Posts Tagged ‘‘Shooting’
Although it appeared at the beginning that start of day chip leader chip leader David ‘Chino’ Rheem would be the one making history, it was Sam Panzica who would etch his name in the World Poker Tour record books after winning the 2017 Bay 101 Shooting Star championship early Saturday morning.
Rheem came into the action on Friday with a massive chip lead over the field. His 10.65 million chips dominated the second-place stack of Rainer Kempe (3.705 million), who could have been more concerned with fending off Panzica (3.215 million) and Paul Volpe (3.005 million) than mounting an attack. Anthony Spinella (2.635 million) also bore watching as, with a singular double up, he would push his name into the second-place slot. Only Dennis Stevermer, the short stack on the table with less than a million chips (980,000), was the only player who those in the Bay 101 tournament arena thought would have no shot at the title.
Surprisingly (considering he only held 12 big blinds entering the action), Stevermer wasn’t the first departure from the final table. He got a key double through Kempe to crack the 1.5 million chip mark, then started using the “all in” move to further increase his stack. In a span of ten hands, Stevermer would move all in four times – and not be called – and win one pot outright with a pre-flop raise to get over the two million chip mark. This aggression allowed him to be able to witness the first elimination of the day – and it wasn’t him.
After Rheem popped the pot out of the cutoff on Hand 37, Kempe (the final Shooting Star left in the tournament) moved all in out of the small blind in an attempt to push the chip leader off his hand. Instead, given the opportunity to knock out a dangerous opponent, Rheem quickly made the call. It didn’t hurt that Rheem also had pocket Kings, a definitive favorite against Kempe’s A-9 off suit. Kempe would get no help from the eight-high board and not only left the tournament in sixth place but also had to hand his Shooting Star medallion and a signed t-shirt to Rheem, who was more interested perhaps in the $ 2500 that came along with the bounty knockout.
Rheem’s dominance was only enhanced with the Kempe elimination as he now held more chips (13.485 million) than the other four men did combined (10.705 million). Volpe put a dent in it by doubling through Rheem on the next hand after Kempe’s departure, but this status quo would stay in place for some time. In fact, it would be almost 30 hands before a significant change would occur in the standings.
On Hand 65, Spinella put in a raise to 250K and Rheem defended his big blind to see a monochrome K♥ 9♥ 2♥ flop. Rheem checked his option and, after Spinella put in another 250K bet, Rheem fired all in over Spinella’s bet. Stunningly Spinella immediately called, showing a J♥ 3♥ for a flopped flush, while Rheem held the A♥ (along with an off suit eight) for the redraw to the nut flush. Unfortunately for Rheem, a black nine and a black Jack finished off the board, doubling up Spinella to 7.74 million chips (and second place) and knocking Rheem under an eight-figure stack for the first time at the final table.
Rheem would rectify that situation in eliminating Stevermer only seven hands later. The chips went all in pre-flop and Stevermer had the edge with his A-8 over Rheem’s K-9. The flop was a tantalizing one, coming 9-7-6 to give Rheem the tentative lead with his pair of nines but giving Stevermer an open ended straight draw. That draw wouldn’t come home, however, as Stevermer, who many thought was dead meat on arrival at the final table, lasted 72 hands before departing in fifth place.
Back over 11 million in chips, Rheem tried to put the foot back on the gas pedal and win what would be his record fourth WPT title, but Spinella would once again be a thorn in his side. On Hand 84, Rheem lost the chip lead for the first time when, after a J-5-2 flop, Rheem let Spinella have a 4.1 million pot to fall back to second place by only 25,000 chips. Spinella and Rheem would clash again on the next hand and the endgame would be the same, except this time Spinella rivered a deuce after turning an Ace for two pair against Rheem’s flopped pair of Kings to win the hand. With that win, Spinella was now the dominant chip leader, moving past 12 million in chips as Rheem slipped back to 6.675 million.
