On Thursday, Paul Volpe began Day 3 of the 2013 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event with the chip lead. When the dust settled and the six-handed official final table was set, Volpe was still atop the counts, making it the second time in eight days that he's commanded the chip lead heading into a WPT final table. Volpe finished runner-up in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic on March 1, earning $651,170, and with a third-place finish or better, he will take the lead in the WPT Season XI Player of the Year Race.
WPT Bay 101 Final Table
Day 3 began with 44 players, and one of the first players to hit the rail was Shooting Star Jason Somerville. Somerville open-jammed from the cutoff seat with the blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000, and fellow Shooting Star Erik Seidel tank-called in the big blind. Seidel's led Somerville's , and Seidel extended his lead when the dealer fanned . The turned, keeping Somerville alive for just a little longer, but it was all over when the completed the board.
With the knockout, Seidel crossed the 1.1 million-chip threshold, but a few levels later he found himself with only 400,000 chips. With the blinds at 8,000/16,000/2,000, he moved all in from the blinds. Isaac Baron made the call, and they were off to the races.
The board rolled out and Seidel shipped a much-needed double. Baron was left with just one big blind, and was eliminated soon after.
Seidel took another hit from Danny Wong, but then found double-ups from Athanasios Polychronopoulos and Steve Behm. Seidel, who will enter the final table second in chips, is looking for his second-career WPT title.
Seidel was the only shooting star to make the final table. Kyle Julius busted in 27th place when he called an all-in from Paul Klann on a flop of . Julius turned over for an overpair, Klann showed for an open-ended straight draw, and the bricked on the turn. Julius was one card away from a much-needed double up, but the spiked on the river, giving Klann a straight and eliminating Julius.
Maria Ho was the next Shooting Star to fade away. Ho open-shoved for 205,000 from the cutoff with the blinds at 8,000/16,000/2,000, and Matt Stout called in the small blind. Ho's was racing against Stout's , and the walking sticks held when the board came . Ho was eliminated in 20th place, earning her $26,670.
Shooting Star Christian Harder bowed out in 13th place, just short of his third-career WPT final table appearance. After being crippled, he moved all in from the small blind for just 72,000 with the blinds at 10,000/20,000/3,000. Volpe called in the big blind with , which led Harder's , and Volpe held as the flop, turn, and river came .
The final Shooting Star to fall was Antonio Esfandiari. With the blinds at 12,000/24,000/4,000, Esfandiari opened to 51,000 from under the gun, and Volpe three-bet to 128,000 from the cutoff. Wong cold four-bet to 310,000 on the button, Esfandiari moved all in for 2 million, and Volpe folded. Wong made the call.
Wong snatched the lead when the flop fell , and retained it as the turn and river came , respectively. Esfandiari earned $64,450 for his ninth-place finish.
While Volpe was looking to make back-to-back final tables, Klann was looking to win back-to-back WPT titles. His quest came to an end during Level 24 (12,000/24,000/4,000), when he opened to 55,000 from under the gun. Wong three-bet to 126,000 on the button, Klann called, and the flop came . Klann checked, Wong fired 128,000, and Klann check-raised all in for roughly 815,000. Wong called with , and Klan rolled over . The turn was the , giving Klann two more outs to catch up, but the bricked on the river. Klann was out in 11th-place, earning him $48,890.
Volpe led the field for most of the day, but with eight players remaining it was Wong who commanded the largest stack in the room. The two proceeded to play the biggest pot of the tournament during Level 25 (15,000/30,000/5,000), when Wong opened to 65,000 from the cutoff. Joe Kuether called in the small blind, Volpe three-bet to 255,000 from the big blind, and Wong four-bet to 600,000. Kuether folded, Volpe five-bet shoved for 2.765 million, and Wong called.
Volpe had Wong crushed, and the aces held as the board came . Volpe raked in the massive, five million-chip pot, while Wong was left with less than 20 big blinds.
A few hands later, Volpe finished the job when he three-bet shoved over an open from Wong. Wong called with , which was well behind the of Volpe. Volpe held once again as the flop, turn, and river produced , and Wong was eliminated just short of the unofficial final table.
Behm was the official final table bubble boy when he open-shoved for around 15 big blinds from under the gun. Seidel called in the cutoff with , Behm showed , and the board rolled out .
The final table will begin at 4 p.m. PT on Friday with the six remaining players competing for the $1,138,350 top prize, which includes a seat in the $25,000 WPT World Championship. PokerNews will be recapping all of the action, so be sure to stay tuned.
Data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.