Poker In Iowa: Mid-States Poker Tour Returns To Grand Falls Casino, $200K Gtd. Main Event

Written By Martin Harris on January 15, 2021
mid-state poker tour iowa

The Mid-States Poker Tour is returning to the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa. The $1,100 buy-in Main Event, featuring a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool, takes place Jan. 22-24.

Just over the border from Sioux Falls, SD, the Grand Falls Casino has been a favorite stopover the years for MSPT players. Indeed, the last time the MSPT came to Grand Falls, it hosted the largest live poker tournament ever in Iowa.

Multiple satellites awarding Main Event seats

There will be two starting flights, one each on Friday, Jan. 22, and Saturday, Jan. 23. Each flight will play down to 12% of the field, with survivors from both Day 1 flights combining for the final day on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Players can re-enter one time each starting flight, making a maximum of four entries per player.

Poker players start with 20,000 chips, though for just $10 all will likely choose to take the optional add-on of 5,000 more. They’ll play 40-minute levels throughout the tournament until heads-up, at which point levels will be reduced to 30 minutes.

The tournament will play nine-handed. Players will employ the big blind ante until they get down to the last three tables, after which traditional antes will be used.

Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event schedule

Here is the Main Event schedule:

DateTime (CST)EventLocation
Friday, Jan. 22 3 p.m.$1,100 Main Event Day 1AEvent Center
Saturday, Jan. 23 3 p.m.$1,100 Main Event Day 1BEvent Center
Sunday, Jan. 24 11 a.m.$1,100 Main Event Day 2 (Final Day)Event Center

Several $250 buy-in mega-satellites awarding entries into the Main Event will take place starting Saturday, Jan. 16. There are seven events total, lasting until Saturday, Jan. 23, the day of the second starting flight.

The satellites feature a quicker structure with 20-minute levels. The satellites also allow re-entries (with no limit) until late registration ends at the start of Level 9. Those who finish in the top one-fifth of the field will win Main Event seats.

Here is the full satellite schedule:

DateTime (CST)EventLocation
Saturday, Jan. 16 noon$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventPoker Room
Sunday, Jan. 17 4 p.m.$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventPoker Room
Wednesday, Jan. 206 p.m.$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventPoker Room
Thursday, Jan. 21 noon$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventPoker Room
Thursday, Jan. 21 6 p.m.$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventPoker Room
Friday, Jan. 22 10 a.m.$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventEvent Center
Saturday, Jan. 2310 a.m.$250 Satellite, 1/5 advance to Main EventEvent Center

Grand Falls event helps launch MSPT’s 12th season

The MSPT is up and running following a year of a greatly reduced poker schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After shutting down in March 2020, the MSPT returned to Grand Falls Casino for an event in August before pausing once more.

That event was a huge hit, attracting a total of 518 entrants. The prize pool was just over $500,000, more than three times the event’s $150,000 guarantee. The turnout made it Iowa’s largest ever poker tournament with a $1,000 or greater buy-in. Winner Mark Collins took away a first prize of $107,716.

In November and December, the MSPT closed out Season 11 with two separate events at The Venetian in Las Vegas. The tour then kicked off 2021 and Season 12 with another event at The Venetian in early January before returning to Larchwood.

As of today, the MSPT has a full schedule of events lined up for the rest of 2021. Included are multiple future trips for poker play in Iowa, including returning to Grand Falls and the Riverside Casino in Riverside.

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Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. His book “Poker & Pop Culture” was published by D&B Books in 2019.

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