FireKeepers Casino: May 13 - 21, 2017

Level:14   Blinds: 1200 / 2400   Ante:400

The first of three starting flights in the MSPT FireKeepers Main Event drew a whopping 250 entrants, which crushed the previous Day 1A record of 195. It also puts the field on pace to surpass last fall’s record of 884 total entrants; in fact, it looks as if the field is primed for 1,000+ runners and a $1,000,000 prize pool!

After 14 levels of play on Day 1A, just 48 players remained with Brian Eklund and his stack of 238,000 leading the way.

Also bagging was three-time MSPT champ Carl Carodenuto (168,500), who is pictured above. Carodenuto flew in from Minnesota earlier in the day with MSPT Season 7 Player of the Year Rich Alsup and Todd Breyfogle, neither of who bagged.

Others who made it through were Michigan’s Adam Lamphere (174,000), who has the incredible distinction of cashing seven of the eight MSPT Main Events held here at FireKeepers; MSPT Season 4 Ho-Chunk Champ Josh Reichard (45,000); and MSPT Season 7 Meskwaki champ Keith Heine (187,000), who is currently on top of the Season 8 Player of the Year race with 2,200 points.

Of course, not everyone was fortunate enough to survive. Among those to fall on Day 1A were MSPT Season 4 Player of the Year Pat Steele, 2016 MSPT Iowa State Poker Champ John Sun, inaugural MSPT FireKeepers champ Tom Midena, #MSPT100 winner Jason Ramos, and both Cy Church and Brett Blackwood, who finished as runner-up and winner of the last MSPT FireKeepers.

Day 1B will kick off at Noon local time on Friday, and it’s already shaping up to be bigger as approximately 150 satellite winners are already signed up. Join us then as we bring you all the action straight from the tournament floor of the FireKeepers Casino Poker Room.

Level:14   Blinds: 1200 / 2400   Ante:400
Brian Eklund 279,000
Pierre Williams 238,000
Edward Ochana 202,500
Edward Dixon 190,500
Scott Modetz 189,500
Keith Heine 187,000
Scott Skriba 174,500
Adam Lamphere 174,000
Carl Carodenuto 168,500
Chris Moon 156,500
Nicholas Depalma 151,000
Timothy McGrail 142,500
Robert Vanderhart 137,000
Bob Buyce 135,000
Andrew Herweyer 126,000
Brad Yeomans 126,000
Dapreesch Scates 125,500
Warren Janney 124,000
Hector Llerena 109,000
Mark Barrett 107,500
Rodney Hall 107,000
Altaf Motiwala 102,000
Dominick Chiesa 96,500
David Blickenstaff 95,500
George Janssen 92,500
Michael Koleszar 89,500
Mark Ader 85,500
Scott Davis 84,500
Carmino Argiero 84,000
Jonathan Hamilton 80,500
Gjergj Sinishtaj 78,000
Timothy Dock 75,500
Bryan Gwin 70,000
Jeffrey Hill 68,500
Carol Babcock 64,000
Gary Farhat 63,000
Michael Bennett 63,000
Millard Hale 51,000
Bruce Swart 50,500
John Drikakis 48,000
Michael Seago 47,500
Philip Clements 46,000
Josh Reichard 45,000
Joe Barnard 40,000
Timothy Telisky 33,000
Michael Parrott 32,500
Christopher Meyers 32,500
Mark Shaw 31,500
Level:14   Blinds: 1200 / 2400   Ante:400

The tournament staff just announced the remaining players will play four more hands before bagging and tagging for the night. Stay tuned for a recap of the Day 1A action along with chip counts.

Level:14   Blinds: 1200 / 2400   Ante:400
Warren Janney

Warren Janney opened for 5,500 from early position and a player in late position called. Fernando Gonzalez then three-bet all in for around 65,000 from the button, both blinds folded, and Janney called off for 60,500 total. The other player folded and Gonzalez was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Janney:  9c 9d
Gonzalez:  9s 8h

The  6s 5c ks gave Gonzalez a gutshot straight draw, but it didn’t come in as the  jh blanked on the turn followed by the  3c on the river.

