The Germans are taking over the 2016 California Swing.
Following Dietrich Fast’s million-dollar win in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, fellow German Stefan Schillhabel navigated his way through a record-breaking field of 753 entries to win the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star and $1,298,000.
It is the biggest score of Schillhabel’s career and more than quarduples his career tournament earnings, bringing it to a total of more than $1.7 million. Along with the prestige and the cash, Schillhabel earns his name engraved onto the WPT Champions Cup, a Hublot King Power Unico watch, a pair of gold Monster 24K headphones, and an automatic entry into the historic WPT Tournament of Champions.
The German student defeated a tough final table, culminating in an almost three hour heads-up battle against seasoned American pro Adam Geyer. WPT Champions Club member Griffin Paul, Season XIV Hublot WPT Player of the Year contender Andjelko Andrejevic, and top pro Maria Ho all reached the final table, but were unable to stop Schillhabel and Geyer as they ran away with the night.
WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star results
1. Stefan Schillhabel – $1,298,000
2. Adam Geyer – $752,800
3. Bryan Piccioli – $493,350
4. Andjelko Andrejevic – $334,500
5. Griffin Paul – $231,310
6. Maria Ho – $179,930
At the start of the final table, Schillhabel commanded an overwhelming chip lead, but most of the attention was on Maria Ho, who had the chance to make WPT history.
Ho, the last bounty remaining, could become the first woman to win an open Main Tour event on the World Poker Tour. Ho’s shot at history was short lived, however, falling to Geyer when she ran her ace-king into Geyer’s pocket aces.
Geyer started the day in the middle of the chip counts, but after eliminating Ho in sixth place, he found momentum and eventually took over the chip lead during five-handed play. He sent two players home in one hand to amass half of the chips in play with three players remaining.
Paul moved all in and was called by Geyer. Andrejevic moved all in over the top and Geyer called, putting two players at risk. Geyer showed ace-nine and was dominated by Andrejevic’s ace-king and Paul’s ace-queen. The flop brought a nine and both players were eliminated.
Paul fell short of his second WPT title after winning $1 million at last season’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, finishing in fifth place since he had fewer chips than Andrejevic.
Andrejevic finished in fourth place, recording his third top seven finish this season, and moves into second place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Mike Shariati is in the lead with 2,400 points and Andrejevic has 2,200 after this final table in San Jose. There are three events left on the schedule for Andrejevic to pass Shariati.
The double-knockout left Geyer with a big chip lead as three-handed play began, but Schillhabel knocked out Bryan Piccioli in third place with his ace-queen trumping Piccioli’s king-queen. Piccioli couldn’t find the king he needed and Schillhabel was basically even with Geyer to start heads-up play.
Schillhabel quickly took the chip lead, winning the majority of the heads-up pots without showdown. He gradually extended his lead and and opened up three-to-one chip advantage which slowly turned into a 10-to-one chip lead. He whittled Geyer down to just under seven big blinds before Geyer finally made his stand.
Geyer was all in and at risk with king-nine against Schillhabel’s eight-seven. The flop brought a king, but running eights on the turn and river sealed the deal for the student from Dusseldorf.
Season XIV of the World Poker Tour continues this weekend with WPT Rolling Thunder at Thunder Valley Casino Resort and partypoker WPT Vienna at Montesino Wien. Click those links for live updates, chip counts, and photographs from each event!
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive