The 2023 Michigan State Poker Championship, part of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) at FireKeepers Casino, witnessed an astounding turnout. A total of 2,883 participants shattered the previous record of 2,479 set in May of the same year.
In this $1,110 buy-in MSPT event, the initial $1 million guarantee was not just met but exceeded by a significant margin. The final prize pool soared to $2,795,010, distributed among the top 297 finishers. Following three starting flights and an intense final day featuring a combined field, Travis Young, a resident of Wisconsin, emerged as the champion. He not only secured the title but also claimed the top prize of $297,997.
Speaking about his victory, Young expressed his astonishment, stating, “I’m pretty speechless, honestly. I basically just 10x’d my career earnings with just this one tournament so that’s pretty amazing. I really came into today with no expectations and ended up running really well and picking some good spots to make moves, which ended up paying off.”
Before this event, Young’s most significant live tournament achievement was a second-place finish in a $400 no-limit hold’em event at the 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Potawatomi series, where he won $14,433.
The final day of play began with 341 contenders remaining at 10:00 AM local time in Battle Creek, MI. By the time the final table was determined later that night, Young had accumulated a substantial chip lead, nearly three times larger than the closest competitor.
Brad Sailor secured the first two eliminations, while the 2019 MSPT Blackhawk champion, Brian Hou, managed the next pair of knockouts. The final five players subsequently negotiated a deal based on Independent Chip Model (ICM) payouts, concluding the tournament with Young clinching the title and Hou finishing in the second position. Under the terms of the agreement, the top five participants all earned at least $153,928.
MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship Final Table Results