WPT Shooting Star Final Table Set

Day 2 and Day 3 of the Bay 101’s annual Shooting Star championship have been exciting to say the least. Day 2 reduced the field to a mere 24 players. Probably the hardest hit contingent was the Shooting Star pros whose bounties made them obvious targets. Only nine Shooting Stars entered the Day 2 competition and of them only three continued on to Day 3. Among the surviving bounties was: previous Bay 101 runner-up Kathy Liebert, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, and popular poker personality Mike Sexton.

Other notable Day 2 survivors included Vivek Rajkumar, recent PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Galen Hall and of course the late tournament founder Marko Trapani’s son Chris Trapani. Though much of the Bay 101 audience was rooting for Trapani – especially after his exceptional Day 1B performance – the heir apparent hit the rail on Day 3, as did Liebert and Hall. All said and done, the final table of six was surprisingly tough. Despite the added incentive to eliminate Shooting Stars, two made it all the way (though in Sexton’s case just barely). Here’s how the stacks are looking going into the final day of the tournament: 

Steven Kelly – 4,169,000

Alan Sternberg – 3,701,000

Mike Matusow – 2,173,000

Vivek Rajkumar – 1,616,000

Casey McCarrel – 430,000

Mike Sexton – 363,000

There’s not a player at the final table that doesn’t have some notable past poker experience. Kelly, for example, just took his first WSOP bracelet last year in a very similar event – the NL Hold’em Shootout. Sternberg’s got six live tournament cashes in a relatively short career and at such high profile tournaments as the WSOP, Borgata, Mohegan Sun, the LA Poker Classic and the Caribbean Adventure. 

Matusow of course needs no introduction – his appearance at this final table will likely push his lifetime earnings over the $7 million mark. Rajkumar is no slouch either with well over $3 million in lifetime earnings, plus his Shooting Star performance marks his second consecutive final table finish. McCarrel is as close as this group comes to an underdog, but as a Bay 101 regular he’s got a home field advantage. Finally, while Mike Sexton is probably best known for commentating the game, he’s also done his fair share of winning – nearly $3 million worth, to be exact – though this marks his first WPT final table.

As you can see, the chip spreads are all over the place. Chip leader Steven Kelly lacks a significant advantage, though the drop off between the other five places is ample. Sexton fought hard for the sixth seat and is no doubt one of the fan favorites, but with a stack that’s only large enough to cover 18 big blinds his ability to improve his position on the last day seems questionable. As we mentioned earlier in the week, the winner of the 2011 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star will take home a check in excess of $1 million. The final table will get down to business tomorrow at 4pm.

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