FireKeepers Casino: May 12 - 20, 2018


FireKeepers Casino - Battle Creek, MI

May 17-20, 2018

Main Event: 1,287 Entrants

Mark Brazis Wins Record-Breaking MSPT FireKeepers, $221,323!


The latest MSPT FireKeepers $1,100 Main Event was the largest poker tournament in Michigan history with 1,287 runners (surpassed the previous record of 1,067 set in 2017). After a long weekend of play, Indiana’s Mark Brazis emerged victorious to capture a $221,323 top prize.

“The MSPT FireKeepers is a great tournament, I really enjoyed it,” said the 36-year-old Brazis, who was playing his first MSPT event and only had to fire one bullet. “The structure was wonderful, no too slow, not too fast. FireKeepers has a great establishment here, they’re always first class. You’ll see me more on the MSPT and at FireKeepers Casino.”

Prior to the win, Brazis had just three tournament cashes on his poker resumé, with his prior best being $25,018 for finishing fifth in the 2014 World Series of Poker Horseshoe Hammond Event #1: $365 NLH.

In other news, Kou Vang became the first player inducted into the MSPT Hall of Fame while at FireKeepers. One of the criteria for induction is to notch 25 MSPT cashes with either one MSPT win or Player of the Year title. Vang, who won a title back in Season 2, cashed the MSPT FireKeepers to become the inaugural inductee.

Day 2 saw 173 players return to action, but with only 135 slated to get paid, 38 would leave empty-handed. They included Day 1C chip leader Frank Lagodich, two-time champ Jeremy Dresch, and Chad Furbay, who exited in 136th place as the bubble boy.

From there, the in-the-money finishes came quick and included current Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 9 Player of the Year points leader Aaron Johnson (15th - $13,715), World Poker Tour champ Kevin Saul (25th - $6,983), MSPT Season 6 FireKeepers champ Harry Tisdale (29h - $5,237), MSPT Season 4 POY Pat Steele (43rd - $4,115), poker pro Kenna James (57th - $3,242), two-time champ Greg Himmelbrand (68th - $2,993), MSPT Season 7 FireKeepers winner Aaron Massey (87th - $2,743), #MSPT100 victor Jason Ramos (96th - $2,618), and Minnesota’s all-time money leader Blake Bohn (124th - $2,120).

At the final table, Charles Baryames was the first to go after jamming with the A♠8♥ and failing to hold against the K♣Q♠ of Bryant Miller on a Q♦J♣10♣9♥2♥ runout. Not long after, Aaron Soulliere busted after flopping top pair only to run into the bottom set of Bryan Norris.

Two-time MSPT champ Jason Zarlenga, who entered the final table as the short stack, saw his quest for a third title come to an end in eighth place. He shoved his short stack holding the A♣7♦ and was called by Norris, who held the Q♠J♠. The board contained a jack and that was all she wrote for Zarlenga.

Before the first break of the final table, a cooler flop sent Michael Reardon to the rail in seventh place. It happened when he raised to 400,000 from the small blind with the A♠K♦ and Day 1B chip leader Justin Lee defended the big blind with the Q♥J♠. The A♦10♠K♦ flop saw Reardon bet 800K with his two pair and Lee, who flopped the nuts, just called. They got the rest in on the 4♣ turn and Readon failed to boat up on the river, which was the 4♠.

Despite winning that hand, Lee was next to go after running A♠Q♥ into the A♥K♥ of Vang, who in turn followed him out the door in fifth place. Vang lost most of his stack in a flip against Henry Zou when his pocket eights failed to hold against the latter’s Big Slick. Vang then lost his remaining chips after getting it in with ace-deuce and failing to hold against Miller’s suited king-queen.

Norris took his leave in fourth place after running his K♦6♦ into Miller’s K♠Q♦, and then Zou hit the rail when his pocket nines lost a race to Miller’s ace-ten. That allowed Miller to take a 2-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Brazis, but the tables were soon turned.