This only served to light a fire under Rheem, who would take down Volpe a few hands later. On Hand 90, Rheem pushed the action to 375K and Volpe, in the big blind, defended to see an 8♦ 7♠ 4♠ flop. This seemingly innocuous flop instead seemed to light the fireworks as, after Rheem sent another 375K to the pot, Volpe check-raised his remaining three million chips. Rheem immediately called, showing pocket Kings, while Volpe was quite live with his Q♠ J♠ for the flush draw. The turn and river were black, but they were clubs, sending Volpe home in fourth place while pushing Rheem into a solid second behind Spinella.
At this point, Panzica was in no position to even posit winning the tournament. With slightly more than three million in chips, Panzica’s stack was three time smaller than Rheem’s and almost four times smaller than Spinella’s. The longest journeys take a singular step, as the saying goes, and Panzica’s journey was an audacious one.
The threesome played 18 hands before Panzica took over second place, but Rheem still was exercising his dominance. Another 30 hands would see Rheem reestablish his edge with 13.25 million chips, while Panzica and Spinella fought over the scraps. On Hand 151, however, Panzica and Rheem would enter a hand that would change the course of the tournament.
Panzica raised the button and Spinella made the call from the small blind, but Rheem was having none of it. He moved all in out of the big blind and Panzica was more than happy to dance, pushing his stack to the center. A cautious Spinella got out of the way and it proved to be the right move; Panzica’s pocket Aces dominated Rheem’s Q-J and, after the ten-high flop came down, the double for Panzica put him neck and neck with Rheem for the chip lead.
Panzica would take over at this point and never look back. The very next hand after doubling through Rheem, Panzica seized the chip lead after butting heads with Rheem again and stretched it out over the next five hands. In taking another big pot against Rheem – this one worth 8.3 million chips – Panzica would put Rheem on the short stack. The end was on the horizon, but the final chapter remained to be written.
On Hand 167, Spinella doubled through Rheem to drop the former chip leader to only two big blinds and would eliminate him on the very next hand. Spinella now was sitting with a nice 5.75 million stack, but it dwindled in the face of the monstrous 18.475 million chip mountain sitting in front of Panzica. Although he earned one double to pull closer, Spinella never saw the chip lead in heads up play.
On the final hand, Spinella pushed out a raise only to see Panzica power over the top of him all in. Spinella called and tabled an A-8, normally good in a heads up setting, but Panzica had a couple of pips on him in tabling A-10. The Jack high flop (J-5-3-4-5) didn’t change anything, sending Panzica to his second WPT championship in winning the Shooting Star.
1. Sam Panzica, $ 1,373,000
2. Anthony Spinella, $ 786,610
3. David ‘Chino’ Rheem, $ 521,660
4. Paul Volpe, $ 349,610
5. Dennis Stevermer, $ 243,090
6. Rainer Kempe, $ 188,460
There’s no rest for these men as, for Rheem, Kempe and Volpe at the minimum, the final leg of the WPT California Swing starts today. The WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento begins on Saturday and it is the final chance for players to earn points toward that title (Mike Sexton currently leads those standings). Panzica will also probably head to Thunder Valley also, but not until he’s finished celebrating his second WPT title.
2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 3: Final Table Set With “Chino” Rheem Seeking Record-Setting Fourth Title
After one of the longer days of action this year on the circuit, the final table was set early Friday morning for the World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, CA. It promises to be an exciting final table as one Shooting Star remains in the event and the chip leader could etch their name into the WPT record books.
Walking into the Bay 101 on Thursday, the players were all aware it was going to be a long day as the end of Day 3 would only come with the establishment of the six-handed WPT final table. 44 players stepped back to the tables for action with Paul Volpe in command of the field with his 1.7 million-plus chip stack. Along with Volpe were five of the Shooting Star bounties – Garrett Greer, David Williams, Rainer Kempe, Christian Harder and Mike Sexton – who each held a $ 2500 bonus for whomever knocked them out.
