The field in the 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event has narrowed down from 806 entrants to a six-max final table at the conclusion of Day 3.
Chino Rheem heads into the final table with a commanding chip lead of 10,650,000 chips, nearly three times that of Rainer Kempe in second place with 3,700,000. In addition to the top prize of $1,373,000, Rheem is looking to etch his name in the WPT history books as the only four-time WPT Main Event winner.
Currently, Rheem is in a five-way tie with Anthony Zinno, Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen and Darren Elias with three WPT titles.
Elias joined this exclusive group last week to become the PokerNews Performance on the Week.
Day 3 began with 44 players in contention for the title. Dinakar Veeramaneni was the first player of the day eliminated in 44th place for $21,850. Shortly afterward, notables Eddy Sabat (42nd - $21,850), Jim Collopy (40th - $21,850), Christian Harder (34th - $26,220) and Charlie Carrel (32nd - $26,220) were eliminated.
Dan O’Brien (29th - $26,220), Mike Sexton (22nd - $30,590), Matt Affleck (17th - $36,050) and David Williams (16th - $36,050) hit the rails later in the evening. Williams' elimination left Rainer Kempe as the only Shooting Star remaining in the field.
A few big names fell just short of making the official six-max final table. Kempe eliminated Kevin MacPhee in 10th place for $53,550 after his ace-king outraced his opponent's pocket sevens.
Just minutes later, Stephen Graner was eliminated in ninth place for $74,290 on a cooler to Paul Volpe. The duo got it all in on the turn with Graner holding a straight with jack-ten and Volpe holding top set with pocket queens. The board paired up on the river to give Volpe a full house and send Graner to the showers.
Three hours passed until Igor Yaroshevskyy was eliminated in eighth place for $106,520 after his ace-seven was unable to outgun the ace-jack held by Rheem. After this hand, the tournament consolidated into an unofficial seven-max final table.
Another two hours and 59 hands went by before Sergio Aido was eliminated in seventh place for $144,760 after he called an all-in with king-queen from Kempe in a blind-versus-blind battle. Kempe, who held eight-two, was able to catch up after a two hit the flop and Aido was unable to pair the board.
The final table begins at 4 p.m. PT on Friday and will continue until a winner is crowned. According to the WPT website, there will be no livestream of the final table. However, the WPT Live Updates team will be provided real-time updates of every hand at WPT.com.
Lead image courtesy of the WPT Live Updates team
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