Michigan’s Jason Zarlenga emerged victorious in the Season 5 MSPT Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to capture the $120,164 first-place prize. What’s more, it marked the second MSPT title Zarlenga captured in Season 5, joining the likes of Matt Kirby and Dan Sun as two-time champions. His previous victory came back in May when he conquered a field of 411 entrants to win the MSPT FireKeepers for $101,482. To top it all off, the Potawatomi win established Zarlenga as the MSPT’s all-time money leader.
Zarlenga, who grew up in Boardman, Ohio, was one of four children – two older sisters and a younger brother – in a close-knit Italian family. Both of his parents were schoolteachers, so it was no surprise that education was a priority for Zarlenga. He attended Kent State University where he earned a bachelors degree in finance, and he then followed that up by obtaining his JD at Thomas M Cooley Law School. However, instead of entering the field of law, he decided t pursue his dream of playing poker.