Las Vegas’ poker summer season is already underway with several huge championships taking place at some of the largest resorts in the city. While WSOP is currently running at Rio and the Wynn Summer Classics also in full swing, the Venetian attracts poker pros this summer with 150 tournaments, the most exciting one of which is being played this week. The MSPT event during the 2018 DeepStack Championship Poker Series comes with a massive guaranteed prize pool of $3.5 million.
This year, the Venetian Las Vegas offers a rich schedule with record 150 events and over $31 million in guaranteed prize pools. The popular DeepStack Championship started May 14 and runs through July 29, having various buy-ins, formats and games that are being played on 103 tournament tables. Players can take part in multi or single-day events, turbo and bounty formats, and choose from classic games such as No-limit Hold’em, Pot-limit Omaha, Eight or Better, and others. One of the most anticipated tournaments in the schedule is certainly the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT), or event #42.
The first starting flight of the tournament was held Sunday, with three other Day 1s taking place through Wednesday. During the first two flights of the event, 1,227 entrants were already in the field and organizers expect that by the time registration closes after Day 1D on Wednesday, the field to increase to over 4,000 people. If attendance proves to be so massive and with an entry fee of $1,100, the guarantee of $3,500,000 will be easily exceeded. Day 1C attracted another 1,312 entrants for a total field of 2,539 players. Play during Day 1s start with stacks of 20,000 and levels last 40 minutes.
Jason Sater Leads the Way in $1,100 Buy-in WSPT
The fourth starting flight of the event (Day 1D) kicks off at noon on Wednesday and it is expected to draw the largest crowd. So far, American player Jason Sater has bagged the most chips – he finished as Day 1C chip leader with a stack of 770,500 ahead of Day 1 A and B leaders Gavin O’Rourke (530,000) and David McConachie (426,000). They are among the 343 players who have, thus far, qualified for Day 2 on Thursday. While only 63 players remained after Sunday, 105 qualified after Day 1B on Monday.
Of all 1,312 runners on Day 1C, only 175 players survived and along with chip leader Jason Sater, several others will return on Thursday with large stacks. They include Aleksandras Rusinovas (528,500), Kevin Albers (528,500), Jonatan Simchon (425,500), and Kuppuraj Mohan (411,000). Several more entrants will probably want to compete for the title, as they already have trophies from the popular series. These are MSPT Season 7 FireKeepers winner Aaron Massey (262,000), 2017 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker champ Richard Bai (217,000), and multiple MSPT champ Blake Bohn (141,500).
As mentioned above, many poker pros could not survive the levels on Tuesday, but they still have a chance to register and earn a seat for Day 2 on Thursday. Some of the notable players to hit the rail Tuesday were 2007 WSOP Main Event champ Jerry Yang, WSOP bracelet winner Chris Tryba and two-time bracelet winner Loni Harwood. One of the world’s top poker pros in the past two decades, Scotty Nguyen, also did not make it to Day 2, nor did several MSPT champions such as Johnny Hayes, Greg Himmelbrand, and Andy Rubinberg. They can still return to the tables today, however, for Day 1D of the $1,100 Buy-in WSPT event, which offers a massive $3.5 million guarantee.