Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event saw the remaining 20 players of a 364-player field play down to the final table of six. All were eager to claim their share of a nearly $3.5 million prize pool, though most had their eyes firmly set on the $960,900 first-place prize.
Action started off quick on Thursday, with several players doubling up before local pro Steven Michaelis became the first elimination of the day in 20th place ($22,420). Not long after, a giant pot developed that saw Erik Cajelais vault into the chip lead. According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, there was approximately 220,000 in the pot and a flop of when Taylor von Kriegenbergh check-called a bet of 100,000 from Cajelais. When the appeared on the turn, von Kriegenbergh check-called another bet, 160,000, and the peeled off on the river.
A bet of 250,000 was put out and called, prompting Cajelais to reveal for jacks full on nines. Von Kriegenbergh flashed the before mucking, leaving just 115K behind. He was eliminated a short time later in 19th place ($22,420).
Over the course of the next level and a half, Adam Geyer (18th - $25,620), Amir Lehavot (17th - $25,620), JC Tran (16th - $25,620), Danny Le (15th - $26,520) and Michal Wyrot (14th - $25,620) all hit the rail.
Not long after, action folded to Moon Kim on the button and he opened for 22,000. Shooting Star and former World Series of Poker Main Event champ, Jonathan Duhamel, responded by moving all in from the small blind for 203,000. Ubaid Habib was in the big blind and made the call, prompting Kim to fold.
Duhamel was dominated and received no help as the board ran out an uneventful . Not only did Habib win the pot, but also he collected the $5,000 bounty and the trademark Bay 101 Shooting Star signed t-shirt; meanwhile, Duhamel was eliminated in 13th place ($25,620).
Over the next few hours, Tu Dinh (12th - $32,030), Brandon Wong (11th - $32,030), Marko Trapani Jr (10th - $41,600), Mike McClain (9th - $41,600) and Scott Baumstein (8th - $64,000) were eliminated, bringing about the final-table TV bubble, which lasted an excruciatingly long 100 hands.
In the last pot of the night, Kim raised to 55,000 under the gone and Habib called from middle position. Amir Khaziri then moved all in from the small blind for 457,000, which only Kim called.
It was a classic race, but Khaziri needed to improve to stay alive. The flop was no help, and neither was the turn. That meant Khaziri needed either an ace or king on the river, but it was not meant to be as the blanked. Khaziri finished in seventh place ($64,000), while the final six players bagged and tagged for the night.
On Friday, the final table will play down to a winner. Here's a look at how things stack up at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star final table:
Check PokerNews.com tomorrow for a recap of the final table action.
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.