Season 5 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) continues tomorrow with the MSPT FireKeepers Casino $1,100 Main Event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The MSPT has set state records in each of its last three stops, and expectations are high they’ll do the same in the Wolverine State.
“FireKeepers is proud to be the Michigan tour stop for the Mid-States Poker Tour and the destination for the Michigan State Championship,” Kelley Bailey, Poker Manager at FireKeepers, told PokerNews. “With each MSPT tournament series we have experienced an increase in player participation as well as notoriety for being a stop on the tour. MSPT has done a wonderful job in expanding their product and establishing their brand in the premier tournament arena. We are pleased to continue to offer players in Michigan and surrounding areas the opportunity to play in this tournament series.”
This may only be the third time the MSPT is rolling into town, but if the first two stops are any indication, the third time will be the biggest and best yet. It will be the first time the new “Allen-Kessler Approved” structure will be utilized, and some of the Midwest’s best are expected to make the journey including World Series of Poker bracelet winner and Heartland Poker Tour champ Adam Friedman, who is confirmed to play his first-ever MSPT.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel is a beautiful, new property located on Highway 94 directly between Chicago and Detroit with live poker action 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as craps and other table games, including two-deck blackjack and baccarat, a world-class buffet and a host of quality restaurants and bars.
To prepare for tomorrow’s Day 1a, the first of three starting flights, PokerNews decided to take a look back at the history shared between the MSPT and FireKeepers.
Midena Walks Away with the Inaugural MSPT FireKeepers Title
From March 8-10, 2013, the MSPT visited FireKeepers for the first time and attracted 272 entrants and created a prize pool of $272,000, making it the largest first-time event in the history of the tour. After three days of intense play, popular local pro Thomas Medina, who qualified for the tournament through a $250 qualifier, walked away with the $73,456 first-place prize and the coveted RF Moeller diamond championship bracelet.
Midena, who primarily played cash games, did so by defeating another local grinder, Adam Lamphere, in a heads-up match that lasted more than an hour. Lamphere, who would be back at the final table later in the year, earned $39,351 for his runner-up finish.
"This [event] was so much fun." said then-MSPT Ambassador Chris "Fox" Wallace. "To come back to Michigan and host an event here that was such a huge success is fantastic. The staff was great here, from the beverage servers all the way up to the top, we had everything we needed, and we were able to make sure the players all left wanting more. We're really looking forward to coming back in August."
Here’s a look at the first-ever MSPT FireKeepers final table:
Final Table Results
|1||Thomas Midena||Brooklyn, MI||$73,456|
|2||Adam Lamphere||Lansing, MI||$39,351|
|3||Tim "Homer" Ebenhoeh||Chesaning, MI||$24,922|
|4||Patrick Steele||Chelsea, MI||$18,364|
|5||Benjamin Krill||Parts Unknown||$15,740|
|6||Trevor Kirkland||Jackson, MI||$11,805|
|7||Tom Hujda||New Lenox, IL||$9,969|
|8||Sai Muduluru||Lansing, MI||$8,920|
|9||Adam Bacon||Bryan, OH||$7,346|
Townsend Captures the Second MSPT FireKeepers Title; Lamphere Runner-Up Again
From August 17-25, the MSPT was back in Battle Creek, Michigan, and attendance was up as 301 entrants packed the poker room and created a prize pool of $301,000. Amazingly, there were some familiar faces at the final table in Patrick Steele and Adam Lamphere.
Like he did at the first final table, Steele finished in fourth place, a feat that helped him capture the MSPT Season 4 Player of the Year title. Similarly, Lamphere finished as runner-up for the second time in a row. It was disappointing for him to come so close in back-to-back MSPT FireKeepers Main Events, but the $42,118 consolation prize no doubt helped ease the pain.
In the end it was Jordan Townsend, who was sporting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt, that stopped Lamphere and took the title and $76,975 first-place prize for himself.
Here’s a look at the second MSPT FireKeepers final table:
Final Table Results