Medium-stakes poker events continue to be a hot commodity, with Michigan’s Firekeepers Casino adding the latest proof. The destination casino just east of Battle Creek, Michigan smashed its all-time poker-tournament attendance this week with the running of the latest Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) main event.
Boosted by a recent expansion of the poker area inside the spacious venue, Firekeeps surged past its old mark. The $1,000 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed main event drew 2,471 entries over three starting flights, topping the old mark of 2,409 entrants in a single tourney, set in 2022.
Well-known players topped the leaderboard once the final cards had been dealt. MSPT Hall of Famer Kou Vang, from Minnesota, returned to the MSPT’s winner’s list and earned $314,145 with the victory. Vang outdueled Michigan’s Dash Dudley, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, during heads-up play. Dudley earned $257,145 as the runner-up.
Vang’s title was his third on the MSPT tour. After Robert Strunk exited in third, Vang began heads-up action with a healthy lead, but saw Dudley quickly surge ahead. Vang soon reassumed control, however, to close out the win.
The massive turnout built a $2,395,370 prize pool, easily smashing the $1 million guarantee. “Our collaboration with MSPT and the hard work of our team has once again resulted in record-breaking attendance and prize pools,” said Kelley Bailey, FireKeepers Poker Manager. “The FireKeepers team aims to consistently surpass expectations, ensuring that players return for more exciting events. We are already looking forward to our upcoming major events with great anticipation.”
Featured image source: Mid-States Poker Tour