MSPT returning to Grand Falls Casino for December event

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: October 24, 2020 24:20 PDT

Mid States Poker Tour running $200,000 guaranteed Main Event Dec. 18-20

The Mid States Poker Tour continues its aggressive approach to live tournament poker in The COVID-19 era, as the tour announced its intention to finish up 2020 with another live event.

The MSPT returns to Grand Falls Casino for a $200,000 guaranteed, $1,100 Main Event Dec. 18-20. The MSPT Grand Falls event marks the fourth live event operated by the tour since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the live poker tournament economy in the U.S. in March.

The first of those events took place Aug. 28-30 at Grand Falls Casino, located in Larchwood, IA. Just outside of the Sioux Falls, ND area, the August series featured a month of satellite events, leading up to a $100,000 guaranteed Main Event.

The series presented the first major live poker tournament event offered by any U.S.-based tour since the mid-March COVID-19 shutdowns of casinos across the country. The turnout for the return of live tournament poker in the states shattered expectations, with 518 entries pushing the prize pool to more than five times the guarantee, finishing at $500,960.

While plenty of players from Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas showed up for the Main Event, the tournament also drew hundreds of players from wide swaths of the U.S. The final table alone included players from Illinois, Colorado, Nebraska, Florida, and Tennessee.

Mark Collins, an Illinois resident, took down the tournament for a $107,706 payout. The event set an attendance record for Grand Falls casino, as the 518 entries more than doubled the previous mark of 238 entries.

MSPT at the front of the curve for 2020 live tournament poker

Many poker rooms across the U.S. have reopened as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its eighth month on American shores. Cash games in many states have returned to somewhat normal operations, but the nature of live tournaments have forced nearly all U.S.-based tours to remain in shutdown mode.

The August MSPT Grand Falls event gave U.S. players the first taste of mid-major tour tournament poker in more than five months. The MSPT has since announced a pair of Las Vegas events.

The first of two MSPT DeepStack events runs as a $1,100 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed tournament Nov. 13-15. The following week sees another MSPT DeepStack event, this time as a $1,600 buy-in, $400,000 guaranteed event. Both tournaments run at the Venetian, the long-time Las Vegas partner of the MSPT.

Aside from the return of the Venetian's in-house DeepStack Showdown series the MSPT, live tournament players in the U.S. have experienced a slow climb back for their game of choice. The Midway Poker Tour Chicago ran as one of the only other large-scale tournaments in the COVID-19 era, but the event ended in disaster with player payouts shorted.

Another live tournament series on the horizon takes place in Houston, TX, later this month. The inaugural event for the new Lonestar Poker Series takes place Oct. 23-Nov. 1, from Houston's Prime Social poker club.

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