The 2022 Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Michigan State Poker Championship $1,100 no-limit hold ’em main event attracted 2,409 entrants in FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. It had a huge turnout that doubled the initial $1 million guarantee as the leading 252 finishers shared the $2,336,730 prize money.
Matthew Davis, a Michigan native player, won $344,446 and his maiden MSPT title after being the last man standing at the table. It was the biggest score in his professional poker career as it exceeded the $98,120 he won in the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event after finishing 76th. The Hendon Mob indicates that he has over $545,000 in lifetime poker earnings.
Joe Cada keenly monitored Davis’ run as he later celebrated his victory on social media despite being a four-time bracelet champion. Besides winning the money and trophy, Davis garnered 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year (POY) points. They were his first POY-qualified 2022 score, and they improved his position in the POY race to the top 400 players.
There were 303 more players contending for the trophy after the first three flights started. But, Davis, the eventual champion, was crowned after a day’s play despite being in the 243rd position when the action started as Dan Bekavac (four-time MSPT winner) led the pack.
The Final Table’s POY Points and Payouts
1. Matthew Davis-1080 points and $344,446
2. Rinaldo Teodoro-900 points and $212,511
3. Jason Zarlenga-720 points and $158,796
4. Adam Williams-540 points and $123,767
5. Justin Pimpedly-450 points and $94,810
6. Christopher Moon-360 points and $74,727
7. Alexx Farcas-270 points and $58,381
8. Ronald Puleo-180 points and $45,537
9. Alex Magdan-90 points and $36,196
Action on the Final Day
Becavic exited the tournament in the 44th position. Skilled players who had deep runs included Jean Gaspard (bracelet champion), Aaron Massey (World Poker Tour and bracelet winner), Keven Stammen, Jake Bazeley, Brek Schutten (WPT winner), Craig Trost (2022 MSPT Iowa State Poker Championship winner), Soheb Porbandarwala (bracelet champion) and Joe Cada.
Davis was seventh when the official nine-handed final table was set. He beat Alec Magdan in ninth place, Ronald Puleo in eighth place, and Alex Farcas in seventh place to be among the top six players. Yet, he had one of the smallest stacks.
The poker pro doubled up through Chris Moon in six-handed action and improved his position on the leaderboard. Jason Zarlengato’s A-k beat Moon’s A-3 suited and busted him in the sixth position.
Davis’ pocket tens faced Justin Pimpedly’s pocket nines and held for a while. He used pocket sevens to eliminate Pimpedly in fifth place and bested Adam William’s J-9 to take over the chip lead.
Zarlenga had five big blinds left when he used K-Q to move all-in on the button, while Davis used A-9 to call and flop an ace that gave him a huge lead in that hand. Yet, Zarlenga landed a pair of queens on the turn but failed to improve and left the table in third place with $158,796.
His exit gave Davis an over 2:1 stack lead over Rinaldo Teodoro in their heads-up battle. Davis used 7Spade Suit7Club Suit to limp in from a button in the final hand.
Teodoro used AClub Suit6Diamond Suit to raise 3x the big blind while Davis made an effective 20 big blinds shove. The former called and the board revealed QDiamond Suit7Diamond Suit2Spade Suit6Club Suit9Heart Suit and Davis got a set of sevens that sealed his victory. Teodoro won $212,511 as a runner-up while Davis took home $344,446.