March 10-14 | Bay 101 | San Jose, California
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Mike Baker Dominates the Field After a Fateful Final Hand

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, Day 2 Recap By BJ Nemeth The final 10 minutes of Day 2 were fateful at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star. Play was scheduled to end when the field reached the final 36, and with 38 players remaining, everyone was waiting for two more eliminations so they could go home for the night. There were still six Shooting Stars left in the field: defending champion Ted Forrest, Layne Flack, Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, Isabelle Mercier, and J.C. Tran. Even though the money bubble had burst at 45 players, these Shooting Stars still faced additional attacks because they carried $5,000 bounties. There were also five women still in action: Clonie Gowen, Jennifer Harman, Serena Liu, Isabelle Mercier, and Anna Wroblewski. That's an unusually high number for this late stage of a tournament (representing 13.1% of the field), and it continues the trend from the WPT Celebrity Invitational, where four women finished in the top eight, and Van Nguyen was the first woman to win a WPT title in a mixed event. Like the previous two days, there was a $10,000 bonus on the line for the player with the most chips at the end of the day. Only two players were in serious contention: Mike Baker (about 800,000) and Dan Morris (about 700,000). Nobody else in the field had more than 500,000 or so. If Morris (or anyone else) was going to catch Baker, they were running out of time. Serena Liu was eliminated in 38th place by Shooting Star Joe Hachem, leaving the field one spot away from the end of the day. It was at this point that a big pot developed between chipleader Mike Baker and Shooting Star Isabelle Mercier that would tie all these loose storylines together. With four diamonds on the board, Baker bet, Mercier moved all in, and Baker called with 10heart10spade for a set of tens. Mercier showed AdiamondJspade for the ace-high flush, and she was a 77% favorite to win the hand. The pot was a big one, and if Mercier's hand held up, she would catapult to sixth place on the leaderboard, while Baker would drop down to second -- potentially losing the $10,000 chipleader bonus. If the board paired to give Baker the pot, he would not only be a lock to win the $10,000, he would also collect the $5,000 bounty on Mercier. He'd also head into Day 3 with nearly a million in chips, and the fan-friendly field would be down to five Shooting Stars and three women. Tournament Director Matt Savage came over to announce the fateful hand, though most listeners were only focused on whether or not a player would bust. Baker and Mercier both knew the stakes, and silently waited for Savage to give the okay to deal the fateful river card -- Mercier displayed quiet confidence while Baker seemed ready to accept the loss with dignity. With a nod from Savage, the dealer put out the final card. It was the Qclub, which paired the Qdiamond from the flop to give Mike Baker a full house to beat Mercier's flush. That left 36 players to celebrate the end of the day while Mercier disappeared from the table for a minute to let off some steam. Savage delivered $15,000 to Baker for the bounty and the chip lead, and Mercier returned to the table to congratulate Baker and autograph her t-shirt for him. With that, the field of 36 players was set for Day 3, and Baker dominated the field. With the average chip count around 210,000, here are the players above the 300,000 mark, along with the five remaining Shooting Stars: 1. Mike Baker - 952,500 2. Dan Morris - 701,000 3. Jason Gray - 528,000 4. John Phan - 495,000 5. Noah Jefferson - 396,000 6. Clonie Gowen - 326,500 Shooting Stars 15. J.C. Tran - 183,500 16. Jennifer Harman - 164,500 25. Joe Hachem - 100,000 29. Layne Flack - 89,000 32. Ted Forrest - 64,500 As you can see, all of the Shooting Stars are below average in chips, making it a tough road for any of them to reach the final table. Defending champion Ted Forrest still has a shot (though it's a long one) to become the first player in WPT history to win the same event in back-to-back years. Day 3 is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am PT. Return to for complete live coverage of the play-down day, including chip counts, photos, and video interviews with Kimberly Lansing.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
01:03 AM, 03/13/08

