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MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship is one of the big poker tournaments that is held annually in the Midwest since the past four years now. This year the Championship ran at the FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan from October 6-14. Featuring a buy-in of $1,100, the $300,000 GTD Main Event attracted 1,271 entrants and besting the field, Matthew Stammen (cover image) won the event, adding a hefty $218,565 to his bankroll.
Stammen happens to be the elder brother of World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion Keven Stammen and is a Shipping Manager in an Ohio machine shop.
I’m elated, what can I say? It’s unbelievable. I threw my money in the hat and it worked out,” Stammen said, after the win.
Talking about Kevin, who is 12 years younger, he added, “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.”
Right after the event got over, Stammen left in order to make it to a foot surgery appointment.
The Main Event featured three starting flights and played down to a winner after the fields converged to the 173 players who came back to play on Day 2. Only 135 of them managed to make it in the money. Among the 38 players who left empty-handed were defending champion, Chris Meyers, two-time MSPT winner, Greg Himmelbrand, as well as Miles Reinhard and Dee Bell, who were knocked out at the same time, on the bubble.
The final table was broadcasted live on msptpoker.com, and where owing to RFID technology, all viewers were able to see the hole cards.
Nick Pupillo (11th for $17,239), 2017 MSPT Iowa State Poker Champion Carter Myers (14th for $13,545), 2017 MSPT Michigan Poker Championship runner-up Millard Hale (22nd for $8,127), current Season 9 POY points leader Aaron Johnson (32nd for $5,172) and Michael Lech (41st for $4,064) posted scores at the event.
Final Table Recap
Action on the final table saw its first elimination in the first hand, where a short stacked Derek Ritchie moved all in holding king-eight suited but ran into Isaac Kratchman’s pocket tens. The board ran out clean and Ritchie fell in 10th place.
Shortly thereafter, Dennis Brady was eliminated in ninth place after his pocket threes were cracked by Stammen’s pair of kings.
Jason Mangold bowed out in eighth place when he ran his ace-jack suited into Kratchman’s pocket kings all in preflop.
Next up, Frank Lagodich held ace-ten versus Joey Wideman’s ace-jack and with the board blanking out, he was eliminated in seventh place. German pro Heinz Schluter was the next player to be eliminated in sixth place.
The play then slowed down but it was Victor Gayheart who found his tournament run cut short next, when he moved his short stack all in preflop holding ace-nine but couldn’t match Kratchman’s pocket queens. Gayheart was bounced off in fifth place.
Eleven-time WSOPC gold ring champion Maurice Hawkins, who was looking to add an MSPT title to his name, was shown the door in fourth place. Hawkins went short in chips after his ace-five were run down by Wideman’s pocket eights. He did manage to double up once but was eliminated by Kratchman, who held jack-five suited against Hawkin’s eight-six. Failing to improve, Hawkins was eliminated from the tournament.
Following Hawkins to the rail in third place was Day 1A chip leader Isaac Kratchman, who was knocked out by Stammen in a hand where Kratchman moved all in with his ace-nine but couldn’t sustain against Stammen’s king-jack.
With only Joey Wideman and Stammen left in contention for the title, the heads-up play moved swiftly in Stammen’s favor. On the final hand of the tournament, Stammen moved all in holding ace-jack suited and Wideman made the call with ten-nine. Stammen’s hand held on and Wideman had to concede victory, settling in for a second place finish, while Stammen picked the title.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Matthew Stammen – $218,565
2. Joey Wideman – $135,451
3. Isaac Kratchman – $98,510
4. Maurice Hawkins – $75,237
5. Victor Gayheart – $56,643
6. Heinz Schluter – $43,098
7. Frank Lagodich – $33,247
8. Jason Mangold – $25,859
9. Dennis Brady – $20,933
10. Derek Ritchie – $17,239