Zarlenga makes history at Wisconsin event



In early September, the Mid-States Poker Tour visited Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for the first time. The $1,100 main event attracted 487, which made it the second-largest MSPT event in history. In addition, the $487K prize pool set a Wisconsin record.

The tournament attracted some big names in World Series of Poker bracelet-winner Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, World Poker Tour Five Diamond champ Ravi Raghavan and author of Positively Fifth Street, Jim McManus. In the end, it was Michigan’s Jason Zarlenga, who had won the MSPT FireKeepers a few months earlier, who walked away with the $120,164.

The win made Zarlenga just the third player to win multiple MSPT titles alongside Matt Kirby and Dan Sun. What’s more, the victory made him the MSPT’s all-time money-winner and put him in contention to be Season 5 Player of the Year.

Poker room manager Jeff Gemini was thrilled with the results.“I wanted to expand our tournaments and make them bigger than what we’ve had in the past,” Gemini said. “I looked into the MSPT and since it’s a Midwest-based tournament, I thought we could get a combination of guests already familiar with Potawatomi, as well as some players from markets a little further out.”

— Chad Holloway is a senior news editor for PokerNews. Email him at or follow him on Twitter @ChadAHolloway.

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