After the end of the four starting flights of the Mid-States Poker Tour $3.5 Million GTD Event at the Venetian Las Vegas, inexperienced U.S.-based poker enthusiast Jason Sater emerged as chip leader. Sater will return to the tables on Day 2, leading the remaining field of 648 entries. But with two more days of grinding and over 88 million chips still in play, he will have a hard time claiming the title and the $548,341 awaiting the champion.
The Mid-States Poker Tour $3.5 Million GTD Event started Sunday, June 3, as one of the 150 tourneys during the popular 2018 DeepStack Championship Poker Series. The festival runs for over two months at the luxurious Venetian Las Vegas casino resort and its rich schedule wraps up July 29. The MSPT $1,100 Buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event, however, is the most popular tournament during the series because it offers players a guaranteed prize pool of $3.5 million. In fact, Day 1D of the event attracted 1,872 runners and the total number of registrations reached the incredible 4,411 players.
With this massive entry field, this year’s edition of the MSPT event set an all-time record and became the largest tournament in the history of the Venetian. This means that the guarantee exceeds $4 million, while the top prize that would be given to the winner is estimated at $548,341. According to organizers, the top 450 seats will be paid and players who make it to the money levels will receive a minimum of $2,150. The final day of the tournament will be played on Friday, but before that, a huge number of eliminations would follow.
Day 2 Starts with 648 Runners Still in the Fight
Day 1D On Wednesday was the last opportunity for poker pros and amateurs to qualify for the more serious poker action in the $3.5 GTD MSPT Venetian event. A total of 1,872 players registered throughout the day, but only 306 of them survived the 15 levels. With a stack of 459,500, Henry Van Tran topped the ranking, but it was not enough to guarantee him the leading position when play resumes for the second day of the tournament.
Instead, Day 1C chip leader Jason Sater will sit on the table with the biggest stack when cards are in the air at noon this Thursday. He comes with 770,500 in chips, followed by Day 1B leader Gavin O’Rourke (530,000), Kevin Albers (528,500), Aleksandras Rusinovas (528,500), and Van Tran with his 459,500 in chips. The rest of the players in the top 10 chip count include Soo Jung Kim (448,500), Houston Baker (445,500), Day A1 David McConachie (426,000), Jonatan Simchon (425,500), and Matthew Hunt (415,500).
Although Jason Sater, a player from Boulder, Colorado, currently has the advantage, it will not be easy to keep it as there are still many levels to be played on Day 2 and 3. Moreover, Sater can hardly be called a professional since he has two cashes so far in his career. In April 2017, he finished 5th at the $200 NLH at 2017 Getaway Classic, Scottsdale, for $4,882, while two months later, in June, he made it to the 8th place in the Rio Daily Deepstacks 2017 $235 NLH event in Las Vegas. There, he received $3,661, increasing his live tournament earnings to the modest $8,543.