WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Moves Toward Day 2

The World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship in San Jose wrapped on the second of its two starting days yesterday with some pretty significant numbers. Overall, 415 players turned out to compete in the $10,000 buy-in event. That amounts to a total prize pool of $3,942,500 with a bubble that extends to 45 places and more than a $1 million payout for first. While Day 1A attracted some great competition, as always the second qualifying day was nearly twice as crowded and featured a pro-heavy roster of entries including Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Cates, Michael Mizrachi and Vanessa Selbst.

When all was said and done, though, very few of those top players survived to move on to today’s Day 2 action. That’s no doubt due in large part to the WPT’s popular bounty format which gives the tournament its “Shooting Star” name because the series pays a pretty premium for pro eliminations. Altogether only nine of the designated Shooting Star pros survived the two qualifying days, making it quite likely that an underdog will take this year’s title.

A total of 170 players will be pulling up to the felt today to determine Day 3’s field. Many have credited this year’s Shooting Star’s above average numbers to the tragic loss the tournament sustained in 2018. You see, the Shooting Star tournament was the creative product of Bay 101’s former owner Marko Trapani. He organized his first shootout-style poker tournament 14 years ago, and this year marks the first that he hasn’t personally overseen it. Trapani’s death was indeed a loss to the industry, but it resonated especially loud among the California contingent.

As a testament to the Trapani family’s love of the game, Marko’s son and heir Chris Trapani dominated the Day 1B competition to take the chip lead going into Day 2. Here’s how the rest of the top ten stacks add up: 

Chris Trapani – 197,900

Joris Springael – 196,500

Brian Schmidt – 187,700

David Sands – 175,000

Justin Young – 165,800

Eric Moore – 160,100

Brandon Crawford – 158,600

Randy Dorfman – 156,500

Shannon Shorr – 147,300

Steven Dempsey – 145,400

The most competitive Shooting Star player still left in the tournament is Chris “Jesus” Ferguson whose 113,100 chips left him far out of the top ten stacks but nevertheless put him well ahead of most of the pack. It’s not a bad place to be at the start of Day 2, but we’ll see how long he survives with that bounty on his head.

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