Volpe came out of the gates quickly, eliminating Mike Jacob in 41st place when his pocket Queens stood over Jacob’s Big Chick to push his stack over the two million mark. Other contenders were able to move out of the pack, however, including David ‘Chino’ Rheem, the three-time WPT champion. He defeated a tough opponent in Eddy Sabat when Rheem turned an Ace to go with his Big Slick, topping Sabat’s pocket tens and sending Sabat to the rail while Rheem pushed his way into contention. Also knocking on the door of Volpe was WPT Champions’ Club member Brian Altman, who took a few chips from Volpe in making his climb.
The remaining Shooting Stars fought valiantly to keep hold of their medallions and their $ 2500 bounties (by rule, a Shooting Star would keep their $ 2500 bounty should they win the tournament). Sexton would double up through Stephen Graner to move over the half-million mark, while Kempe eliminated Pratyush Buddiga in 35th place when he went runner-runner Jacks to make trips with his A-J over Buddiga’s A-K. For four of the Shooting Stars, that was about it for the highlights as they gradually saw their chips – and their bounties – end up in other players’ stacks.
First to go was Harder, knocked out by Tuan Mai when Mai’s pocket Kings dominated his pocket nines, in 34th place. Greer was the next Shooting Star to depart, losing all his chips to Huihan Wu over the course of two hands to leave in 23rd place. Sexton saw his bounty go to Mai, who collected his second bounty of the day (and third overall) in eliminating the Poker Hall of Famer is 22nd place. Finally, there was Williams, who saw his day end at the hands of Sergio Aido when his two pair, Queens up, was crushed by Aido’s straight; Williams would walk off in 16th place for his time in San Jose.
The story was a bit different for Kempe, however. After starting the day with 513,000 in chips, Kempe pretty much was on the climb throughout the action on Thursday. He would double up early in the afternoon against Igor Yaroshevskyy and stay on an ascendant path in defeating Ravi Raghavan, Yaroshevskyy again and Mai to crack the 2.5 million chip mark. By the time two six-handed tables were set, Kempe was over three million in chips and in second place behind Aido for the chip lead.
It was at this time that Rheem began to make his charge. He eliminated Wu in eleventh and doubled through Kempe to move to 3.695 million chips, all the while keeping the pressure on his opponents. Yaroshevskyy was his next victim as Rheem’s chip stack climbed to 4.5 million and, after a slight setback in doubling up Dennis Stevermer, got them back in winning a “straight versus straight” battle with Yaroshevskyy. As the clock passed 2AM, Rheem held onto his second-place stack and was now the contender challenging Aido.
When Rheem took down Yaroshevskyy in eighth place to see his mountain of chips grow to nearly five million and take the chip lead, the remaining seven men came to one table. Over the span of 59 hands – roughly two hours of table time – the players fought it out for those six seats available for the final battle at the Bay 101 Shooting Star. On Hand 59 in a “blind versus blind” battle, Kempe moved all in and Aido called for his tournament existence.
Kempe was on the blind steal with his miniscule 8-2 off suit and Aido had caught him in it with his K-Q off suit, but the poker gods are a fickle lot. A 7-3-2 flop paired Kempe’s rags and a Jack on the turn wasn’t the paint that Aido was looking for. Once a ten came on the river, Kempe’s rags became golden in sending Aido out on the official final table bubble.
David ‘Chino’ Rheem, 10.65 million Rainer Kempe, 3.705 million* Sam Panzica, 3.215 million Paul Volpe, 3.005 million Anthony Spinella, 2.635 million Dennis Stevermer, 980,000
(* – final Shooting Star remaining)
If Rheem can hold onto that massive chip lead and earn the victory at the Bay 101, he would become the record holder for WPT championships. Currently, Rheem is tied with Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno and Darren Elias in the annals of WPT history with three championships. If he is to win his fourth, Rheem must overcome a talented final table in the defending champion of the Super High Roller Bowl (Kempe), another member of the WPT Champions’ Club (Panzica), and two World Series of Poker bracelet holders (Volpe and Spinella). Only Stevermer could be looked at as the “least experienced” player on the table, but that would be a mistake; the veteran of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) has racked up almost $ 300K in earnings and is looking for his breakout victory.
