Bay 101 Shooting Star
|Dates||Mar 3 - 5, 2004|
|Final Table Date||Mar 05, 2004|
|Buy-In||$5,000 + $200|
|Number of Entrants||243|
The San Francisco bay area once again played the gracious host to the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em shootout. This tournament draws pros, amateurs, and celebrities alike, paying $5,000 apiece for a chance to take down the winner's share of a $1,000,000 prize pool, and a $25,000 seat at the WPT Championship. The unique aspect of this tournament is the "bounty" it places on a small number of top pros, paying $5,000 to the player who knocks them out, at any time during the tournament.
In Seat 1, 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker, with $215,000 in chips. In Seat 2, Suzie Kim, a Harvard MBA and local favorite in her first tournament, the short-stack with $172,000. In Seat 3, computer programmer Masoud Shojaie, another bay area amateur in his first WPT event, with $416,000. In Seat 4, Vancouver-based financial analyst, amateur Mark Mache, with $175,000. In Seat 5, Canadian ex-stockbroker Scott Wilson, with $203,000. In Seat 6, tough tour veteran from Las Vegas in his 2nd WPT final, Phil Gordon, chip leader with $1,238,000.
The first critical hand of the day pitted the two short-stacked amateurs. Mark Mache was crippled when Suzie Kim cracked his pocket 9's, making trips on her own pocket 8's. Three hands later, Masoud Shojaie looked at Mark next to him with barely enough to make it through his next blinds, said "Sorry Mark, I have a good hand," and promptly raised $36,000. Mark, with Td-2s, gambled, and called, all-in for $33,000. Shojaie flipped over Kh-Th, and after the board went in favor of Shojaie, Kd-8c-2c, Qc, Ks, Mark was the first player out, in 6th place, with $57,000.
After her momentous trip 8's, Suzie had nothing more memorable than a split pot with A high for most of the afternoon, leaving her with a little more than $200,000. So with the price of poker going up, antes to $3,000, blinds to $12,000 and $24,000, she took a chance. Phil Gordon made it $60,000 to go, and she went over the top all-in with another medium pair, 6h-6d. Gordon called, and again she found herself the long underdog to Gordon's wired 9's. No luck this time, and after the board went 3d-3h-2h, 3c, 8c, she was the next player sent to the rail, in 5th place, with a nice $68,840 payout.
The rap on Chris Moneymaker is that he's lucky. But he showed that it's a bad rap as he mixed up his play mightily, earning pots with timely bets on stone bluffs, as well as playing smart and deceptively when he did catch cards. Scott Wilson, who had been poking and prodding Moneymaker all day, trying to get an edge or a tell perhaps, found out the hard way what it looks like when Moneymaker does have cards. Wilson, with 5s-5c, called Moneymaker's all-in, pre-flop raise of $206,000, only to see him flip up 9h-9d. The flop came Qh-Js-8s, helping neither, but when 6s came at the turn, a 5 or a spade would have given the hand to Wilson. It was not to be, as a Q fell on the river, doubling up Moneymaker and crippling Wilson's stack.
Wilson got another dose of the 2003 World Champ soon after that. Moneymaker, on the button with Qs-Qc, changed it up, and merely called to see a flop, and found himself limping along next to Shojaie, the small blind, with 6-4 offsuit, and Wilson, the big blind, with Qh-Jh. When the flop came J-9-5 rainbow, Wilson slowplayed his top pair, raising $30,000. Moneymaker barely hesitated, going all in $326,000. Wilson, feeling this might be the last chance to get all his money in with a hand, called, but when Moneymaker flipped up the ladies...well, as they say in the cartoons, "d'oh!" The turn and river came Ks, 2h, sending Wilson home in 4th place with $79,800.
Now down to three, the price again went up, antes to $5,000, blinds to $20,000 and $40,000. Gordon, who had flirted with disaster early in the day, losing over half his initial stack, had rebuilt with steady, aggressive play, and now held a commanding lead. Shojaie, switching gears, found Td-6d, and went all-in for $230,000, probably neither wanting nor expecting a single call. Instead, he found two! Gordon, with Ac-7h, quickly called, and Moneymaker – who exclaimed "unless I have aces, I'm folding," then looked down to find Js-Jc – also called. When the flop came A-T-8 rainbow, Gordon's arms thrust into the air in jubilation. For good reason: when the turn and river came 8d, 5d, he had accomplished something never before seen on the WPT – knocking out the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a single hand! Shojaie, in 3rd, due to his smaller stack going into the final hand, took home a respectable $103,300, Moneymaker grabbed $200,000, and Gordon took home his first coveted WPT title, and a $360,000 payout. Not to mention collecting that bounty on Moneymaker. Fittingly, at the very last roundup...
This tournament is included in the World Poker Tour Season Two DVD Collection. Special features include commentary by Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu and Erik Lindgren.