FireKeepers Casino: May 13 - 21, 2017


FireKeepers Casino - Battle Creek, MI

May 17-21, 2017

Main Event: 1,066 Entrants

Mike Shanahan Wins Largest Major Poker Tournament in Michigan History; Takes Down MSPT FireKeepers for $216,829!

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To say the MSPT’s ninth visit to FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan was a big one would be an understatement.

Not only did it attract 1,066 entries, which surpassed last October’s MSPT field of 884 to make it the largest poker tournament in Michigan history, it also awarded over $1 million in prizes to players. Pretty amazing considering just four years ago “only” 272 runners played in the inaugural event.

After a long weekend of play in what was the MSPT’s largest-ever event held outside Las Vegas, Indiana’s Mike Shanahan, a 49-year-old attorney, emerged victorious to capture a $216,829 first-place prize.

“I’ve been knocking on the door for a couple years, and this is the best I ever played,” Shanahan said after the win. “I’m elated. This was fun. There’s nothing like going deep in a tournament and finishing it off. All the guys back home are following me. We play cash games at the Knights of Columbus and also at the Moose Lodge. A bunch of good players.”

The win was by far the biggest cash of Shanahan’s poker career. Prior to it, he had $164,291 in earnings with a career-best $29,329 for finishing 291st in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. Though that was a bit of a disappointing finish for him as he was at one time the tournament chip leader.

“I get teased about that so much,” he said of that run. “On Day 4, I had a million-chip lead on the field. If I knew then what I know now, it’d have been a different Main Event for me.”

As for what he’ll do with the money, aside from taking another shot in this year’s Main Event, the married father of two grown sons only had two things bookmarked.

“Pay some taxes and take a vacation,” he said.

To win the title, Shanahan bested poker pro Aaron Massey in heads-up play. Massey had won the MSPT FireKeepers one year prior, and amazingly it was his third MSPT FireKeepers final table in a row (he finished seventh in last fall’s MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship). To put it another way, he final tabled the three largest events – fields of 820, 884 and 1,066 entries – in Michigan history. He ultimately exited in second place for $131,646, which moved him into third place on the MSPT all-time money list.

Day 2 saw 206 players return to action, but with only 99 slated to get paid, more than half the field left empty handed. Among those to fall short of the money were MSPT Season 4 Player of the Year Pat Steele, 2016 MSPT Iowa State Poker Champ John Sun, and former MSPT FireKeepers champ Michael Ferrarotti.

Once the bubble burst, another 89 players exited before the final table was set. Among them were World Series of Poker bracelet winner Adam Friedman (95th - $2,272), 2016 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champ Andy Rubinberg (83rd - $2,375), 2016 MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship runner up Cy Church (44th - $4,337), three-time MSPT champ Carl Carodenuto (31st - $5,266), and the last champ in the field, Charlie Dawson (11th - $14,145), who bubbled the final table.

It took just two hands at the final table for Joe Hinton to get his stack of 1.6 million all in holding ace-queen at the 40,000/80,000/10,000 level only to run into the ace-king of Shanahan. The board ran out all low cards and Hinton was out the door in 10th place for $14,145, his first MSPT cash.

On Hand #32, Justin Rice raised to 220,000 under the gun holding the 7♣7♦ and Scott Skriba defended the big blind with the A♥10♣. The A♣7♥5♠ flop hit both players, and Skriba checked to Rice, who bet 180,000. Skirba woke up with a check-raise to 400,000, Rice just called, and the A♠ appeared on the turn.

Skirba led out for 500,000, Rice flatted, and the K♥ completed the board on the river. Skirba, who had 700,000 back, checked but ended up calling off when Rice moved all in. Skirba took home $18,276 for finishing in ninth place.

Two hands later, Dustin Smith got it in preflop with pocket deuces against Rice’s Big Slick, and an ace on the river ended his run in eighth place for $22,199. Five hands after that, Daniel Panone bowed out shoving his short stack from the button with jack-ten and failing to get there against the ace-nine of Frank Lucarelli.

From there, Terry Moore fell after getting his short stack in with jack-four and running it into Rice’s queen-jack, and a short time later Chris Meyers ran king-jack into the king-queen of Lucarelli. Neither player got lucky and fell in sixth and fifth place respectively.

On Hand #83 of the final table, with the blinds at 100,000/200,000/30,000, Rice three-bet all in for 3.8 million with the 5♣5♥ and was called by Shanahan’s Q♦Q♣. The board ran out a clean 3♠K♣8♥2♥3♥ and Rice headed to the payout desk in fourth place.

