The World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting Stars event is down to it’s final 20 players, and the play to this point has been incredibly exciting all around. When the day began there were 149 players remaining, and 19 Shooting Stars left in the event as well. The 19 Shooting Stars all had $5k bounties on them, so whoever sent them home would pick up a nice bonus. To start the action Bryce Yockey was atop the leader board, but he was unable to make it through as one of the final 20 players remaining.
Pretty early in the day we had two of the Shooting Stars going heads up against each other as Jonathan Duhamel sent Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier home to pick up his own $5k prize. Grospellier shoved over the top of Duhamel’s pre-flop raised for 12k, and Duhamel made the call. Duhamel held pocket treys, while ElkY had A-Q, but the pocket threes held and sent ElkY home early on. Another interesting match-up that we had was when Jonathan Little sent Mike Matusow home, and Mike McClain knocked off Scott Seiver.
When the action was down to the final 37 players it took about an hour for the money bubble to burst. When it happened, it was actually two Shooting Stars who went head to head in Men Nguyen and Kathy Liebert. Liebert shoved over top of Nguyen, who said that if it was for less than 100k, that he would call. It was 92k and Nguyen called and turned over the A-10 of clubs. Liebert had A-K, but the flop came down with 10-9-8 with two clubs as well. The turn hit another club sending Liebert home on the bubble, and sent a $5k bounty to Nguyen.
A few other players who were knocked out before the end of the day included Allen Cunningham, Men Nguyen, Jason Mercier (by Jason Duhamel), Linda Johnson, and Fabrice Soulier.
Duhamel found himself sitting in 6th place at the end of the day with 751k, only about 600k behind the overall leader. He is also playing this event for free now, after knocking out two of the Shooting Stars and taking home $10k in bounties. There is only one other Shooting Star remaining in the event outside of Duhamel, and that is J.C. Tran.
The World Poker Tour hosts some excellent tournaments, including the Bay 101 Shooting Star. The World Poker Tour is now in Season 9, and part II of the major tournament aired this past Sunday. The tournament had 415 entrants and ran from March 14-18 with an incredible prize pool of $3,942,500. The main reason that this tournament draws so much interest is because of the excellent $5,000 bounties on each “Shooting Star” that is competing in the field. A Shooting Star is one of the many poker pros who compete in these events. Part I of the Bay 101 Shooting Star event featured the host Mike Sexton competing in his first ever World Poker Tour final table. Sexton made a very impressive run, and was definitely a fan favorite, but he was unfortunately eliminated in sixth place; but took home an solid $148,000.
Going into the final four of the Bay 101, the four players remaining were Steven Kelly (4,554,000 chips), Alan Sternberg (3,722,000 chips), Vivek Rajkumar (2,374,000), and Mike “The Mouth” Matusow (1,802,000 chips). As play continued to press on, Mike Matusow made a few moves with a big bluff, which unfortunately didn’t work, but doubled up after that. Vivek Rajkumar was knocked out in fourth place, making this his second appearance at a WPT final table in a row, with the last being the Los Angeles Poker Classic. Matusow was then the next to go, as Alan Sternberg raised to 180,000 and Matusow shoved over the top for 1.2 million more, and Sternberg called. Matusow turned over 9/2o against Sternberg’s K/Qs. This then left us two with Steven Kelly taking on Alan Sternberg.
The hand which won the tournament for Alan Sternberg was when he got Steven Kelly all in with his 10/8o against Kelly’s A/Qo. Kelly and Sternberg both hit a pair on the flop, with Sternberg flopping an 8, and Kelly’s queen putting him way ahead. The turn was a 7 to pair the board and eliminate even more outs for Sternberg. In a shocking river though, Sternberg spiked an 8 and took down the Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament, as well as $1,039,000.