The final table of the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star will commence at 4PM (Pacific Time) and, while there will be no livestream of the action, it will be taped for broadcast as part of the WPT on Fox Sports 1. Every player is guaranteed $ 188,460 for returning to the felt today, but they all would rather take down the $ 1,373,000 sitting atop the mountain for winning the championship.
2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 2: Paul Volpe Pulls to Lead, Five Shooting Stars Remain
Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose, CA, is in the books and it is shaping up to be an outstanding stretch run. Atop the final 44 players remaining is poker professional Paul Volpe, but there are plenty of challenges facing him. Not only are there five Shooting Stars left in the tournament, one of them is WPT announcer and Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, who is looking to take over the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race should he make the final table.
264 players came back for Day 2 play, greeted with the news that they wanted: the prize pool information. The massive 806 entries for the tournament – a record for the tournament – built a prize pool of $ 5,722,600 (part of this prize pool was the bonuses paid out to the Day 1 chip leaders and the player bounties), with WPT and Bay 101 officials deciding that 81 players would receive a minimum piece of $ 13,660. The eyes of all those left in the tournament were easily focused atop the pay scale, with a whopping $ 1,373,000 reserved for the eventual champion.
Now knowing how many players would be paid, the audacious task was set for Day 2. First, the field needed to work down to the money – meaning slightly more than two-thirds (70%) of the field would be disappointed on Wednesday – then take on getting down as close to 36 players to keep Thursday’s action (to the official WPT final table of six) as short as possible. While one of those endeavors would be completed, the other came up a bit short.
There were plenty of Shooting Stars left at the start of the day and, if they were on the short stack, it seems they quickly found the exit. Shooting Star bounty Chris Moorman was the first to go at the hands of Stuart Tuvey, netting Tuvey a $ 2500 bonus for knocking out the British pro along with his Shooting Star medallion and a commemorative t-shirt. Former NFL star Richard Seymour soon followed Moorman (Seymour’s pocket eights couldn’t catch Tuan Mai’s pocket Kings), along with Jason Koon, Anthony Zinno, Cliff Josephy, Marvin Rettenmaier, Bruce Buffer, Tom Schneider, Joe McKeehen, and Tyler Patterson. By the start of Level 14, there were still 23 Shooting Stars remaining, giving players plenty to strive for.
The news wasn’t all bad for the Shooting Stars. Former World Champion Scotty Nguyen doubled early to get up to 220K in chips, while Rainer Kempe (360K) and Noah Schwartz (305K) were at the top of those with the bounties on their heads. Also coming up the ladder at the start of the new level was Volpe who, while not a Shooting Star, had quietly worked his way into the mix with a 305K stack.
The parade of superstars with the Shooting Star medallion hanging around their necks – at least until they were knocked out of the tournament – continued throughout the afternoon. Andy Frankenberger, Mohsin Charania, ESPN poker announcer Lon McEachern, Igor Kurganov, Pat Lyons, and Tim West all hit the door after their chips disappeared from their grasp. Just as quickly as he went up the ladder, Shooting Star Nguyen would also head for the door in a particularly painful hand. After catching trip Aces on the turn against WPT Champions’ Club member Brian Altman with his Big Slick, Nguyen got his final chips to the center on the river only to see that Altman had flopped a set of fives and, with the turn Ace, made a boat.
With Shooting Star Mike Matusow heading to the door before the dinner break, 99 players were left and the money bubble was looming. What wasn’t going to be made, however, was the goal of reaching the final 36 players. Still, the players surged onward and, as the bubble came closer, Dominik Nitsche, Jesse Sylvia, Todd Brunson, and Ryan Riess would miss out on making the money in losing their bounty. What would come next would be an extended hand-for-hand period, with nobody wanting to depart the event.
