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(Battle Creek, MI.) Oct. 18, 2016 – FireKeepers Casino Hotel is excited to announce that, yet again, the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) had its largest prize pool in history, outside of Las Vegas, during the Michigan State Championship hosted at FireKeepers. Brett Blackwood, of Ypsilanti Mich., walked away the champion, with the top prize of $188,314. The record-breaking event shattered its $300,000 advertised guarantee by creating an $884,000 total prize pool, surpassing May’s MSPT FireKeepers Main Event record.

Blackwood, a painter by trade, was playing in his eighth tournament. He spends much of his time playing $5-$10 Pot-Limit Omaha. He participated in three $250 Satellites for the Michigan State Championship and managed to win a seat in the main event. From then on it was a story of survival. “It feels fake right now, it just feels like a dream,” Blackwell said after his big win. “I was all in 14 or 15 times, often behind, and just ran spectacular. Heads-up, I hit the river twice to stay alive. It feels great.”

Satellites and qualifiers for MSPT’s Michigan State Championship started in late August and ran through Oct. 14. The Main Event took place on Thursday, Oct. 13 through Saturday, Oct. 15. The Final Event was held on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. With 884 entries, this surpasses the FireKeepers MSPT record set in spring of 2016 which saw 820 entries, making this the single largest MSPT event held outside of Las Vegas.

The giant prize pool gave runnerup Cy Church the opportunity to cash a second place check for $114,701! Among the 884 entrants were returning champs, Ryan Dykhouse, Andrew Rubinberg, Michael Ferraroti, and FireKeepers’s most recent winner, Aaron Massey, who finished 7th for $23,882. The top 81 places were paid out.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Mid-States Poker Tour and even more proud of the growth we have seen event after event,” stated Lance Allen, Vice President of Table Games at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “Our eighth hosted tournament saw great increase in participation, partly due to our high prize pools and excellent guest service offered here at FireKeepers Casino Hotel.”

The complete final table results are as follows:

1st Place- Brett Blackwood - $188,314
2nd Place- Cy Church - $114,701
3rd Place- Griff Woodman - $74,641
4th Place- Vinh Ho - $51,701
5th Place- Jimmy Ray - $37,663
6th Place- Lars Cole - $28,932
7th Place- Aaron Massey - $23,882
8th Place- Satish Thakur, - $19,944
9th Place- Joshua Marvin - $16,007
10th Place- Nevada Saad - $$12,241

Visit http://www.firekeeperscasino.com/play/poker/ for upcoming 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 9 first place awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2015 Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. Our 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 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event.