Live Tournament Updates
Phil Hellmuth Sets Sights on First WPT Title
Level 23: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Though the rest of the world may love or hate Phil Hellmuth, the Bay Area certainly seems to love their hometown hero. Poker fans from the Bay Area surrounded the tournament area for the duration of Day 3 play and watched for 15 hours as Hellmuth and the rest of the field played their way down from 27 to six players. Hellmuth was one of the fortunate half dozen to make the final table. After beginning the day as chip leader, Hellmuth stayed at or near the top of the counts for the entirety of the day and will begin final table play tomorrow second in chips behind Andy “BKiCe” Seth. This is Hellmuth's fourth career WPT final table, but he has yet to capture that elusive WPT title.
Seth surged to the top of the leaderboard thanks to a number of knockouts, including Nick Schulman, Dan Gamon and Shooting Star Scotty Nguyen. That gave Seth his third bounty of the tournament, tying him with Mclean Karr for most bounties collected so far. The lone Shooting Star remaining in the field is Hellmuth, so if either player can take him out at the final table they will earn the title of biggest Shooting Star bounty hunter of 2010.
The story of Jack Strauss, his chip and his chair has taken on mythic proportion in the poker world over the years. Today at the Bay 101 Shooting Star event, there were two players who decided to try and best the Strauss story with their very own tales of rallying back from the shortest of short stacks. One succeeded, making his way from the bottom of chip counts to the final table, while the other came up just short, finishing in 7th place. Karr was the player who came into Day 3 with 30,500 chips (ten big blinds), but he managed to triple and double his way from ten big blinds to over a million chips.
Lon Diamond was another player who was on the verge of elimination, but surged back to life to make a run at the final table. Diamond was left with just 17,000 chips after doubling up Brian Rast, but he tripled, doubled and doubled again to get back up over 300,000 chips. Unfortunately for Diamond, while those efforts kept him in the tournament much longer than those on the rail may have expected, he was the final table bubble boy, busting out in 7th place and ending play for the night. Other players who busted on Day 3 included Jonathan Little (22nd), Jonathan Tamayo (21st), Faraz Jaka (18th), Joe Elpayaa (15th) and Shooting Star Chau Giang (14th).
It took fifteen hours to get from27 players down to six, including a more than five hour stretch in which no player busted. Shooting Star Miami John Cernuto busted in 11th place at 6PM PT and it was nearly midnight before David Forster made his exit in 10th place. After the long draught of eliminations, Forster, Rast and Shooting Star Scotty Nguyen in 10th, 9th and 8th place all came in the span of twenty minutes to condense the field to the unofficial 7-handed final table.
Diamond’s elimination set up tomorrow’s final table, which features Hellmuth, Seth, Karr, Dan O’Brien, Hasan Habib and Matt Keikoan. The cards will get in the air at 4PM PT and they won’t stop flying until we have our 2010 Bay 101 Shooting Star Champion.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments for the final table:
Seat 1: Hasan Habib – 455,000
Seat 2: Phil Hellmuth – 1,433,000
Seat 3: Andy “BKiCe” Seth – 2,164,000
Seat 4: Matt Keikoan – 371,000
Seat 5: Mclean Karr – 1,112,000
Seat 6: Dan O’Brien – 1,129,000
02:25 AM, 03/12/10