Warren Janney - 125,000
Fernando Gonzalez - 3,500

Level:14   Blinds: 1200 / 2400   Ante:400

In the first level on Day 2 of MSPT Canterbury Park, which drew a record 475 entrants, the blinds were 1,500/3,000/500 and 83 players remained with 45 of them getting paid.

Dan Vandevoort

Luke Mernin (98,000) opened for 7,000 and Jason Ramos (290,500) called from middle position. Dan Vandevoort, who started the day as the second shortest stack, then moved all in for 34,000 from the button. Robert Ogorman proceeded to move all in over the top for 82,000, and Mernin hit the tank for a couple minutes before calling to put both players at risk. Ramos folded and all three players turned up their cards.

Vandevoort: A♣A♥
Ogorman: 10♠10♦
Mernin: A♠K♠

Vandevoort held the goods, and maintained his lead on the 6♣3♦J♠flop. The 8♠ turn put a big sweat out there as Mernin picked up a spade flush draw, but he missed it when the Q♣ blanked on the river. Mernin was left with 16,000 after the hand, but he went bust a short time later.

We caught up with poker pro and author Jonathan Little to get his take on how this hand played out.

MSPT: What do you think of Ogorman’s four-bet jam with pocket tens in this spot?

Little: Ogorman is certainly in a difficult spot with his pocket tens, but I think going all in is perfectly acceptable given he only has 27 big blinds. The only way you can realistically justify folding is if he knows either the initial raiser or the pusher are overly tight, putting pocket tens in marginal shape. If both players are getting in with reasonable ranges, you have to be willing to gamble. Also notice that the only time he is in a terrible situation is when the initial raiser has a premium hand. When he is only against the 34,000 all in, he is getting great pot odds and if he loses, he will still have about half his stack remaining.

MSPT: How do you feel about Mernin’s call with ace-king?

Little: It is difficult to assume how players will play shortly after doubling up from a tiny stack as Vandevoort had done. Some players will play tightly to "protect" their newly found chips while others will still feel short and will be blasting all in with a wide range thinking that they are now "free rolling". Without an actual read, you should not assume much about your opponents' strategies and instead try to play a fundamentally sound strategy yourself.

Facing two all ins, A♣A♥ is in a tough spot, but I typically call off in this situation if I think both players play well (because their ranges both include a few hands ace-king dominates). Similar to Ogorman's spot with tens, if Mernin knows either player is overly tight, folding becomes a fine option. Also notice that the only time he gets wrecked is when he loses to the 82,000 all in.

While you should rarely be thrilled to call off in this spot, if you pass up on too many situations like this, you will find that you have a difficult time accumulating chips unless the tournament is filled with players who have significant flaws in their strategies.

For more on Little, follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle. You can also receive a FREE copy of his eBook by simply entering your email at

Level:13   Blinds: 1000 / 2000   Ante:300
George Janssen

With  5c 5s 8s on the flop, George Janssen checked, Nathan Geise bet 17,100, and Janssen jammed all in.

Geise, who had fewer chips, made the call and was ahead with  9d 9h versus  ks 10s.

The 2d on the turn didn’t help Janssen, but the  kd on the river gave him a bigger two pair and all of the chips.

George Janssen - 170,000
Nathan Geise - Busted

Level:13   Blinds: 1000 / 2000   Ante:300
Tim Dock

In the very next hand after doubling up, Joe Barnard raised to 4,500 from the the cutoff and Keith Heine called from the button. Tim Dock then three-bet all in for 34,800 from the small blind and Barnard thought long and hard before making the call, which prompted Heine to snap-folded.

Barnard:  ks qd
Dock:  10c 10s

It was a flip, but not after the flop came down  kd 5s qs to give Barnard top two pair. The  jd turn gave Dock an open-ended straight draw, and he hit it after the  9c spiked on the river.

