Mid-States Poker Tour Has Record Weekend In Return To FireKeepers

Written By David Kaye on May 17, 2022

Over the years, the Mid-States Poker Tour stop at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek has broken the record for the largest poker tournament prize pool multiple times over in the state of Michigan.

This past weekend a new record was set.

The $1,110 buy-in tournament boasted a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. The tournament crushed this guarantee by generating a prize pool over $2.2 million with a total of 2,330 entries.

The eventual winner would take home more than $333,000 and the title of MSPT champion!

What led to massive MSPT turnout at FireKeepers?

Although FireKeepers has traditionally been the biggest stop on the tour outside of Vegas, we’ve never seen a turnout this large. There are a few factors I believe that led to such a large showing.

What I believe to be the biggest impact was the change to the structure of the tournament, specifically the late-registration process.

In past events, players were allowed to register up to two times per starting day. For this event players could register as many times as they wanted during the late-registration period. The late-registration period was also extended from the first nine levels to the first 12 levels. 

Both changes have a big impact on the average number of entries a person will play. Many players will only play one or two entries, but there are also players who will play as many as possible to try and make it to Day 2.

Another factor could have been that this was the first MSPT event in Michigan since October of 2019 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Previously the tournament was held roughly every six months, so players have been chomping at the bit to play another MSPT event here in Michigan.

Top three agree to a ‘chop’

Day 1 is the start of the tournament, but the money is won on Day 2. That’s when the players who advance through each of the Day 1s combine into a field of one and play down the eventual champion. Three-hundred eleven players reached Day 2 from the starting field of 2,330 entries. Two-hundred fifty-two players would guarantee themselves a cash of at least $2,484.

As the day, and then night progressed, the tournament was played down to the final three players who agreed upon a chop.

For those of you unfamiliar with a chop, it’s when the remaining players agree to divide the prize money different from what the posted payouts are. This is generally done to make the payouts closer together, decreasing the massive pay jumps you will normally see in the top few finishing positions of a tournament. 

Players will often use something resembling an ICM model, which in short is dividing up the remaining prize pool based on the amount of chips you have. The more chips you have, the more of the prize pool you receive.

After the deal was agreed upon, Daniel Bekavac would take home the title and largest share of the prize pool for $252,090.

The final table payouts are listed below.

1.Dan Bekavac$252,090
2.CJ Peake$241,290
3.Marquez Davis$198,975
4.Zinoviy Pelekh$119,706
5.Jonathan Johnson$91,699
6.Alex Oberlin$72,275
7.Timothy Mulroy$56,465
8.Ruben Delgado$44,043
9.Elliot Hebden$35,008

If you missed this great event, or didn’t have the success you were hoping for, the good new is the MSPT is returning to FireKeepers October 13-16!

Poker content creator David Kaye of Mason writes a regular column for PlayMichigan. You can follow David’s poker journey on his social media accounts under the handle “DavidKayePoker.” David is on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter and Instagram.

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David Kaye

Poker content creator David Kaye of Mason writes a regular column for PlayMichigan. You can follow David’s poker journey on his social media accounts under the handle “DavidKayePoker.” David is on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.

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