For almost two hours, there were no eliminations in the tournament but plenty of double up. Sexton himself would triple up during this process, using pocket Queens against Eduards Kudrjavcevs’ pocket eights and another unnamed player to stay alive in the tournament. It wasn’t until Eddy Sabat, using pocket Kings, vanquished Oscar Zarate-Ramirez’s K♦ J♦ that the money bubble was popped and the remaining 81 players could celebrate their min-cash payday.
Once the bubble was done, the march to the cage began. Matt Stout (Shooting Star bounty) and Jeff Gross (SSB) both took home min-cashes, while Noah Schwartz (SSB), Chance Kornuth (SSB), David Tuchman (SSB), Sorel Mizzi (SSB), and defending champion Stefan Schillhabel all earned a bit more. As Level 21 began (and the clock passed 2:30AM), Bay 101 officials determined that the action would end at 3AM, regardless of how many players were remaining from the 46 players that were left.
Only two players were eliminated over the last 30 minutes of action, but the story for most was the rise of Volpe. With only 108K after the money bubble popped, Volpe increased his stack to 1.7 million and did it without great fanfare in the tournament arena. He would close the day out by adding a few more chips in holding a decent lead over Dan O’Brien.
1. Paul Volpe, 1.749 million
2. Dan O’Brien, 1.339 million
3. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 1.19 million
4. Charlie Carrel, 1.042 million
5. Garrett Greer, 1.034 million
6. Matt Affleck, 1.018 million
7. Sergio Aido, 879,000
8. Sam Panzica, 814,000
9. Tom West, 804,000
10. Brian Altman, 762,000
Greer holds court on the five Shooting Stars remaining, with David Williams (685,000), Kempe (513,000), Christian Harder (385,000) and Sexton (391,000) still hanging on to their medallions.
Because of the late night of play, the tournament will resume at 1PM (Pacific Time) with the requirement that the players reach the final six players before action will stop. With 44 players left in the tournament, that is going to be a difficult task, but it needs to be done to set the final table for Friday’s championship day at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.
The two starting flights of the ever-popular World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star are in the books and it is Stephen Graner who has a slight chip advantage over Charlie Carrel for the tournament’s pole position. With 332,700 and 320,800 chips, respectively, Graner and Carrel are the only two players in the event with more than 300,000 chips.
According to the WPT.com report, Graner was not only the center of attention on Day 1B because of his chip stack, but also because of how he got to that point. Graner sat at the featured table all day Tuesday and knocked out two of the Shooting Star players – Ari Engel and James Calderaro – earning their bounties. Graner has already profited from the tournament with $ 5,000 in bounties and the $ 10,000 chip leader bonus, but he has no intention of relaxing.
One of the more interesting hands for Graner came against Calderaro. As WPT.com reports it (with information received from players at the table), the intrigue started right away, when Graner raised pre-flop from middle position to 8,400 chips. This raised eyebrows as the big blind was just 1,200 chips and a 7x big blind opening raise from that position is quite unorthodox. Typically, there is no need to risk that many chips with no challengers. As such, people thought it was a “mis-click,” a term derived from online poker, when a player accidentally clicks the wrong button to make a bet (or fold, as the case may be) that he did not intend to make. Obviously, nobody can really mis-click in a live game, but people do sometimes miscount their chips or don’t realize they are putting out the wrong denomination.
Calderaro called and the two men saw a flop of K-5-3. Graner bet 13,000 at that point and Calderaro called again. On the 9 flop, Graner kept going, betting 24,000, followed by a Calderaro call. When a Queen landed on the river, Graner moved all-in. Calderaro tanked for nearly ten minutes, his remaining 65,000 chips at risk.
Calderaro eventually folded, informing the table he had A-K and just couldn’t pull the trigger.
Graner teased him, asking him if he folded “the worst bluff ever.”
Calderaro asked Graner to show what he had, but Graner didn’t. Calderaro felt that meant that Graner actually had the winning hand and just wanted to make him think he was bluffing.
Afterward, Graner gave mixed signals to WPT.com, saying, “It was not a misclick, I just did not say anything when they were talking about it.”
But he added, “It’s hard for me to have something there.”
