT on Saturday with the plan of playing another 14 levels. Join us then as we bring you all the action and eliminations straight from the floor of the MSPT Potawatomi Main Event.