With all eyes on Phil Hellmuth, who highlighted a tough World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star final table, it was one of the less likely players, McLean Karr who earned the $878,500 first-place prize and WPT title.
With the final table getting underway at 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon in San Jose, it was not until just before 3:00 a.m. that the final hand was dealt. Heads up with Andy "BKiCe" Seth for the championship, Karr three-bet Seth's initial 210,000 raise up to 585,000 with pocket eights. Seth, holding a far inferior hand, pocket fours moved all-in and Karr made the call. The board was no help to Seth, coming down and he would finish second, earning just over a half-million dollars.
The title was an unlikely one for Karr, who on Day 3 was crippled with just 30,000 in chips. The deficit would not prove to be his undoing though, and in an interview with Bay 101 tournament director Matt Savage, when asked how he made the comeback, Karr said, "I finally learned to be patient."
Phil Hellmuth, who began the day second in chips, was the first to exit this final table, and it's beginning to seem as though there is some sort of curse on the 11-time WSOP bracelet winner. Hellmuth, in the small blind, limped with pocket queens, and Seth, in the big blind, bumped it up to 80,000 with . Hellmuth stuck in a healthy reraise to 280,000, and after thinking for a few moments, Seth moved all-in. The flop came and Hellmuth was in great shape to double up. The turn was the , giving Seth some additional outs, but leaving Hellmuth well in the lead. That lead would not hold, however, as the crashed onto the felt and sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Hellmuth, who was absolutely shocked, just sat staring at the table before heading off the stage and crumpling to the ground, where he lay in the fetal position for a few minutes.
Matt Keikoan followed Hellmuth out the door, finishing in fifth place. His could not improve against Seth's pocket nines. Hasan Habib was next, finishing fourth when he got all in with the against Karr's on a board. Habib hit his flush on the river, however, it was the , giving Karr the winning full house.
Three-handed play would last for some time, and it was the elimination of Dan O'Brien that would put finally end it. Seth opened the action with a raise to 135,000, the soon-to-be champion, Karr, called from the big blind. Then O'Brien moved all-in from the big blind for just over a million in chips. Seth folded his hand, and Karr called with pocket sevens, which were well ahead of O'Brien's . The board was no help to O'Brien, and he finished third taking home $292,800.
Final Table Results
1. McLean Karr - $878,500
2. Andy "BKiCe" Seth - $521,200
3. Dan O'Brien - $292,800
4. Hasan Habib - $234,300
5. Matt Keikoan - $175,700
6. Phil Hellmuth - $117,000