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WPT at Bay 101 2009 Day 3
CEO "Rocket Boy" 03.20.2009

Silicon Valley is being slammed by the recession and madly retooling to be the center of green innovation. Back in the day, the dot com bubble burst because investors were simply throwing too much money at anybody with a web-based business model. This time it's far worse. There just isn't any money left to throw.

And yet the World Poker Tour just keeps booming right along. 391 players ponied up, a tick more than last year's 376. Not nearly as many as at Commerce Casino last month, but hey, it's a far smaller casino. It's not even close to being a "California's Mecca of Poker" like Commerce.

But two things make the Bay 101 Shooting Stars event pretty special. The $5K bounty on many of the pro players and the 6-handed action when playing down to the final TV 6 spice things up a bit.

Bay 101, dolphin fountain and all, in the heart of Silicon Valley

Day 3: 36 players down to the TV six
I showed up a few hours after the start of 6-handed action on day 3. Play had started with 36 players at 6 tables of 6. Short-handed tables force everyone to play more hands, but the 2 hour blind levels don't erode everyone's M so fast that people go into "flipament mode". Still, there were only 25 players left, and the first thing I saw was Joe Sebok bust out in 25th. That's a great result considering that he and his crew are doing an incredible amount of work on Poker Road. And hey, he didn't "Seventhbok" yet again!

The blinds were just whipping around, with 6-handed play and shuffle machines at each table. Hoyt Corkins and Kathy Liebert were the two remaining Shooting Star bounties, and Hoyt went out 21st. He seemed to really be enjoying himself and cheerfully signed the t-shirt that reads "I Busted Hoyt Corkins".

Hoyt Corkins, cigar in pocket, having a great time

The last Shooting Star was Kathy Liebert, and she seemed to be alternating between intense silent concentration and her rapid fire "Chatty Kathy" mode. She can ice down her opponents with an Ivey-like stare when she wants to, and apparently she gets great reads in the process. She rarely lost a pot, and managed to double up when she moved in with Q9 after flopping two pair. Local hero Chau Vu called her with 78 suited for one pair with a gutshot and missed. This gave Kathy enough chips to start bullying and she was able to mostly keep building.

Kathy Liebert kept building her chips

Steve "Chainsaw" Dempsey finished 15th

I saw an interesting battle between Chau Vu and Frank Khadivi. Chau got very short stacked at one point, and chose to shove when Frank was in the big blind. Frank snap-folded. So on the next orbit, Chau did it again. Frank snap-folded again. Chau moved in quite a few times on Frank's blinds. So what did Frank do? He just sat there, complained, and took longer and longer to fold. It seemed like he was trying to fold his way to the TV six, but it didn't work. Chau ran over Frank, and more than doubled his stack by stealing Frank's blinds. Frank busted in 13th.

A few well-known players were still in, but not for long. Vivek Rajkumar and Amnon Filippi were knocked out in 16th and 12th places. Steve Brecher and Freddy Bonyadi were also still in.

Amnon Filippi looking confident

Steve Brecher, who has the reputation of being really tight, got involved in a massive pot against Freddy Bonyadi. They got it all-in preflop, Steve showed AA, Freddy showed KK, Steve doubled up and Freddy was drastically crippled. This gave Steve a huge chip lead, with over 2.4 million. Freddy busted out a little later in 9th.

It was two tables of four now, and it took more than 2.5 hours before they combined into the final table of seven. At 11:40pm, John Monnette busted out, everyone moved to table 1, and us railbirds hunkered down for a long, bitter deathmatch on the TV bubble. But, just like at Commerce, the TV bubble burst instantly, on the first hand of final table play! It must have taken 15 minutes to move everyone and color up the 1K chips. And 60 seconds after the cards hit the felt we were done for the night. Michael Kamran busted in 7th.

Tomorrow: the TV table...

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