Official Chip Counts & Seating Assignments

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Day 3 is scheduled to begin tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:30 am PT. Here are the official chip counts and seating positions for the final 36 players. The average chip count is about 210,000. TABLE 1 1. Robert Cheung - 212,500 2. Brandon Cantu - 225,000 3. Anna Wroblewski - 91,000 4. Jimmy Tran - 118,000 5. George Panagakis - 204,000 6. Joe Hachem (Shooting Star) - 100,000 TABLE 2 1. Lee Watkinson - 135,500 2. Paul Wasicka - 137,000 3. John Phan - 495,000 4. Jennifer Harman (Shooting Star) - 164,500 5. Dan Morris - 701,000 6. Rich Belsky - 154,000 TABLE 3 1. Michael Migdol - 185,000 2. Thanh Che - 121,500 3. Layne Flack (Shooting Star) - 89,000 4. Ed Fernandez - 271,000 5. Chanh Pham - 51,500 6. Thanh Phung - 145,500 TABLE 4 1. David Tran - 108,500 2. Jason Gray - 528,000 3. J.P. Byrne - 30,000 4. Paul Niemeca - 78,000 5. Blair Hinkle - 223,000 6. Steve Sung - 226,000 TABLE 5 1. Eric Nickelson - 270,000 2. Mike Baker - 952,500 3. Ted Forrest (Shooting Star) - 64,500 4. Neil Webber - 52,500 5. J.C. Tran (Shooting Star) - 183,500 6. Clonie Gowen - 326,500 TABLE 6 1. Andrew Robl - 93,000 2. Tim Foster - 33,000 3. Lu Wang - 84,500 4. Matt Holtzclaw - 98,500 5. Noah Jefferson - 396,000 6. Kent Washington - 112,000 As you can see, there are five Shooting Stars left in the field: Layne Flack, defending champion Ted Forrest, Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, and J.C. Tran. There are also three women still in the field: Clonie Gowen, Jennifer Harman, and Anna Wroblewski. Return to tomorrow at 10:30 am PT for complete live coverage, with chip counts, photos, and video interviews with Kimberly Lansing.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
09:25 PM, 03/12/08

Day 2 of the Bay 101 Shooting Star

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

36 Players Remain Including 5 Bounties As the fields combined on day 2 of the Bay 101 Shooting Star, of the 138 total players that remained only 16 were Shooting Stars. Despite the early start time and the supposed lack of star power, the fans still came out in droves, hanging on the rail to cheer on their favorite poker professionals. It didn't take long to lose the first Shooting Star, as a short-stacked Men Nguyen was knocked out by Robert Cheung's runner-runner flush. Nguyen's elimination seemed to spark a string of bust outs, and in the first level alone, we lost nearly 30 players. Among the fallen Shooting Stars were Mike Matusow, Phil Laak, Scotty Nguyen, Kathy Liebert, John Cernuto, and Allen Cunningham. The field continued to shrink at a rapid rate and didn't seem to let up until just before the dinner break, when the realization of a possible payday hit the players. Barry Greenstein fought hard all day on the short stack, doubling up several times before finally succumbing after his over pair was rivered by a flush just before the dinner break. Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis spent most of the day moving closer and closer to the chip lead, but two huge confrontations with Michael Baker sent him to the rail, and gave Baker nearly 700,000 for the chip lead. Baker doubled up Jennifer Harman after the field returned from dinner, but for the most part he kept accumulating chips to end the day with 952,500. Right after the dinner break, Phil Hellmuth made an appearance to wish some of his friend's good luck on their quest for the first-place prize of $1,000,000. Tournament Director Matt Savage made the minor mistake of handing the Poker Brat a microphone much to the delight of the crowd. Hellmuth then spent about 30 minutes moving from table to table to tell stories and compliment the play of his colleagues. After Rich Belsky eliminated Brandon Schaefer in 47th place, there were a few short stacks left in the field, so the bubble process wasn't expected to take very long. But not even Hellmuth could have predicted the confrontation that would burst the bubble: On a flop of 8diamond7diamond5spade Ralph Perry moved all in and Clonie Gowen made the call. Gowen turned over 8club8heart for top set but was up against a monster draw by Perry who held 6diamond5diamond. The turn and river Jspade10club bricked out for Perry and he went home as the official bubble boy of the tournament. Luckily Perry took out bounty Gavin Smith yesterday for a nice $5,000 rebate. Once things got into the money, it only took 35 minutes for the field to lose the last nine players for the night, each of whom took home $10,000. Here is their order of finish: 45. Joe Graziano 44. Taylor Raines 43. Neil Ho 42. Gerald Balfour 41. Michael Binger 40. Erick Lindgren 39. Tuan Le 38. Serena Liu 37. Isabelle Mercier The remaining 36 players will come back tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. PST to play down to the final table. This tournament will feature a unique format, as the rest of the event will be played at six-handed tables, with two-hour levels. Here are the top five in chips and the last of the Shooting Stars: 1. Mike Baker – 952,500 2. Dan Morris – 701,000 3. Jason Gray – 528,000 4. John Phan – 495,000 5. Noah Jefferson – 396,000 JC Tran – 183,500 Jennifer Harman – 164,500 Joe Hachem – 100,000 Layne Flack – 89,000 Ted Forrest – 64,500

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
09:05 PM, 03/12/08

Day 2 Ends

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

The tournament field has reached 36 players (5 Shooting Stars) and day 2 has ended. The remaining players will return tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. PDT to reach the final television table of six. In a twist that is unique to Bay 101, the tables will be six-handed and the levels will be two hours long. There should be a lot of action at the tables early tomorrow. Official chip counts and recap coming soon.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:35 PM, 03/12/08

