World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 4: Sternberg Claims Seven-Figure First-Place Prize!

Alan Sternberg

The 2011 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship Event final table stretched from Friday into the early hours of Saturday morning before a champion was crowned. That player was Alan Sternberg walking away with $1,039,000 in prize money.

The final table was headline with Mike Matusow and Mike Sexton, while Vivek Rajkumar was in line for his second WPT title. Sexton came into the day as the short stack and could only hang on until the 27th hand of play before bowing to the rail in sixth place.

According to the WPT Live Update Team, after Matusow raised from the button to 55,000 with the blinds at 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante, Sexton moved all in from the small blind for roughly 200,000. Matusow made the call when action fell back on him and tabled the {k-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Sexton was in front in a dominating way with the {k-Clubs}{q-Spades} and in prime position to double through. The poker gods wouldn’t be with him on this day though, as the board ran out {a-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{2-Hearts}{j-Hearts} to send him out the door. Sexton finished with a prize of $148,000 while Matusow collected his $5,000 Shooting Star bounty.

It didn’t take long from there for the next player to fall as it happen on the 30th hand of the final table. Casey McCarrel was that player, earning $221,800 for his fifth-place finish. Rajkumar raised from the button to 55,000 before start-of-the-day chip leader Steven Kelly reraised from the small blind to 140,000. McCarrel moved all in from the big blind for 331,000 and Kelly called after Rajkumar folded.

Kelly held the {j-Clubs}{10-Spades} to McCarel’s {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}. The flop came down {10-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{4-Spades} and gave Kelly the lead with a pair of tens. The turn prompted a royal flush draw for the at-risk McCarrel when the {k-Hearts} fell, but the {7-Clubs} wasn’t what he was looking for on the river.

On the 45th hand, Rajkumar struck a miracle when he doubled through Alan Sternberg in ridiculous fashion. The two saw the flop for 160,000 each and it came {a-Spades}{6-Clubs}{5-Hearts}. Sternberg checked and Rajkumar bet 105,000. Sternberg check-raised to 277,000 and Rajkumar called to see the {q-Diamonds} fall on the turn. Sternberg led for 475,000 and Rajkumar tank-called after a minute or so.

The river card completed the board with the {q-Clubs} and Sternberg announced that he was all in, having Rajkumar covered. Rajkumar snap-called and tabled the {q-Hearts}{q-Spades} for quad queens. Sternberg turned over the {6-Diamonds}{6-Spades} for a full house, having out-flopped Rajkumar with middle set. That pot moved Rajkumar to 3.472 million while Sternberg was knocked back to 1.378 million.

The next elimination occurred on the 131st hand. With the blinds at 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante, Rajkumar moved all in for 750,000 from the button. Kelly reshoved from the small blind and that folded out Matusow from the big blind who showed {k-}{q-}. Kelly tabled the {k-Hearts}{q-Clubs} and Rajkumar the {k-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}. The board ran through {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and Rajkumar hit the rail in fourth place for $295,800.

On the 170th hand, Sternberg eliminated Matusow in third place. After Sternberg opened the button for 180,000 at 40,000-80,000 blinds with a 10,000 ante, Matusow moved all in from the big blind for 1.38 million. Sternberg made the call and tabled the {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts}. Matusow was making a move with the {9-Diamonds}{2-Spades}, but was still plenty live. The board ran out {q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} and Sternberg’s pair of queens were the winning hand. Matusow hit the rail with a $369,800 prize and Sternberg collected his $5,000 bounty.

When heads-up play began, Kelly had the chip lead with 6.255 million in chips to Sternberg’s 6.205 million. It might as well have been dead even though as they were only separated by 50,000.

It was all over on the 235th hand of the final table. Kelly raised to 240,000 with the blinds at 60,000/120,000 with a 20,000 ante. Sternberg moved all in and had his opponent covered. Kelly made the call.

Kelly: {a-Spades}{q-Clubs}
Sternberg: {10-Spades}{8-Spades}

The flop came down {q-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Hearts} and Kelly’s pair of queens were in front of Sternberg’s pair of eights as he looked to double up. The {7-Spades} on the turn changed nothing, but the {8-Clubs} on the river delivered a full house for Sternberg and it was all over.

Kelly finished in second place for a payday of $595,300 while Sternberg became the latest WPT champion and netted himself over a million dollars for first place!

Final Table Results

1Alan Sternberg$1,039,000
2Steven Kelly$595,300
3Mike Matusow$369,800
4Vivek Rajkumar$295,800
5Casey McCarrel$221,800
6Mike Sexton$148,000

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