Dan Bekavac Wins Mid-States Poker Tour FireKeepers Main Event For Record Fourth MSPT Title

Dan Bekavac entered into a three-way tie for the most Mid-States Poker Tour main event titles in history when he took down the MSPT Riverside in late March. Less than two months later, Bekavac broke that tie by emerging victorious in the MSPT FireKeepers main event to become the first-ever four-time champion on the tour.

Bekavac earned $252,090 for his latest title run after defeating a record field of 2,330 total entries in the $1,110 buy-in event. He now has $738,067 in lifetime tournament earnings to his name.

“I feel great, I feel confident. Now nobody can say they got more than me,” said Bekavac after the win.

In addition to the money and the title, Bekavac also scored 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points for this victory. He has made just two final tables this year, and came away with the title both times. He now sits in 13th place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

Bekavac secured his first MSPT title back in 2013 at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells. In 2019 he took down his second main event, also in Wisconsin, topping a field of 625 entries at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

In 2020, however, Bekavac had made headlines for a very different reason. The Midway Poker Tour he founded hosted an event in Illinois that ended in controversy, with players reportedly being partially paid out in silver coins instead of entirely in cash in an attempt to work around Illinois state laws.

The plan was apparently to have an on-site buyer who would quickly convert the silver into cash for those who were paid out in coins, but the Attorney General shut down the operation. In the end, a number of players who made deep runs in the event were left short on the payouts they were supposed to receive.

PokerNews Executive Editor Chad Holloway recently took to Twitter with an update on the topic and Bekavac’s pledge to make things right, saying, “I am happy to report that even before this win earlier this weekend he made whole the remaining players affected by Midway Poker Tour payout debacle.”

The final day of this event began with 311 players still in contention. Plenty of notables made deep runs, including Jamie Kerstetter (213th – $2,710), Chris Tryba (89th – $3,840), and 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada (43rd – $6,550), a Michigan local.

Bekavac set the official final table by busting David Peterson in 10th place ($27,103). He then scored his first knockout at the final table when his A-5 outran the A-K of Tim Mulroy (7th – $56,456). Bekavac then eliminated Alex Oberlin (6th – $72,275) to narrow the field to five.

Jonathan Johnson’s run in this event came to an end when he shoved with J-10 and was called by the pocket kings of Zinoviy Pelekh. The pair held up and Johnson settled for $91,699.

Pelekh was ultimately the next to fall despite winning that hand. It was a classic race, with his A-K suited facing the pocket queens of Bekavac. A queen-high flop gave Bekavac an even larger lead, but Pelekh turned a royal flush draw to keep things interesting. A blank on the river saw Pelekh earn $119,706 as the fourth-place finisher.

The final three agreed on a deal based on ICM that resulted in Bekavic, who held the chip lead, securing the title and a top payout of $252,090. Marquez Davis earned $198,975 as the third-place finisher, while CJ Peake locked up $241,290 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Daniel Bekavac $252,090 1080
2 CJ Peake $241,290 900
3 Marquez Davis $198,975 720
4 Zinoviy Pelekh $119,706 540
5 Jonathan Johnson $91,699 450
6 Alexander Oberlin $72,275 360
7 Tim Mulroy $56,456 270
8 Ruben Delgado $44,043 180
9 Elliot Hebden $35,008 90