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World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 2: Hellmuth Commands the Lead

World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 2: Hellmuth Commands the Lead 0001

The World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star resumed on Wednesday with 126 players having made it through to Day 2. After six levels of play, 27 players remain — all in the money. Emerging at the top of the chip counts was none other than Phil Hellmuth whose play highlighted an exciting day of action on the felt.

Before he surged to the top, Hellmuth was all-in for his tournament life during the first level yesterday. On a {10-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{5-Spades} board, Hellmuth got it in with {A-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} against fellow Shooting Star (player with a $5,000 bounty on the head) JC Tran's {K-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}. The {A-Hearts} turn card left Tran just one out to a straight flush that did not come on the river, boosting Hellmuth's stack to over 100,000. He hit the 300,000 mark when he eliminated Shooting Star Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Andy Seth opened the action with a raise, Hellmuth put in a three-bet, and Timoshenko went all in for just a little bit more. Seth gave it up and Hellmuth opted to call after some thought. He held {10-Hearts}{8-Hearts} and was live against Timoshenko's {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}. The board ran out {3-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{3-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{2-Hearts} and Hellmuth was on his way.

Faraz Jaka always seems to shine during World Poker Tour events and this time in San Jose is proving to be no different. He is seventh in chips heading into Day 3 and one hand in particular stood out from his Day 2 performance. With a raise and three callers in front of him, Jaka put in a reraise from the big blind. Day 1b chip leader Eugene Katchalov was the lone caller, leading to a {J-Spades}{6-Clubs}{2-Hearts} flop. Jaka bet the flop and Katchalov called, which allowed the dealer to deliver the {Q-Diamonds} on the turn. Jaka brought the heat with another bet, and this time Katchalov shoved all in, and Jaka immediately called with {Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades}, having taken the lead on the turn against Katchalov's {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts}. The river was the {6-Hearts} and Jaka won the huge pot to take the chip lead at the time and knock Katchalov down to under 10 big blinds.

Aside from Hellmuth, three Shooting Stars remain. Chau Giang, "Miami" John Cernuto, and Scotty Nguyen will return to play Thursday with the bounties on their heads still there for the taking. Others who made it through to Day 3 include Hasan Habib, Andy Seth, Nick Schulman, Brian Rast, Jonathan Tamayo, Jonathan Little, and Tom Marchese.

Failing to survive the day were Shooting Stars Daniel Negreanu, Howard Lederer, Barry Greenstein, Mike Sexton, JC Tran, Freddy Deeb, and Greg Mueller. Shooting Star and defending champion Steve Brecher also bit the dust on Day 2, as did Day 1b chip leader Eugene Katchalov.

Play resumes today at 11 a.m. in San Jose. It will be interesting to see if Phil Hellmuth can ride his momentum to the final table.

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