Brazis got lucky with king-queen to double through Miller, who had him crushed with ace-queen. Eventually, the two got it in preflop again, this time with Miller holding the A♥K♥ and Brazis the Q♠Q♣. It was a classic flip, and Brazis held on the 5♦9♥9♣8♣3♦ runout to win the tournament.

“It was a hard battle, he played really well,” Brazis said after the win. “He took some bad beats but always handled himself well. He fought me to the end. I’m happy I was able to win tonight. You take bad beats earlier in the tournament, you win some you lose some. Just gotta be happy to come out on top.”


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Mark Brazis Syracuse IN $221,3231,900
2 Bryant Miller West Unity OH $137,1581,700
3 Henry Zou Saginaw MI $99,7511,600
4 Bryan Norris Farmington Hills MI $76,1851,500
5 Kou Vang Maplewood MN $57,3571,400
6 Justin Lee Grand Haven MI $43,6411,300
7 Michael Reardon St. Claire Shores MI $33,6661,200
8 Jason Zarlenga Lansing MI $26,1851,100
9 Aaron Soulliere Ontario, Canada $21,1971,000
10 Charles Baryames East Lansing MI $17,456900
11 Charles Casavant Fort Wayne IN $17,456900
12 Sean Roy Ontario, Canada $17,456900
13 Michael Ermie Perrysburg OH $13,715800
14 Timothy Herek Bay City MI $13,715800
15 Aaron Johnson Red Wing MN $13,715800
16 Ryan Awwad Ann Arbor MI $11,721700
17 Donald Dukate Indianapolis IN $11,721700
18 Thomas Richardi Battle Creek MI $11,721700
19 Joseph Taylor Redford MI $9,850650
20 Edward Dixon Detroit MI $9,850650
21 Nicolas Manion Muskegon MI $9,850650
22 Zinoviy Pelekh Plymouth MI $8,229600
23 Victor Hoffman Onslow IA $8,229600
24 Csaba Vicen South Bend IN $8,229600
25 Kevin Saul Aurora IL $6,983550
26 Tracy Sibson Muskegon MI $6,983550
27 James Wilson Minneapolis MN $6,983550
28 Griff Woodman Portland MI $5,237500
29 Harry Tisdale Owosso MI $5,237500
30 David Lindquist Benton Harbor MI $5,237500
31 Jacob Jarous Lansing MI $5,237500
32 Miles Smith Detroit MI $5,237500
33 Chris Blik Grandville MI $5,237500
34 Ian Morton East Tawas MI $5,237500
35 Mark Ader Novi MI $5,237500
36 Rita Davison Cincinnati OH $5,237500
37 Jason Johnson (MI) Waterford MI $4,115450
38 Jerold Saeman Hastings MI $4,115450
39 Carl McCullough Ida MI $4,115450
40 Daniel Kitzis Chicago IL $4,115450
41 Lewis Gardner Frazier MI $4,115450
42 Vinh Ho Midland MI $4,115450
43 Patrick Steele Chelsea MI $4,115450
44 Raymond Samolin Novi MI $4,115450
45 Mark Oushanna Elgin IL $4,115450
46 Jeremy Adams Lansing MI $3,616400
47 Lesley Houghtaling St. Claire Shores MI $3,616400
48 Frank Lucarelli Woodhaven MI $3,616400
49 Jerry Miller Nappanee IN $3,616400
50 Michael VanderWoude Crown Point IN $3,616400
51 Andrew Wilcox Dimondale MI $3,616400
52 Cy Church East Lansing MI $3,616400
53 Scott Davis Battle Creek MI $3,616400
54 Jade Lehman Fort Wayne IN $3,616400
55 Bob Buyce Portage MI $3,242350
56 Philip Wiszowaty Sterling Heights MI $3,242350
57 Kenna James Las Vegas NV $3,242350
58 Michael Welsh Livonia MI $3,242350
59 Aaron Werst Fort Wayne IN $3,242350
60 Jeffery Castle Battle Creek MI $3,242350