There were a total of 806 entries for the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, a record for this tournament. A $ 5,722,600 prize pool was generated; 81 players will make the money with first place receiving $ 1,373,000.
The 264 remaining players will resume play at noon Pacific time.
2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders
1. Stephen Graner – 332,700
2. Charlie Carrel – 320,800
3. Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4. Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5. Zach Hyman – 255,000
6. Michael Rocco – 201,700
7. Jon Turner – 187,200
8. Chino Rheem – 174,700
9. Bryan Piccioli – 170,100
10. Tom Schneider – 168,100
2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders
1. Stephen Graner – 332,700
2. Charlie Carrel – 320,800
3. Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4. Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5. Eddy Sabat – 265,600
6. Zach Hyman – 255,000
7. Sergio Aldo – 242,500
8. Sinisa Eimek – 235,400
9. Eduazols Kudzjavcevs – 235,000
10. Justin Young – 231,000
2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 1A: Eddy Sabat Leads, Receives Heartfelt Note from Todd Brunson
One of the most eagerly anticipated and fun events of the year, the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, kicked off Monday with 361 entries for Day 1A. I say “entries” instead of “players,” as this is a single re-entry event. Players are allowed one initial entry and one re-entry; they can both be used in a single flight – either Day 1A or Day 1B – or, if someone was eliminated on Day 1A and would rather try again on Tuesday rather than yesterday, that re-entry can be used on Day 1B. Play was scheduled to stop when one-third of the field remained and it did – just 119 players made it through Day 1A. Eddy Sabat is the chip leader with 265,600 chips.
The Bay 101 Shooting Star is a very unique event on the World Poker Tour or any live tour, really. A number of players are denoted as “Shooting Stars” and have bounties on their heads. A player who eliminates a Shooting Star from the tournament receives a $ 2,500 reward, a Shooting Star Bounty Medallion, and an autographed t-shirt with the Star’s face on it. If a Star wins the tournament, he or she will receive their own $ 2,500 bounty on top of the regular prize money.
Additionally, the chip leaders after Day 1A and Day 1B will receive $ 10,000. Blind levels are also short, lasting just one hour each during the two starting flights.
Every table at the outset of the starting flights will have at least one Shooting Star present. The list of confirmed Stars is as follows:
Vince Van Patten
In addition to having the chip lead and earning the $ 10,000 bonus, Eddy Sabat’s day was made when he eliminated Shooting Star Todd Brunson. The $ 2,500 bounty was nice, but Brunson is known for his, shall we say, “colorful” messages he writes on the t-shirts when he is knocked out. When Sabat was seated with Brunson, he knew what his mission for the day was: knock out the Poker Hall of Famer.
“Todd and I go way back in this tournament. He probably doesn’t remember, but every time we always talk about his t-shirt stories and what he draws [and writes] on them,” Sabat told WPT.com. “I just let him know at the start of the day that I wanted every expletive he could think of. I didn’t want him to change anything, I didn’t want a G-rated t-shirt. I wanted the real deal.”
Sure enough, Sabat knocked out Brunson and Brunson did not disappoint, scrawling an expletive-filled message to Sabat across the entire front and back of the t-shirt.
One of the tamer portions of the diatribe (NOTE: FOUL LANGUAGE INCOMING):
“Havad Khan is a more gracious winner than you will ever be if you live to be 90 which I’m sure you won’t. Karma has a way of dealing with jerk offs like you and your little friend Matt Savage the flaming tournament dick face director.”
WPT.com has photos of the front and back of the shirt here.
Day 1B of the Bay 101 Shooting Star will begin at 11:00am Pacific.
World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders
1. Eddy Sabat – 265,600
2. Sergio Aido – 242,500
3. Eduards Kudrjavcevs – 235,000
4. Justin Young – 231,000
5. Garrett Greer – 219,000
6. Phillip Rhodes – 211,100
7. Kevin MacPhee – 188,500
8. Jake Schwartz – 185,600
9. Richard Tuhrim – 168,500
10. Noah Schwartz – 165,300