Mar 15, 2015
Taylor Paur topped a field of 708 players and a tough final table of six to win his first WPT title.
By Ryan Lucchesi (@Luccrazy)
There are certain stops on the World Poker Tour that are always going to attract a large number of professional poker players, and the Bay 101 Shooting Star $7,500 Main Event is one of those tournaments. The event lived up to its name thanks in part to 80 Shooting Star bounty players that represent some of the biggest names in poker. There was also a large collection of talent from throughout the poker world in the event, and final table tonight was a reflection of the strength of the total field of 708 players.
The final six players had career earnings in excess of $35 million between them. Despite boasting a lineup that consisted of two Shooting Stars (Sorel Mizzi and WPT Season VIII Player of the Year Faraz Jaka) along with talented young pros Isaac Baron, Taylor Paur, and Jacob Bazeley – none of them had won a WPT title. That changed tonight when Paur defeated the toughest final table of the season to take home the top prize of $1,214,200 and his first WPT title. Paur now has career earnings worth $2,777,174.
Here is a look at the chip counts when cards got into the air at 4 p.m. PT this afternoon in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Seat 1: Sorel Mizzi – 1,920,000 (48 bb)
Seat 2: Isaac Baron – 6,715,000 (167 bb)
Seat 3: Jacob Bazeley – 3,920,000 (98 bb)
Seat 4: Taylor Paur – 4,270,000 (106 bb)
Seat 5: Ravee Mathi – 1,470,000 (36 bb)
Seat 6: Faraz Jaka – 2,920,000 (73 bb)
Ravee Mathi started the final table on the short stack and he wasted no time getting active at the final table in the hope of chipping back up. He met a quick end when he moved all in on a board reading J6565 for 1,345,000 from the button on Hand 22. His shove induced Sorel Mizzi to fold on the cutoff, but Taylor Paur called on the big blind with 85. It was enough to top the A8 held by Ravee, who was eliminated on the hand in sixth place, good for $168,260.
The quick pace continued when Faraz Jaka was all in 35 hands into play. He shoved for 995,000 preflop holding 44 and Jacob Bazeley reraised all in over the top of him for 3,205,000 with 1010 in the hole. The board was dealt 7325J and that was it for Jaka. He busted out of his fourth WPT final table in fifth place, and took home $216,320 in prize money.
The next major action saw Mizzi double up on Hand 75 to continue a long period of four-handed play. The final table played past 100 hands before Mizzi was all in again on Hand 109. His tournament hopes were pinned on AJ and Paur had him covered with 55. The board was dealt Q32Q5 and Mizzi was eliminated in fourth place ($310,060).
The tough road had only just begun once cards got back into the air for the final three players. Baron and Bazeley each took a turn doubling up and it was just before midnight when Bazeley moved all in for the last time on Hand 171. He held K7 Paur had him covered with A10. The board ran out A229A and Bazeley was out in third place at his second WPT final table. He took home $461,470 in prize money.
The chip counts at the start of the heads-up final saw Paur enter with a 2-1 chip advantage. His stack of 14,450,000 was more than double the 6,775,000 held by Baron. The final match would be the antithesis of the final table that preceded it, only lasting nine hands to decide a champion.
On hand 180 Paur min-raised to 400,000, Baron reraised to 1,050,000, and Paur thought for about 30 seconds before he called. The flop fell 972, Baron bet 1,050,000, and Paur tanked for a bit before he called. The turn card was the 3, Baron bet 1,650,000, and Paur thought for about 30 seconds before he called. The river card was the 5, Baron moved all in for 3,025,000, and Paur snap-called. Baron showed A9 for a pair of nines, but Paur turned over 109 to win the pot — and the WPT title — with a heart flush.
Baron finished as the runner-up, and he took home $704,200 for his deep run in the tournament. Paur earned the champion’s prize share of $1,214,200, which includes a $15,400 entry into the season-ending WPT World Championship. Paur also received a WPT Champions Trophy, a pair of gold Monster 24K Headphones, and a Hublot Oceanographic 4000 Watch. Paur’s name will be engraved on the one-and-only WPT Champions Cup, alongside all the previous winners in World Poker Tour history. Congratulations to our champion, Taylor Paur.
Final Table Results:
1: Taylor Paur – $1,214,200
2: Isaac Baron – $704,200
3: Jake Bazeley – $461,470
4: Sorel Mizzi – $310,060
5: Faraz Jaka – $216,320
6: Ravee Mathi – $168,260
That concludes our coverage from the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event. Thanks to the Bay 101 for hosting another exciting event, and thanks to Joe Giron for tonight’s great photography. You can find more of his work here: pokerphotoarchive.com. The WPT heads to the third and final stop on the California Swing tomorrow at Thunder Valley Casino near the state capitol in Sacramento. The WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event will run from March 14-18 and the WPT Live Updates team will be there to bring you all of the action just hours from now.