Timothy Dock - 75,000
Joe Barnard - 10,000

Level:13   Blinds: 1000 / 2000   Ante:300
Joe Barnard

We missed the preflop action, but we do know Joe Barnard got his stack of 20,000 all in against James Crawford.

Barnard:  kd 10d
Crawford:  qh 10h

Barnard was way out in front, and he improved on the  7c kh 9s flop, though Crawford did pick up a gutshot to a jack.

The  3h turn gave Crawford a flush draw to boot, but he missed the  qs bricked on the river.

Joe Barnard - 45,000

Level:13   Blinds: 1000 / 2000   Ante:300
Gary Farhat

Gary Farhat and MSPT Season 7 Player of the Year Rich Alsup got all the chips in the middle preflop.

Alsup was behind and at risk with  Ax Kx verus  Qx Qx.

With a king in the window, it was looking like an easy double for Alsup, but a queen on the river sent him out the door.

Gary Farhat - 86,600
Richard Alsup - Busted

Level:12   Blinds: 800 / 1600   Ante:200

Players are now on their last 10-minute break of the night. When they return, they’ll play two more levels before bagging and tagging on Day 1A.

Player Name City State Chip Count Progress
Brian Eklund Augusta MI 279,000 279,000 
Pierre Williams Lansing MI 238,000 238,000 
Edward Ochana Elgin WI 202,500 202,500 
Edward Dixon Detroit MI 190,500 190,500 
Scott Modetz Oxford MI 189,500 189,500 
Keith Heine Hillsboro MO 187,000 187,000 
Scott Skriba Mason MI 174,500 174,500 
Adam Lamphere Lansing MI 174,000 174,000 
Carl Carodenuto Bloomington MN 168,500 168,500 
Chris Moon Sterling Heights MI 156,500 156,500 
Nicholas Depalma Lima OH 151,000 151,000 
Timothy McGrail Kalamazoo MI 142,500 142,500 
Robert Vanderhart Grandville MI 137,000 137,000 
Bob Buyce Portage MI 135,000 135,000 
Andrew Herweyer Grand Rapids MI 126,000 126,000 
Brad Yeomans Leonidas MI 126,000 126,000 
Dapreesch Scates Sterling Heights MI 125,500 125,500 
Warren Janney Detroit MI 124,000 124,000 
Hector Llerena Kalamazoo MI 109,000 109,000 
Mark Barrett Belville MI 107,500 107,500 
Rodney Hall Roseville MI 107,000 107,000 
Altaf Motiwala Kalamazoo MI 102,000 102,000 
Dominick Chiesa Detroit MI 96,500 96,500 
David Blickenstaff Plymouth MI 95,500 95,500 
George Janssen Bad Axe MI 92,500 92,500 
Michael Koleszar Toledo OH 89,500 89,500 
Mark Ader Novi MI 85,500 85,500 
Scott Davis 84,500 84,500 
Carmino Argiero Grass Lake MI 84,000 84,000 
Jonathan Hamilton Lansing MI 80,500 80,500 
Tom Sinishtaj Sterling Heights MI 78,000 78,000 
Timothy Dock Grand Rapids MI 75,500 75,500 
Bryan Gwin Battle Creek MI 70,000 70,000 
Jeffrey Hill Battle Creek MI 68,500 68,500 
Carol Babcock Prescott MI 64,000 64,000 
Gary Farhat Jackson MI 63,000 63,000 
Michael Bennett (MI) Grand Rapids MI 63,000 63,000 
Mills Hale Kalamazoo MI 51,000 51,000 
Bruce Swart Grass Lake MI 50,500 50,500 
John Drikakis Battle Creek MI 48,000 48,000 