Isabelle Mercier Eliminated in 37th Place ($10,000)

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

With the board showing Qdiamond10diamond2diamond5diamond on the turn and about 110,000 in the pot, chipleader Mike Baker bets 50,000 from the small blind, Shooting Star Isabelle Mercier moves all in, and Baker calls with 10heart10spade for a set of tens. Mercier shows AdiamondJspade for the nut flush, and her tournament life is at stake as she's a big favorite (77%) to double up here. But Baker is looking to bust the last player of the day, pick up a $5,000 bounty, and claim the $10,000 bonus for ending the Day 2 chipleader. To do this, he'll need the board to pair (10 outs) to win the pot with a full house. If he loses this hand, he'll lose the chip lead to Dan Morris at the next table. There is definitely a lot at stake with the turn of the final card, which is -- The Qclub. Isabelle immediately registers the loss and quickly and quietly leaves the table -- she doesn't want to witness a celebration. Baker wins the pot with his full house (tens full of queens), and Shooting Star Isabelle Mercier is eliminated in 37th place, earning $10,000 and officially bringing Day 2 to an end. The pot was worth more than 300,000, and it takes Baker to 950,000 -- about 250,000 more than anyone else in the field. Baker receives the $5,000 bounty for busting Isabelle, along with the $10,000 bonus for finishing as the Day 2 chipleader. Isabelle returns after a minute or two to autograph her t-shirt for Baker and congratulate him. This hand brings Day 2 to an end. Official chip counts and a recap will be posted soon.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:31 PM, 03/12/08

Serena Liu Eliminated in 38th Place ($10,000) by Joe Hachem

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Serena Liu was busted out of the tournament in 38th place by Joe Hachem. She will take home $10,000 in prize money.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:28 PM, 03/12/08

Tuan Le Eliminated in 39th Place ($10,000)

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Tuan Le has busted out of the tournament in 39th place, and he will take home $10,000.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:26 PM, 03/12/08

Dinner with JC Tran

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:24 PM, 03/12/08

Chipleader Michael Baker

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:24 PM, 03/12/08

Erick Lindgren Eliminated in 40th Place ($10,000)

Level 28: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

It was three strikes and your out for Erick Lindgren, who battled in three hands in a row, which eventually led to the end of his tournament life. First Hand: Noah Jefferson and Erick Lindgren get all in preflop and open up their hands: Jefferson: AspadeAdiamond Lindgren: KheartKdiamond Board: 10spade6spade4club5diamond6club Lindgren was crippled down to 5,000. Second Hand: Lindgren puts in his 500 ante and then pushes his final 4,500 into the pot shortly thereafter. One opponent calls and they open up their hands: Opponent: QheartQspade Lindgren: AdiamondQdiamond Board: Aclub7diamond2diamond9clubAheart Lindgren doubles up on the hand and has 24,000. Third Hand: Lindgren moves all in for 23,500 preflop and Jimmy Tran moves all in over the top of him. Everyone else folds and they open up their hands: Lindgren: 3club3diamond Tran: AclubQspade Board: Qclub10club6heart6spadeQdiamond Lindgren is eliminated in 40th place and Tran collects his $5,000 bounty. Lindgren takes home $10,000 for his finish in the money.

Sorted In: Bay 101 Shooting Star, Bay 101, Season VI
08:24 PM, 03/12/08



Brandon Cantu
Steve Sung
Jennifer Harman
Noah Jefferson
Mike Baker
John Phan

View Full Listing »

Payout Structure

Place Prize
1 $1,000,000
2 $585,000
3 $330,000
4 $265,000
5 $200,000
6 $135,000
7 - 8 $68,000
9 - 10 $44,000
11 - 12 $33,000
13 - 18 $24,000
19 - 24 $20,000
25 - 30 $16,000
31 - 36 $13,500
37 - 45 $10,000

Blind Structure

Level Blinds Ante
1 25-50 0
2 50-100 0
3 75-150 0
4 100-200 0
5 100-200 25
6 150-300 50
7 200-400 50
8 250-500 50
9 300-600 75
10 400-800 100
11 500-1,000 100
12 600-1,200 200
13 800-1,600 200
14 1,000-2,000 300
15 1,200-2,400 400
16 1,500-3,000 500
17 2,000-4,000 500
18 2,500-5,000 500
19 3,000-6,000 1,000
20 4,000-8,000 1,000
21 5,000-10,000 1,000
22 6,000-12,000 2,000
23 8,000-16,000 2,000
24 10,000-20,000 3,000
25 12,000-24,000 4,000
26 15,000-30,000 5,000
27 20,000-40,000 5,000
28 25,000-50,000 5,000
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