Bay 101 Shooting Star Tournament

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WPT Season 4
2009 World Series of Poker

Bay 101 Shooting Star Tournament -- WPT Season 4

Bay 101 Casino
February 27 - March 3, 2006


The next stop on the WPT tournament tour is at Bay 101 in San Jose, California. Over the next 5 days, Bay 101 will hold it's famous "Shooting Star" shootout. The way it works is that a "Star" has a $5,000 bounty on his or her head, with one "Star" being randomly drawn to each table as a "Bounty". During the tournament any other player who takes out an individual with a bounty will receive $5,000 for doing so. If a "Star" wins the event, that person will collect his or her own Bounty. First place will receive $1,000,000 and a $25,500 seat in the WPT championships in April. With and added bonus this year the chip leaders on Days 1 and 2 of the tournament will receive a $10,000 bonus! The prize pool is estimated to be $4,500,000 based on 500 players entering with each player paying $9,600 + $400 to participate. Using this as a basis, Bay 101 states the final table payouts should be as follows:
  1. $1,000,000 and a $25,000 seat to the WPT finals
  2. $629,500
  3. $340,000
  4. $280,000
  5. $240,000
  6. $200,000
Payouts will take place down to 45th position for this No Limit Hold'Em Event.

Day 1A February 27 There will be two "flights" of players over the next two days with about 250 players each. And for the first flight, those players did not waste any time bounty hunting for the stars. The event began with 25 stars with bounties of $5,000 on their heads, by day's end there were only 5 left which were David Williams, J.J. Liu, Allen Cunningham, Doyle Brunson and Gus Hanson. Day 1 stars who had a bounty collected on them include Gus Hansen, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Kathy Liebert, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Cindy Violette, Scotty Nguyen, Freddy Deeb, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Fischman and Chau Giang.

Lots of top players showed up at the tables. Names like Allen Cunningham, Gabriel Thaler, Farzad Bonyadi, Chip Reese, Tony Nguyen, Robert Williamson III, Tom McEvoy and Nam Le. The day ended with 60 players left that will receive a rest as the second flight will start on Feb 28th at 11:15 a.m. Here are the top 6 players with chip counts:
  1. Stuart Fahmy -- 125,100 chips
  2. Farzad Bonyadi -- 107,600 chips
  3. Kirk Morrison -- 104,600 chips
  4. Larry Elliott -- 100,600 chips
  5. John Smith -- 91,500 chips
  6. Jason Stern -- 89,100 chips
Day 1B February 28 The second flight got in and sat down for their turn at bounty hunting. There were 25 new stars with bounties on their heads which include T.J. Cloutier, Paul Darden, Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, Freddy Deeb, Jennifer Tilly, Dan Harrington, John Juanda, Phil Laak and actor James Woods. Something that really made things interesting is that all 5 of the surviving stars and a number of players from Day 1A were allowed to compete in today's round. (Yes, this did affect the results of Day 1B which will have names from Day 1A.) Clonie Gowan had her bounty collected when her pocket K's got cracked by a player who held 7 6. Others stars collected on include Mimi Tran, actress Shannon Elizabeth who had her pocket A's crippled when she went all in before the flop by another player who had Qc 10c, Hasan Habib and Liz Lieu who went out when her all in with pocket A's got beat by a player who drew 4 of a kind. What a day.

So at the end of Day 1B, 59 players will move on to Day 2. Adding the 60 from Day 1A means that 119 have a shot at becoming a instant millionaire by winning this tournament. And the top 6 players with chip counts are:
  1. Vineet Sharma -- 134,700 Chips
  2. Stuart Fahmy -- 125,100 Chips
  3. Robert Mizrachi -- 115,800 Chips
  4. Farzad Bonyadi -- 107,600 Chips
  5. Kirk Morrison -- 104,600 Chips
  6. Larry Elliot -- 100,600 Chips
Day 2 March 1 Now that everybody who is playing has entered, we can tell you the prize pool is $4,677,300 and that 518 entrants came to play in this tournament. We can also tell you changes were made such as yesterday's chip leader Vineet Sharma went out in 43rd place taking home $15,000. And the stars with bounties have been reduced to 3, namely Dan Harrington, David Williams along with Sam Batshon. Play went on for 9 hours reducing the field of 119 to 35 rather quickly. Some who were eliminated were Doyle Bronson, Gus Hansen, actress Jennifer Tilly, John Gale, Patrik Antonius, John Cernuto, David Plastik, Carlos Mortensen, Steve Zolotow and Layne Flack who ended up the "bubble boy" in 46th place just missing the money which started in 45th position.

But David Williams was on a roll taking players out on an up and down session, increasing his chips from 18,800 to 81,000. Chad Brown was on fire moving from yesterday's 42,700 chips to becoming 2nd in ranking with 377,500. But Harry Thomas set the pace increasing his stack from 33,500 to 395,000 after winning huge pots from other players. Play on Day 3 will begin at 12 noon, come back for results!
  1. Harry Thomas -- 395,500 Chips
  2. Chad Brown -- 377,500 Chips
  3. Stuart Fahmy -- 310,500 Chips
  4. Robert Mizrachi -- 286,500 Chips
  5. Jeff Kimber -- 272,000 Chips
  6. Ravi Udayakumar -- 237,500 Chips
Day 3 March 2 We now have the 6 top players so far for the final table. And of the bounties from yesterday, only David Williams who used aggressive play to stay in contention remains. At one point David was the chip leader. Nam Le increased his stack by taking out Stewart Fahmy and Sam Batshon. And Ravi Udayakumar also went on the offensive sending home Chip Reese, Farzad Bonyadi and Jeff Kimber who was doing well eliminating players on his own until that point. Fabrice Soulier who was chip leader on day 2 of the L.A.Poker Classic and was eliminated, did well making this final table. Chad Brown and Danny Smith also made their presence felt with solid play, rounding out what should be an exciting finale to this tournament.

The amount for the winner was the only change in the tournaments payout structure, growing from $1,000,000 to $1,172,800. All others remained the same. The final table will begin at 5:00 p.m. on March 3.
  1. Nam Le -- 1,309,000 Chips
  2. Ravi Udayakumar -- 1,024,000 Chips
  3. Danny Smith -- 825,000 Chips
  4. Fabrice Soulier -- 703,000 Chips
  5. David Williams -- 668,000 Chips
  6. Chad Brown -- 652,000 Chips
Day 4 Final Table March 3 Nam Le became the winner of the Bay 101 Shooting Star WPT tournament and took home over 1 million dollars and a seat to the WPT championship in April, overcoming a tough table and a power outage that left all in the dark for almost 20 min. No one went out easy as Chad Brown left in 6th spot after the first two hours of the final table. In another 1 1/2 hours Fabrice Soulier left in 5th, and in the following hour David Williams 4th and Danny Smith 3rd left with their big slices of the cash pie.

The hand that won it all for Nam Le went like this, Nam limped in and was raised by Ravi Udayakumar $120,000 which Nam called. The flop was Qc 7d 4c after which Ravi bet $200,000 with Nam calling. Turn card is 3s. Ravi bet $250,000 and Nam calls, after which the river card is an As. Next, Ravi bets $400,000 and waits for Nam, who responds with a $1,200,000 raise. Ravi says he is all-in and that is when Nam produces a Ac 7c for two pair. Ravi acknowledges the defeat by showing his A 3 and that is how Nam became the winner.
  1. Nam Le -- $1,198,300
  2. Ravi Udayakumar -- $629,500
  3. Danny Smith -- $340,000
  4. David Williams -- $280,000
  5. Fabrice Soulier -- $240,000
  6. Chad Brown -- $200,000
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