Lucarelli was the short stack three handed, and he became Massey’s first final table victim. It happened when Lucarelli shoved his last 1.1 million from the button holding the K♥4♥ and running into the J♠J♦ of Massey. The board ran out 10♠10♣5♠2♦9♦ and Massey took 13 million chips into heads-up play against Shanahan’s 8.1 million.

It only took a couple of hands for Shanahan to seize the lead, and about 30 minutes into the match things came to a head when Massey four-bet all in holding the A♦Q♦ and Shanahan called with the Q♥Q♠. The board ran out 4♠J♥8♥K♣J♦ and Shanahan became a MSPT champ.


Rank Player Name AmountPoints
1 Mike Shanahan $216,8291,900
2 Aaron Massey $131,6461,700
3 Frank Lucarelli $85,6991,600
4 Justin Rice $57,9241,500
5 Chris Meyers $42,3331,400
6 Terry Moore $32,7311,300
7 Daniel Panone $26,8461,200
8 Dustin Smith $22,1991,100
9 Scott Skriba $18,2761,000
10 Joseph Hinton $14,145900
11 Charles Dawson $14,145900
12 Dapreesch Scates $14,145900
13 Brett Reichard $10,840800
14 Jonathan Sumrack $10,840800
15 Todd Breyfogle $10,840800
16 Al Singletary $7,950700
17 Jeffrey Hill $7,950700
18 Jonathan Roeder $7,950700
19 Brian Eklund $6,298600
20 Abraham Montenegro $6,298600
21 Randall Brooks $6,298600
22 Kim Schinco $6,298600
23 Craig Bergeron $6,298600
24 Gregory Yeager $6,298600
25 Altaf Motiwala $6,298600
26 Bob Buyce $6,298600
27 Brian Berthiaume $6,298600
28 Duston Newton $5,266500
29 Thongkam Bousim $5,266500
30 Bruce Swart $5,266500
31 Carl Carodenuto $5,266500
32 Daniel Wagner $5,266500
33 Pierre Williams $5,266500
34 Jason Smith $5,266500
35 Jose Rodriguez $5,266500
36 Michael Deis $5,266500
37 Joseph Rahman $4,337400
38 Yiyang Feng $4,337400
39 Kimberly Beach $4,337400
40 Nicholas Pupillo $4,337400
41 James Suchala $4,337400
42 Vance Essak $4,337400
43 George Dietz $4,337400
44 Cy Church $4,337400
45 Alan Waller $4,337400
46 Bryan Norris $3,820300
47 Jason Bender $3,820300
48 Kevin Oneil $3,820300
49 Dominick Chiesa $3,820300
50 Andrew Davis $3,820300
51 Satish Thakur $3,820300
52 Charles Baryames $3,820300
53 James Carr $3,820300
54 Michael Bruce $3,820300
55 Daniel Kusnerak $3,304200
56 Steven Wark $3,304200
57 Travis McIntosh $3,304200
58 Vytas Ray $3,304200
59 Mark Holey $3,304200
60 Stephen Miller $3,304200
61 Dung Thai $3,304200
62 Michael Millikin $3,304200
63 Jesse Allen $3,304200
64 James Snyder $2,891100
65 Anna Marcie $2,891100
66 David Lindquist $2,891100
67 Brandon Rogers $2,891100
68 Joseph Ermatinger $2,891100
69 Raymond Smith $2,891100
70 Dandre Brown $2,891100
71 Mark Barrett $2,891100
72 Edward Ochana $2,891100
73 Edward Dixon $2,68550
74 Marty Pipoly $2,68550
75 David Blank $2,68550
76 Peter Kim $2,68550
77 Hector Llerena $2,68550
78 Jim Hettich $2,68550
79 Edward Mogilnicki $2,68550
80 Edward Bauder $2,68550
81 Paul Prentis $2,68550
82 Paul Rashid $2,37550
83 Andrew Rubinberg $2,37550
84 Clinton Hubble $2,37550
85 Mark Samson $2,37550
86 James Gallagher $2,37550
87 Ben McCoy $2,37550
88 Amit Rupani $2,37550
89 Michael Kincaid $2,37550
90 Kevin Ammerman $2,37550
91 Adrian Carter $2,27250
92 Todd Freyer $2,27250
93 Nicholas Depalma $2,27250
94 Loki Abboud $2,27250
95 Adam Friedman $2,27250
96 Jose Serratos $2,27250
97 Mark Ader $2,27250
98 Greg Meredith $2,27250
99 Chris Moon $2,27250

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