The Mid-States Poker Tour is wrapping up today at Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan today.  The current chip counts and payouts can be found here.  Sam Oberlin is the current chip leader with 234,200 in chips going into day 2 trying for the top prize of $73,456.  Detroit’s Jose Serratos is currently 8th in chips respectively.

I made the trek out to Firekeepers looking for my shot at the big payday last Sunday.  When I got there around 1 PM, there was a $250 qualifier going on which had 126 entries and filled up the room except 2 cash game tables.  I had called in to be put on the list which was more so deep you couldn’t find my name on the list.  It took about 2 hours before the tournament was able to release some tables due to bust outs.

When my cash game table opened up, they were also starting a $90 Sit-n-Go into a $250 qualifier.  I figured they would have more so opted for the cash game.  Turns out that was the only SnG that ran that day.  It didn’t take long for me to get $1000 deep into the game with $50-$400 buy in.  The play was soft as you would expect in a 1/2 game.  I managed to grind it out to a small win by 4 AM and left for my hotel.

The next day was much the same in terms of the cash game softness.  I ran pretty good and played a $60 and $90 SnG to qualify for the $250.  The first $60 did not go so well.  I raised with 99 early, get 3 bet and 4 bet from 2 other players and laid it down.  The 4 bet was AA and the flop was 8 high.  Glad I got away.  Then raise with 66 and get 3 and 4 bet again.  No show down but sure I was behind.  Finally shove with 33 and get snapped off by KK.

The $90 SnG was a different story.  I didn’t play hardly any hands when we got down to 6.  I called a late position shove with 55.  His A6 improved and I was down to 500T in the SB with 300/600 blinds.  I shove my K5o after the button limps and BB calls.  Flop come KTT and goes check, check. Turn is a 3 and the BB shoves 1800T more.  Button folds his AJ and we table our hands.  I’m begging for a 2 but an A falls on the river to chop the pot.  The button was not happy about the shove into a 200T side and made it known to the BB.  2 double ups later and the 3 of us from that hand qualify.

That night, I play the $250 qualifier.  I get down to 7000T with blinds at 200/400 when this happens.  I’m in the BB with QJo and UTG raises to 1100T and I am the only one to call.  Flop is K98 and I decide to represent the K and shove all in.  I get snapped off by KK (story of my life representing a hand the other guy has) and begin to stand.  T on the turn and I begin to sit back down, 8 on the river (serves me right) and I’m back in the cash game.  Booked a good win for the night from cash.

Three and a half hours of sleep later and I’m back at the tables.  If you saw my Facebook feed, you will see the big Hand of the Day describing how my day started.  It went way down hill from there.  I did not run well at the cash games but did win another $90 qualifier to the $250 but fell short at 25th when they were taking the top 16.  Here is a pic from that qualifier:

Is he sleeping or playing poker???

Is he sleeping or playing poker???

I had never seen what I looked like while playing.  I’m looking at where the flop would be waiting for the button to decide what to do so really, my eyes are open.

I spoke to the guys at the MSPT a little bit and got a demo of their final table with the RFID technology.  Only the cards use the RFID and there is a small square on the table at each position that the player needs to place their cards on for 1 second for the system to recognize them.  They can be side by side or on top of each other just as long as they are inside the square.  The cards they use are from Europe and the only noticeable difference is the edges.  They tend to be more squared than a normal deck of cards.  The team gets an actuate chip count prior to the start of play and the dealer is asked to announce the action. (i.e. Raise to 140,000) so the team can input the data for the live stream.

Even though I did not run good, I must say I had a great time.  The staff at Firekeepers was wonderful and keep the tables filled at all times.  The MSPT staff was very active in talking about their tournament as well as showing me what the RFID technology was about.  I really wish I could have stayed the whole week but an unexpected (I scheduled it 6 months ago) physical was on Thursday so I had to come home.

The MSPT will return to Firekeepers in August of this year.  I will definitely make the return trip to take another shot at it then.  Good luck to all still in the tournament.  You can watch the final table on http://www.msptpoker.com/Pages/LiveStream.aspx when it starts.  Check their Facebook page for updates.