Michael Seago Grosse Pointe Shores MI 47,500 47,500 
Philip Clements Chelsea MI 46,000 46,000 
Josh Reichard Janesville WI 45,000 45,000 
Joseph Barnard St. Paul MN 40,000 40,000 
Timothy Telisky St. Clair Shores MI 33,000 33,000 
Mike Parrott Rogers City MI 32,500 32,500 
Chris Meyers Buffalo NY 32,500 32,500 
Mark Shaw Jackson MI 31,500 31,500 
Jason Ramos Carol Stream IL 0 Busted 
Richard Alsup New Hope MN 0 Busted 
Patrick Steele Chelsea MI 0 Busted 
Devin Looney Grand Blanc MI 0 Busted 
Sue Crouse 0 Busted 
Nicholas Pupillo Addison IL 0 Busted 
Thomas Midena Brooklyn MI 0 Busted 
Brett Blackwood Ypsilanti MI 0 Busted 
Loki Abboud Mendota Heights MN 0 Busted 
Aaron Werst Fort Wayne IN 0 Busted 
Jason Bender Keota IA 0 Busted 
Scott Hammett Chelsea MI 0 Busted 
Hao "John" Sun Milwaukee WI 0 Busted 
Cy Church East Lansing MI 0 Busted 
Todd Breyfogle Hopkins MN 0 Busted 
Jimmy Ray Churubusco IN 0 Busted 
Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Mike Shanahan Avon IN $216,8291,900
2 Aaron Massey Elmwood Park IL $131,6461,700
3 Frank Lucarelli Woodhaven MI $85,6991,600
4 Justin Rice Walled Lake MI $57,9241,500
5 Chris Meyers Buffalo NY $42,3331,400
6 Terry Moore Muncie IN $32,7311,300
7 Daniel Panone Rochester MI $26,8461,200
8 Dustin Smith Middleville MI $22,1991,100
9 Scott Skriba Mason MI $18,2761,000
10 Joseph Hinton Ada MI $14,145900
11 Charles Dawson Owensboro KY $14,145900
12 Dapreesch Scates Sterling Heights MI $14,145900
13 Brett Reichard Janesville WI $10,840800
14 Jonathan Sumrack Owosso MI $10,840800
15 Todd Breyfogle Hopkins MN $10,840800
16 Al Singletary Okemos MI $7,950700
17 Jeffrey Hill Battle Creek MI $7,950700
18 Jonathan Roeder Phoenix AZ $7,950700
19 Brian Eklund Augusta MI $6,298600
20 Abraham Montenegro Franklin Park IL $6,298600
21 Randall Brooks Detroit MI $6,298600
22 Kim Schinco Freeland MI $6,298600
23 Craig Bergeron South Lyon MI $6,298600
24 Gregory Yeager Sabina OH $6,298600
25 Altaf Motiwala Kalamazoo MI $6,298600
26 Bob Buyce Portage MI $6,298600
27 Brian Berthiaume Cottage Grove MN $6,298600
28 Duston Newton Allegan MI $5,266500
29 Thongkam Bousim Fort Wayne IN $5,266500
30 Bruce Swart Grass Lake MI $5,266500
31 Carl Carodenuto Bloomington MN $5,266500
32 Daniel Wagner Buffalo NY $5,266500
33 Pierre Williams Lansing MI $5,266500
34 Jason Smith Ferndale MI $5,266500
35 Jose Rodriguez Jackson MI $5,266500
36 Michael Deis Ann Arbor MI $5,266500
37 Joseph Rahman Flint MI $4,337400
38 Yiyang Feng Columbus OH $4,337400
39 Kimberly Beach Twin Lake MI $4,337400
40 Nicholas Pupillo Addison IL $4,337400
41 James Suchala NO CITY MI $4,337400
42 Vance Essak West Bloomfield MI $4,337400
43 George Dietz Oak Park IL $4,337400
44 Cy Church East Lansing MI $4,337400
45 Alan Waller Paw Paw MI $4,337400
46 Bryan Norris Farmington Hills MI $3,820300
