The 2011 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship Event began on Monday with 142 players taking to the felt on Day 1a. At the end of the ten levels played out, 57 of them remained. Topping the pack is Brian Schmidt with 187,700 in chips.
What’s so unique and fun about this event is right in the name, Shooting Stars. Various players have a bounty on their head worth $5,000 to the player who knocks them out of the tournament. What’s more is that there is a $10,000 bonus for the player who ends Day 1a and Day 1b on top of the leader board. In total, 45 players will be Shooting Stars and 25 of them played on Day 1a.
Some of those with a $5,000 bounty posted on them include Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Smith, Dwyte Pilgrim, Tony Dunst, Joe Sebok, John Juanda, Erik Seidel and Jason Mercier. Kara Scott was the Shooting Star who bagged up the most chips at 137,100, good enough for third place overall.
Seidel is the hottest player on tour in 2011, but his hot streak has cooled off for the time being as he was eliminated in Level 8 of Day 1a. Shortly after doubling through fellow Shooting Star Men Nguyen, Seidel found all his money in again with the against the for John Pries. The board ran out and Seidel hit the rail. Of course, he was sure to autograph the t-shirt for Pries that accompanies every Shooting Star knockout.
Freddy Deeb was another start shot towards the end of the night. With the binds at 400-800 with a 100 ante in Level 9, Deeb called off all of his chips on a board of . His opponent, Alex Yi, tabled the for the nuts and Deeb mucked his hand.
A few of the other notables players who hit the rail on Day 1a include Dan Shak, Dan Harrington, Scott Seiver, Victor Ramdin, Joe Tehan and Jonathan Aguiar.
On the flip side of the coin, Mike Matusow was one of the players who thrived on Day 1a. He finished with well over 100,000 in chips and that's good enough to put him in the top pack of players bunched up behind chip leader Schmidt.
One of the big hands of the day for Matusow came when he doubled up through Richard Toth. With the board reading , Matusow and Toth found all of the money in the middle with Matusow being the player at risk. Matusow tabled the for a flopped two pair that turned a flush draw. Toth was out-flopped, but pulled back in front on the turn as he held the for a set. The river card was dealt the and the Matusow eruption came loud and proud. "That's what you get mother f***er! That's what you get mother f***er!" he yelled out in celebration while running around the tournament room.
Upon settling down a bit and returning to the table, Matusow gave Toth a hug and apoligized, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that, really." It didn't stop there tough as according to the World Poker Tour Live Update Team, Matusow popped back up from the table and began yelling, "I finally punished him for playing bad! Finally punished him for playing bad!" That pot was good enough to put Matusow at 74,000 in chips, while Toth was quietly left with 35,000.
Day 1b is set for Tuesday at a nice-and-early 10:00 a.m. PST start. Be sure to check back right here on PokerNews for the recap of the action.