Mark Rubenstein has won the Mid States Poker Tour Firekeepers Casino after beating Bill Rogers, in heads-up action, on his way to the $142,637 first prize.
Mark Rubenstein is the latest winner on the Mid States Poker Tour (MSPT). He defeated Bill Rogers, in heads-up action, to take the title, and first prize of $142,637, at Firekeepers Casino, Battle Creek, Michigan.Rubenstein topped a field of 614 entrants. The state had never before seen a live poker tournament with so many runners, once again proving that the heart of live poker, in the U.S, is still beating strong.
The final table housed some familiar names: Nick Pupillo is a former World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring winner, and was coming into this event fresh off the back of victory in the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event in Chicago, where he picked up $120,537. Pupillo is a MSPT sponsored pro.
Another MSPT sponsored pro that made the final table was Jason Zarlenga. The Michigan man was looking for his third MSPT Main Event victory, after locking up wins in Milwaukee, and at this very casino.
The tournament centered on two big pots between Pupillo and the eventual champion. In the first hand, there were 12-players remaining, when Pupillo fired 250,000 at a [Qs] [8s] [2s] flop, in a three-bet pot, and was forced to fold when Rubenstein shipped on him. That pot gave Rubenstein a commanding chip lead.
Then with six players remaining they tangoed once again. Rubenstein opened, Pupillo flatted and the pair saw a [8c] [7d] [5d] flop. Rubenstein made a bet of 500,000, Pupillo moved all-in for 1,700,000, and Rubenstein called. It was pocket nines for Rubenstein, pocket fours for Pupillo, and the turn and river bricked for the newly crowned HPT champ.
Zarlenga’s search for a third MSPT victory ended in fourth. It was a sick beat. The flop was showing [As] [6d] [6h] when Zarlenga found himself all-in holding [6s] [5d], against the [Ac] [4d] of Rogers, only for a third ace to break his heart on the river.
Three soon became two after Rubenstein eliminated Nicholas Aranda. The eventual champ rivering a jack, to come from behind: QJ>K9. That gave him two-thirds of the chips in play going into the heads-up encounter against Rogers.
Not even Phil Ivey would have gotten away from the final hand, as Rogers was loving life holding [6h] [2h] on [6c] [6d] [3d] [Th], only for Rubenstein to show up with [Ac] [6s]. All the chips went into the middle, and Rubenstein was soon receiving his check for $142,637 – and on his birthday no less.
The next stop for the MSPT is the $1 million guaranteed event at The Venetian in Las Vegas in early June.
Final Table Results
1st. Mark Rubenstein – $142,637
2nd. William Rogers – $80,201
3rd. Nicholas Aranda – $50,497
4th. Jason Zarlenga – $40,992
5th. Jeremy Grable – $32,674
6th. Nick Pupillo – $27,031
7th. JC Chen – $21,684
8th. Tom Theisen – $16,337
9th. Ryan Michael – $11,288
10th. Sean Munjal – $7,723