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(Battle Creek, MI) Oct. 17, 2018 – FireKeepers Casino Hotel is proud to announce that, yet again, the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Michigan State Championship crushed its $300,000 guarantee by creating a prize pool of more than $1.2 million, surpassing the record set during last year’s event by 204 players. Matthew Stammen of Coldwater, OH outlasted 1,270 competitors to take home the trophy and a $218,565 grand prize payday, while four players cashed in for more than $75,000.

After three starting flights and a long Day 2, Stammen, the elder brother of well-known poker pro Keven Stammen, emerged victorious to capture his first major title and $218,656 in prize money.

“I’m elated, what can I say? It’s unbelievable,” Stammen said after the victory. “I threw my money in the hat and it worked out.”

Stammen, a shipping manager in an Ohio machine shop, had this to say on his poker-famous brother: “He’s 12 years younger. He’s been yelling at me the whole tournament. He’s been giving me a little bit of advice, let’s put it that way. It’s all about the trophy, I wanted one of those trophies so bad. The money is a bonus.”

On Hand #234 of the marathon final table, the final hand of the tournament took place when Stammen jammed holding ace-jack suited and Joey Wideman called off with ten-nine. The latter flopped a gutshot straight draw but missed the turn and river to bust in second place for $135,451.

Satellites and qualifiers for FireKeepers MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship started in late Aug. and ran through Oct. 12. the final event took place on Sunday, Oct. 14.

“We are proud to partner with the Mid-States Poker Tour to bring a high caliber, competitive tournament series to Battle Creek,” stated Lance Allen, VP of Table Games at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “We are even more proud of the FireKeepers Team, who continue to provide great guest service bringing thousands of players back event after event.”

The complete final table results are as follows:

1st Place – Matthew Stammen - $218,565

2nd Place – Joey Wideman - $135,451

3rd Place – Isaac Kratchman - $95,510

4th Place – Maurice Hawkins – $75,237

5th Place – Victor Gayheart - $56,643

6th Place – Heinz Shluter - $43,098

7th Place – Frank Lagodich - $33,247

8th Place – Jason Mangold - $25,859

9th Place – Dennis Brady - $20,933

10th Place –Derek Richie - $17,239

135 places were paid out.

FireKeepers newly renovated, spacious 22-table, non-smoking poker room is a guaranteed winner. Poker players earn 100 points with every hour of rated play and are eligible for all property-wide promotions! The next FireKeepers MSPT even will be held in May, 2019. Visit http://www.firekeeperscasino.com/play/poker/ for tournament information.


FireKeepers Casino Hotel, located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, MI, has been named Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana, plus earned multiple awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2018 Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. FireKeepers signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The property features 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event.