61 Jerry Horton Byron Center MI $3,242350
62 Firas Sadou Sterling MI $3,242350
63 Alec Lenander Shelby Township MI $3,242350
64 Jonathan Demars Northville MI $2,993300
65 George Dietz Oak Park IL $2,993300
66 Curt Walsh Manton MI $2,993300
67 Ryan Hoffman Canton MI $2,993300
68 Greg Himmelbrand Bayside NY $2,993300
69 Yaroob Kaskorkis Grand Rapids MI $2,993300
70 Max Worth Livonia MI $2,993300
71 Daniel Kusnerak Newton NC $2,993300
72 Steven Williams Novi MI $2,993300
73 Tony Pena Fennville MI $2,868250
74 Anton Bojaj Clinton Township MI $2,868250
75 Matthew Blinder Chicago IL $2,868250
76 Terry Taieb Sterling Heights MI $2,868250
77 Richard Tapper Romeo MI $2,868250
78 Bruce Watkins Planefield IL $2,868250
79 Brian Opyrchal Troy MI $2,868250
80 Steven Holdwick Dryden MI $2,868250
81 Mark Cherrette Rockford MI $2,868250
82 Charles Ammerman Holt MI $2,743200
83 Michael Parvin Silverwood MI $2,743200
84 Horatio Hu Flushing NY $2,743200
85 Drake Bronk Chicago IL $2,743200
86 DJ Buckley Eden Prairie MN $2,743200
87 Aaron Massey Elmwood Park IL $2,743200
88 Robert Fisher Jr Grass Lake MI $2,743200
89 Joshua Borders Belding MI $2,743200
90 Michael Argiero Dexter MI $2,743200
91 Xiaofei Wen Warren MI $2,618150
92 Roger Isaac Flushing MI $2,618150
93 Leo Crone Fort Wayne IN $2,618150
94 Paula Givens Oak Park MI $2,618150
95 Patrick McCullough Grand Rapids MI $2,618150
96 Jason Ramos Carol Stream IL $2,618150
97 Nicholas Davidson Troy MI $2,618150
98 Steven Stout Milford MI $2,618150
99 Marshall Smaltz Caledonia MI $2,618150
100 Carmino Argiero Grass Lake MI $2,369100
101 Victor Gayheart Plainwell MI $2,369100
102 William Webb Grand Rapids MI $2,369100
103 Shane Hall Romulus MI $2,369100
104 Michael King Grand Rapids MI $2,369100
105 Eric Hehr Minneapolis MN $2,369100
106 Larry Baxter Parma MI $2,369100
107 Andrew Holland Macomb MI $2,369100
108 Sandra Morse Hudsonville MI $2,369100
109 Ian Richardson Beaver Creek OH $2,24475
110 Paul Bianchi Chicago IL $2,24475
111 Martin Dubois Dewitt MI $2,24475
112 Fadi El-Khoury Farmington MI $2,24475
113 Devin Looney Grand Blanc MI $2,24475
114 Hassan Fawaz Dearborn Heights MI $2,24475
115 Shawn Rings Grand Rapids MI $2,24475
116 Michael Millikin Owosso MI $2,24475
117 Todd Sladek Glen Ellyn IL $2,24475
118 Michael Meyers Shelby Township MI $2,12050
119 Scott Hammett Chelsea MI $2,12050
120 Ardeshir Azadnia Okemos MI $2,12050
121 James Gerardot Wolcottville IN $2,12050
122 Joudat Daoud Coldwater MI $2,12050
123 Nishant Yadav Lansing MI $2,12050
124 Blake Bohn Eden Prairie MN $2,12050
125 Keith Heine Hillsboro MO $2,12050
126 Ryan Gallagher Farmington Hills MI $2,12050
127 Andy Van Blair West Des Moines IA $2,12050
128 Joshua Szczur Toledo OH $2,12050
129 Millard Hale Kalamazoo MI $2,12050
130 Paul Newhouse Chelsea MI $2,12050
131 John McDevitt Paw Paw MI $2,12050
132 Timothy McCarthy White Hall MI $2,12050
133 Anton Pecovic Auburn Hills MI $2,12050
134 Terry Moore Muncie IN $2,12050
135 Arthur Harb Chicago IL $2,12050

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