47 Jason Bender Keota IA $3,820300
48 Kevin Oneil Royal Oak MI $3,820300
49 Dominick Chiesa Detroit MI $3,820300
50 Andrew Davis Williamsburg MI $3,820300
51 Satish Thakur Farmington Hille MI $3,820300
52 Charles Baryames East Lansing MI $3,820300
53 James Carr Monticello IN $3,820300
54 Michael Bruce Lapeer MI $3,820300
55 Daniel Kusnerak Newton NC $3,304200
56 Steven Wark Boynton Beach FL $3,304200
57 Travis McIntosh Waterford MI $3,304200
58 Vytas Ray East Lansing MI $3,304200
59 Mark Holey Pleasant Lake MI $3,304200
60 Stephen Miller Whitehall MI $3,304200
61 Dung Thai Dewitt MI $3,304200
62 Michael Millikin Owosso MI $3,304200
63 Jesse Allen East Lansing MI $3,304200
64 James Snyder Oak Forest IL $2,891100
65 Anna Marcie NO CITY MI $2,891100
66 David Lindquist Benton Harbor MI $2,891100
67 Brandon Rogers (MI) Grand Ledge MI $2,891100
68 Joseph Ermatinger Twin Lake MI $2,891100
69 Raymond Smith Owosso MI $2,891100
70 Dandre Brown Detroit MI $2,891100
71 Mark Barrett Belville MI $2,891100
72 Edward Ochana Elgin WI $2,891100
73 Edward Dixon Detroit MI $2,68550
74 Marty Pipoly Clarkston MI $2,68550
75 David Blank Saginaw MI $2,68550
76 Peter Kim Winfield IL $2,68550
77 Hector Llerena Kalamazoo MI $2,68550
78 Jim Hettich Olivet MI $2,68550
79 Edward Mogilnicki Cleveland OH $2,68550
80 Edward Bauder Bloomington IL $2,68550
81 Paul Prentis Gross Pointe Park MI $2,68550
82 Paul Rashid Lansing MI $2,37550
83 Andrew Rubinberg Chicago IL $2,37550
84 Clinton Hubble Midland MI $2,37550
85 Mark Samson Kalamazoo MI $2,37550
86 James Gallagher Lansing MI $2,37550
87 Ben McCoy Arlington Heights IL $2,37550
88 Amit Rupani Ypsilanti MI $2,37550
89 Michael Kincaid St. Joseph MI $2,37550
90 Kevin Ammerman Mason MI $2,37550
91 Adrian Carter Columbia City MI $2,27250
92 Todd Freyer Stevensville MI $2,27250
93 Nicholas Depalma Lima OH $2,27250
94 Loki Abboud Mendota Heights MN $2,27250
95 Adam Friedman Gahanna OH $2,27250
96 Jose Serratos Detroit MI $2,27250
97 Mark Ader Novi MI $2,27250
98 Greg Meredith Fort Wayne IN $2,27250
99 Chris Moon Sterling Heights MI $2,27250


Level Info
Level 14
Blinds 1,200 / 2,400
Ante 400
Players Info
Entries 250
Players Remaining 48
Average Chip Stack 104,166
Total Chips 5,000,000
Top 10 Chip Count
Rank Player Name Chip Count
Brian Eklund 279,000
Pierre Williams 238,000
Edward Ochana 202,500
Edward Dixon 190,500
Scott Modetz 189,500
Keith Heine 187,000
Scott Skriba 174,500
Adam Lamphere 174,000
Carl Carodenuto 168,500
10  Chris Moon 156,500
Season Top 10 POY Points
Rank Player Name Points
Aaron Johnson 3,142
Blake Bohn 2,450
Adam Friedman 2,200
Greg Himmelbrand 2,000
Kfir Nahum 1,800
Rob WazWaz 1,750
Brian Zupancich 1,700
Vincent Moscati 1,700
Abdul Amer 1,700
10  Craig Trost 1,650
Full Listing

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