Poker Coverage:

Matthew Davis Wins Mid-States Poker Tour Michigan State Poker Championship

The Michigan Native Outlasted A Record Field of 2,409 Entries To Earn $344,446


The 2022 Mid-States Poker Tour Michigan State Poker Championship $1,100 no-limit hold’em main event attracted a record-setting field of 2,409 entries to the FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, MI. The massive turnout resulted in the $1 million guarantee being more than doubled, with $2,336,730 in total prize money ultimately awarded to the top 252 finishers. In the end, the largest share was won by Michigan native Matthew Davis. The Washington Township resident secured his first MSPT title and $344,446 for the win.

This was by far the largest score on Davis’ poker tournament resume, blowing away the $98,120 he earned as the 76th-place finisher in the 2019 World Series of Poker main event. He now has more than $545,000 in lifetime earnings to his name.

Davis’ run to the title had a noteworthy observer: Michigan native and 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada. The four-time bracelet winner (pictured above on the far left) took to social media to celebrate Davis’ victory.

In addition to the trophy and the money, David also secured a bounty of Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. The 1,080 points he was awarded for his first POY-qualified score of the year were enough, on their own, to move him inside the top 400 in the POY race standings sponsored by Global Poker.

With such a large turnout, there were still 303 players in contention after the completion of the three starting flights, with that number set to be narrowed down to a champion over the course of a single day’s play. Davis was in 243rd place to start, with four-time MSPT champion Dan Bekavac in the lead when action resumed. Becavic ultimately finished in 44th place. Other notables that ran deep included bracelet winner Jean Gaspard (165th), Aaron Massey (136th), bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Keven Stammen (96th), Jake Bazeley (92nd), WPT champion Brek Schutten (74th), 2022 MSPT Iowa State Poker Championship winner Craig Trost (56th), the aforementioned world champ Joe Cada (34th), and bracelet winner Soheb Porbandarwala (32nd).

Davis had climbed into seventh place by the time the official final table of nine was set. He outlasted Alec Magdan (9th – $36,196), Ronald Puleo (8th – $45,537), and Alex Farcas (7th – $58,381) to make the final six, but was still stuck near the bottom of the chip counts. He doubled up through Chris Moon during six-handed action to begin his climb up the leaderboard. Moon then ran A-3 suited into the A-K of chip leader Jason Zarlengato hit the rail in sixth place ($74,727).

Davis found pocket tens against the pocket nines of Justin Pimpedly (5th – $94,810) and held to continue his late-night surge. He then won a race with pocket sevens besting the J-9 of short stack Adam Williams (4th – $123,767) to enter three-handed play with the lead.

Zarlenga was down to just five big blinds when he moved all-in with K-Q on the button. Davis called with A-9 and flopped an ace to take a big lead in the hand. Zarlenga made a pair of queens on the turn to keep his hopes alive momentarily, but improved no further and was eliminated in third place ($158,796).

With that, Davis took more than a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Rinaldo Teodoro. In the final hand Davis limped in from the button with 7Spade Suit7Club Suit. Teodoro raised to 3x the big blind with AClub Suit6Diamond Suit and Davis moved all-in for an effective shove of 20 big blinds. Teodoro made the call and the board ran out QDiamond Suit7Diamond Suit2Spade Suit6Club Suit9Heart Suit to give Davis a set of sevens for the win. Teodoro took home $212,511 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Matthew Davis $344,446 1080
2 Rinaldo Teodoro $212,511 900
3 Jason Zarlenga $158,796 720
4 Adam Williams $123,767 540
5 Justin Pimpedly $94,810 450
6 Christopher Moon $74,727 360
7 Alex Farcas $58,381 270
8 Ronald Puleo $45,537 180
9 Alec Magdan $36,196 90

Winner photo via MSPT Twitter account.