The season XI World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star main event ended up as the record for field size at this tour stop (643 players). Last Friday, after 5 days of play, the field had been narrowed down to a final table with the following 6 players:
Seat 1. Joe Nguyen - 2,175,000 (72 bb)
Seat 2. Erik Seidel - 3,435,000 (114 bb)
Seat 3. Chris Johnson - 2,740,000 (91 bb)
Seat 4. Paul Volpe - 5,525,000 (184 bb)
Seat 5. Kai Chang - 2,590,000 (86 bb)
Seat 6. Joe Kuether - 2,830,000 (94 bb)
As you can see above, Volpe (runner-up at the 2013 L.A. Poker Classic) and Erik Seidel (won the Season VI Foxwoords Poker Classic) were in the lead when the action kicked off. However, all players at the final table started with a deep stack, so it was impossible to determine who would take down the tournament.
First elimination after 3,5 hours
It took about three and a half hours of play (hand 79) before the first player hit the rail. Kai Chang raised from the button to 125k and Joe Kuether moved all in from the small blind for 860k. Joe Nguyen moved all in from the big blind for 4.2 million. Chang folded.
The board ran out AQ7Q3 and Nguyen took down the pot with a full house. Kuether received $162,240 for his sixth place finish.
Chris Johnson hit the rail in the next hand
Many expected it to take a while before the next elimination would take place, but in fact it happened in the next hand. Chris Johnson raised from UTG to 125k. Chang called and Erik Seidel called from the big blind.
Seidel checked, Johnson bet 200k, and Chang raised to 700k. Seidel folded right away. Johnson moved all in for 1.9 million. Chang quickly called.
Turn and river brought JQ and Chang laid hands on the pot with three-of-a-kind tens. Johnson finished fifth ($208,910).
Erik Seidel sent packing in 4th place
Seidel, the only WPT champ on the final table, had been short stacked for quite some time during 4-handed play. He doubled up once, but his stack was still small and it didn't take long before he was forced to put his tournament life at risk again. Seidel pushed his remaining stack of 1,2 million to the center of the table from the small blind. Paul Volpe asked for a count and then called with A4. Seidel showed J10.
The flop came down JJ7 and Seidel had flopped trip jacks. But there was no time for any celebration whatsoever as the dealer turned over a K on the turn, which gave Volpe a flush of diamonds. The river card was the 8 and Seidel had busted in 4th place. Seidel left the table after signing a "I Busted Erik Seidel" t-shirt for Volpe, who also received a bounty medal and $2.5k in cash.
28 hands later heads-up play kicked off
After Erik Seidel had been eliminated it took 28 hands before another player was sent packing and heads-up could begin. Volpe moved all-in from the small blind for 1.5 million. Chang called from the big blind with A9. Volpe turned over Q10.
The table ran out KK763 and Chang took down the pot with with his Ace. Altough Volpe had reached 2 WPT Main Event final tables as chip leader in about a week's time, he must have been quite disappointed not to win one of them. Let's hope that he gets another chance soon!
When heads-up begun, Chang (12,515,000) held a 2-1 chip advantage over Nguyen (6,780,000). The match for the title didn't last more than six hands. Nguyen raised to 250,000 pre flop and Chang called.
Chang checked and Nguyen bet 325k. Chang made the call. The turn was the 9 and Chang checked once again. Nguyen bet 530,00 and Chang took a few moments of thinking before making a re-raise of an unknown amount. Nguyen went all in for about 7 million and Chang snap-called.
Chang had a ten-high straight, Nguyen a pair of tens with a flush draw. The river card was the 6 and Chang won the tournament for $1,138,350, a WPT trophy and a $25,500 seat into the reason-ending WPT World Championship.
1: Kai Chang - $1,138,350
2: Joe Nguyen - $666,740
3: Paul Volpe - $435,610
4: Erik Seidel - $295,590
5: Chris Johnson - $208,910
6: Joe Kuether - $162,240