The race towards the $1,373,000 first-place prize of the 2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event is on Paul Volpe finds himself in pole position after ending Day 2 with 1,749,000 chips and the title of chip leader.
There were 264 players in their seats at the start of Day 2 and after a 15-hour grind, which ended at 3 a.m. PT, only 44 people had chips in front of them that required bagging up for the night. Among those 264 returnees were 33 Shooting Stars, players with $2,500 bounties on their heads.
Volpe had the welcomed problem of trying to cram a massive stack of chips into a plastic bag. Volpe was nursing a short stack when the tournament was on the bubble but used his trademark aggression to emerge with a large chip stack, which he added to in the post-bubble stages.
Dan O’Brien is another player who finds himself in a healthy position thanks to amassing 1,339,000 chips while partypoker ambassador Mike Sexton, one of five remaining Shooting Stars, bagged up 391,000 chips and will take over the lead in the Player of the Year race if he finishes in eighth place or better.
There was a steady stream of eliminations throughout the day with Chris Moorman, Richard Seymour, Jason Koon, Anthony Zinno, November Niner Cliff Josephy, Marvin Rettenmaier, Joe McKeehen, and Andy Frankenberger busting well before the money places.
As the field size whittled down to the final 81 players, where the prize money started being distributed, the frequency of eliminations dropped. Todd Brunson and former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Ryan Riess were both eliminated a few spots away from the money bubble and when Dan O’Brien sent a player to the rail in 83rd place, the tournament was played hand-for-hand.
Hand-for-hand lasted for the best part of two hours before Oscar Zarate-Ramirez check-raised all in with a gutshot straight draw and flush draw and was called by Eddy Sabat who held a pair of kings. Those kings held, Zarate-Ramirez fell in 82nd place and the surviving players locked up at least $13,660 for their efforts.
Matt Stout was the first player eliminated in the money places and he was joined on the sidelines by Jeff Gross, Taylor Paur, Tom Marchese, Joe Serock, Andy Philachack, Jon Turner, Chance Kornuth and Sorel Mizzi.
The initial plan was to continue playing until only 36 players remained, but with hand-for-hand taking so long, Matt Savage decided to end play at 3 a.m. PT instead. When the clocks ticked around to this time, 44 players had chips in front of them and they will return to the action at 1 p.m. PT on March 9 where they will play down to the six-handed televised final table.
Lead image courtesy of the WPT Live Updates team
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