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Brett Blackwood Wins $188,314 in State Record MSPT FireKeepers

Brett Blackwood


  • Brett Blackwood won MSPT FireKeepers, which drew a Michigan record 884 players, for $188,314.

  • Aaron Massey nearly went back-to-back at MSPT FireKeepers, finishing in seventh place this time.

The Mid-States Poker Tour drew a state record of 884 runners to its Michigan State Poker Championship stop at FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Michigan and Brett Blackwood emerged as the victor for a payday of $188,314. It was the first recorded live cash for Blackwood, who told MSPT staff he's primarily a recreational pot-limit Omaha player.

“It feels fake right now; right now it just feels like a dream,” Blackwell said after the win. “I was all in 14 or 15 times, often behind and just ran spectacular. The PLO bankroll was all right, but it just got a whole lot healthier.”

Official Final Table Results

1Brett BlackwoodYpsilanti, MI$188,314
2Cy ChurchEast Lansing, MI$114,701
3Griff WoodmanPortland, MI$74,641
4Vinh HoMidland, MI$51,701
5Jimmy RayChurubusco, IN$37,663
6Lars ColeAda, MI$28,932
7Aaron MasseyChicago, IL$23,882
8Satish ThakurFarmington Hille, MI$19,944
9Josh MarvinSterling Heights, MI$16,007
10Nevada SaadDearborn Heights, MI$12,241

The tournament paid out 81 places. Among those cashing in the event but falling short of the final table were past champs Ryan Dykhouse and Michael Ferrarotti, as well as Adam Lamphere, Mark Johnson Jr., Patrick Steele and Michael Hahn.

When the final table began, Blackwood was the shortest stack of the 10 remaining players. Well-known traveling tournament pro Aaron Massey, meanwhile, held the chip lead with nearly 2.4 million at blinds of 30,000/60,000/10,000. He was seeking a second straight victory at FireKeepers after winning this event in the spring for over $170,000.

After the first elimination, Blackwood managed to find a double with his last few big blinds when his {a-Hearts}{5-Hearts} made a flush against the {a-Spades}{j-Spades} of Satish Thakur. He grabbed another double, this time through Massey, courtesy of deuces against ace-nine all in preflop.

Massey recovered a bit to eliminate Thakur in eighth after Josh Marvin went bust in ninth, but it was Massey who was next to go. He opened with jacks on the button and received calls from both blinds, seeing {7-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{q-Spades} flop. Massey shoved after two checks and saw small blind Lars Cole snap him off with {q-Hearts}{8-Hearts}.

Blackwood then found yet another double, this time coming in well ahead with ace-king against the ace-jack of Vinh Ho, with neither player improving on the community cards. That put him up to about 27 big blinds, the healthiest he had been since the start of the final table. He kept the heater going with ace-king again, winning a race against Cole's sixes to send Cole packing in sixth.

Jimmy Ray took a bad beat to bust fifth when he woke up with ace-queen after small blind Cy Church shoved on him with {q-Spades}{7-Diamonds}, only to see Church find not one, but two sevens on the board.

Ace-king was then the ticket for another double for Blackwood, this time blind-versus-blind against Church, who got no help with ace-five.

Ho then tried jamming a short stack with nine-eight in the small blind only to run into Church's rockets. He went bust fourth. Blackwood had sevens hold against the {a-Spades}{4-Spades} of Griff Woodman to send him out third. That left Church and Blackwood heads up, the former with about 11 million and the latter with about 7 million at 100,000/200,000/30,000.

Church nearly had the first-place money and the title of Michigan State Poker Champion in his grasp, getting Blackwood to five-bet shove the {a-Spades}{j-Clubs} when Church held {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. A jack on the river saved Blackwood and left Church with just 11 big blinds.

Church grabbed doubles with sevens against ace-queen and {a-Clubs}{4-Clubs} against king-jack, but another lost flip left him with crumbs when Blackwood spiked a river nine with ace-nine against Church's sevens. Left with only a handful of blinds, Church shoved in with {j-Clubs}{5-Hearts} and lost to {a-Hearts}{2-Spades} to end the tournament.

Image courtesy of MSPT

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