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The World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Event

The unique gaming format of the WPT (world poker tour) Bay 101 Shooting Star makes it standout from the rest of the poker tournaments this spring. Day 1a of the $10,000 buy-in poker tournament started on March 8th, 2010 and the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose welcomed 136 participants to the launch party. Among them were seventeen "Shooting Stars", each a famous poker player with a $5,000 bounty on their heads.

Aside from the bounty money, the overall chip leader from each of the two starting days will be receive a bonus of $10,00. With nearly $100,000 in bonuses pushing the early action, almost 2/3 of the starting players failed to make it through the first 10 levels. T.J. Cloutier got the game started in the first level when he for broke with his Q(heart) Q (diamond) on the flop of A(diamond), J(heart) and 4(club).

Wade Griffith placed an A(heart) J(diamond) to put Cloutier in a bad position and the turn and river bust out to sent home the first "Shooting Star" of the day. Gus Hansen lasted for a few levels before going out with a flush draw. Jen Harman lost a flip with ace/king to hand Masa Kagawa her bounty. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Tom "durrrr" Dwan and Jason Mercier were also included in the list of casualties of the day.

As the poker tables started to break throughout the course of the day, the remaining "Shooting Stars" started to funnel through other poker tables. At one point, four players (Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, Steve Brecher and Chris Ferguson) were all in the same table. Hoyt Corkins and Greg Mueller were also playing in the same table but it did not last long when Corkins ran his A (clubs) K(clubs) against Mueller A(diamond) A(spades).

That late-day match gave Mueller the bounty of Corkins and the cash pot he stacked pushed him into contention for the overall chip leader bonus. In the final few match-ups of the night, the four chip leaders were all grouped together, creating an epic showdown for the $10,000 prize.

Odie Dardon, Vanna Tea and Greg Mueller each possessed more than $100,000 in total chips and Scott Montgomery was approaching a personal milestone as the time ticked on. Greg Mueller has a narrow lead with twelve minutes to go but was unable to hold off the late charge from his stacked pker table. It was Vanna Tea who managed to outwit Mueller at the end of the night and her overall chip count of 143,900 chips locked her up for the top spot. Tea won the $10,000 overall chip leader bonus.

Mueller ended the day in 2nd place with a total of 132,800 chips and he is one of the six "Shooting Stars" still in the hunt. Mike Matusow, Freddy Deeb, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Daniel Negreanu and Steve Brecher are still holding on to their bounties for now.


03/21/2010, Sunday
Sherry Barlow

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