Michael Ferraroti, originally from Redford, Michigan, says he is mostly a cash game player and that he only started playing tournaments in 2014, with the exception of possibly one tournament in 2013.
"My wife would always ask me, why don't you ever do well in tournaments?" he said. "I told her that I don't play very many, but after that I figured I could focus more on getting better at tournaments."
Ferrarotti took down the first prize of $134,642 when he topped a field of 559 entries in the 2015 Mid-States Poker Tour FireKeepers Casino Main Event — otherwise known as the 2015 MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship — and it seems like his focus has paid off. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. As Ferrarotti put it, he spent a lot of time over the two days of the tournament "surviving."
"I had 20,000 chips for like four hours," he said. "But I'm a champion now. No one can take that away from me."
Ferrarotti came into the final table second in chips and seemed to stay out of the way while Bill Rogers knocked out four of the final table players. Ferrarotti says he was in for two buy-ins in the MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship and that this is his fourth MSPT event. He mainly plays cash games in Detroit.
Early on Day 1a, Ferrarotti was all in and won a race for his tournament life. The player from the under-the-gun position raised to 3,000 and Ferrarotti reraised all in for his last 11,525. The under-the-gun player called and showed the A♣K♣. Ferrarotti showed the 9♣9♠. The board ran out 4♦2♠J♠4♠5♦, and Ferrarotti doubled up.
After "surviving" for two days, Ferrarotti made a run at the right time. Plus, it also doesn't hurt to river a full house in the final hand to win the title and $134,642.
That will do it from the MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship. Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to the champion, Michael Ferrarotti.
The next MSPT champ will be crowned at Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa, in November. The $1,110 Main Event takes place from Nov. 6-8, and you can find more information at MSPTpoker.com.