Matthew Davis Is The 2022 Michigan State Poker Champion

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October 13th – 16th was the Michigan State Poker Championship. The championship event spanned four days and generated the largest prize pool ever for FireKeepers.

The event, held at FireKeepers Casino Hotel, drew a record 2,409 entries and brought the total prize pool to $2.3 million, far more than the guarantee of $1 million set by the MSPT. 

FireKeepers was particularly pleased with the turnout this month. “The turnout of top poker players from across the country further solidifies FireKeepers’ status as one of the nation’s leading poker rooms.”

The event earlier this month marked the 15h MSPT event held at FireKeepers. FireKeepers is located in Battle Creek, MI, at 11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014. The casino hotel is conveniently located right off Interstate 94 between Chicago and Detroit. 

Record breaking tournament

The MSPT at FireKeepers brought a record-breaking 2,409 entrants to the four-day event. The total prize pool reached $2.3 million, another record-breaking figure.

The final day saw 303 players return for their shot at the prize pool. The top 252 finishers were awarded a slice of the prize pot, with the top 9 players receiving winnings of at least $36,196. 

Michigan native brings home the win!

After a grueling 17 hours of play, Michigan’s own Matthew Davis was awarded his first MSPT title and $344,446 in winnings. 

Davis entered the final day in 243rd place with some tough competition ahead. Dan Bekavac, four-time MSPT champion, was in the lead heading into the final day (finished 44th). Bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Keven Stammen also made an appearance, finishing 96th overall. Other notable players included 2022 MSPT Iowa State champ Craig Trost (56th), world champ Joe Cada (34th), and bracelet winner Soheb Porbandarwala (32nd). 

Davis found himself in seventh place at the final table. Davis managed to make it to the final six, outlasting Alec Magdan (9th), Ronald Puleo (8th), and Alex Farcas (7th) but was still near the bottom in terms of his total chip count. 

The results from the final six are below:

1Matthew Davis$344,446
2Rinaldo Teodoro$212,511
3Jason Zarlenga$158,796
4Adam Williams$123,767
5Justin Pimpedly$94,810
6Christopher Moon$74,727

“I feel like I played really well today,” said Matthew Davis after he was crowned the Michigan State Poker Championship winner. “I got lucky in a few key spots … I’m absolutely going to be playing other MSPTs 100%, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Davis.

What is the MSPT?

What started as the Minnesota State Poker Tour in December 2009 has expanded to become one of the largest affordable deep stack no-limit series in the US. The series was rebranded to become the Mid-States Poker Tour a few years after its inception. Now the series has grown to feature over 30 events a year across the US, including two events in Las Vegas and one event in Colorado despite those states residing outside the midwest. 

The MSPT prides itself on creating an affordable tournament series for “weekend warriors,” according to its website. The tournament series is geared specifically toward recreational players with its lower $1,100 main event buy-ins. 

Michigan’s MSPT tournament at FireKeepers is one of the largest guarantees in the series. The Venetian in Las Vegas is the only other venue that boasts a guarantee of over $1 million. 

FireKeepers Casino Hotel has hosted two events every year since 2013, with the exception of 2020 and 2021. The first MSPT event held at FireKeepers had a guarantee of just $100k. The $1 million guarantee didn’t become possible until 2019. FireKeepers usually hosts their MSPT events in May and October. 

Second FireKeepers event with a prize pool of over $2 million

The tournament held earlier this month was the second time the prize pot passed the $2 million mark. May 12th – 15th’s tournament at FireKeepers had a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million but grew to $2.2 million thanks to the 2,330 players that joined the tournament. 

Players should expect another record-breaking year for the FireKeepers Casino Hotel and MSPT come May 2023. 

Matthew Davis now has total recorded earnings of $545,307. Congratulations are in order!

Mac Daniel is a Michigan native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: