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WPT at Bay 101 2011 Day 3
17 March 2011

Short-handed play ramped up the attrition on day 3, but only until a certain point. Each elimination raised the average chip count, and the relatively slow 2-hour blind levels allowed for plenty of play. So inevitably the average stack became deeper in relation to the blinds, and play slowed down. Exactly as Tournament Director extraordinaire Matt Savage designed things. It's a better test of player skill and endurance than some of the WPT's earlier seasons' turbo-ish blind schedules.

The deep stacks performed their duty by keeping pressure on the short stacks and stealing their blinds. While avoiding risking too many chips to the other deep stacks at the table. Until, as does happen once in while, they got cold-decked.

Vivek Rajkumar and Mike Sexton at one of the final two tables

The final table of seven featured players with vastly different ages, backgrounds, and playing styles. Vivek Rajkumar played many hands, was constantly challenging any and all opponents, and seemed to win far more than his share of showdowns. He managed to win with and without showing his cards, the best of both worlds. Mike Sexton, on his immediate left when there were three tables, had developed a super solid image. I overheard Vivek saying "There's no way Sexton is bluffing" while he discussed a hand with Matusow and friends on a break.

Mandy of the World Poker Tour hands out official paperwork to the TV six

Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, and The Royal Flush Girls had a meet-and-greet session at Sutter's Broiler. Play was interrupted to allow Mike to attent the event.

This could have been you!

Mike and Vince signed autographs and gave away t-shirts

It took a cold deck to eliminate the unfortunate TV bubble boy, Ty Reiman. He had managed to fight back against the constant bullying by the bigger stacks, but ran his tens into Mike Matusow's queens. Matusow turned a set and it was all over. Reiman took it fairly well, but he was clearly shocked and disappointed.

For the first time in nine seasons (and two or three seasons of trying), Mike Sexton will be playing instead of announcing a WPT TV table. Vivek Rajkumar has joined an elite group of players who have made back-to-back WPT TV tables, having finished 2nd at last month's WPT event at Commerce. And Mike Matusow has made his first Bay 101 Shooting Stars TV table.

Rounding out the final six are local hero Casey McCarrel, big-stack and youthful WSOP bracelet winner Steven Kelly, and the relatively unknown Alan Sternberg with the second-largest stack.

Here are your final six players in order of their official chip counts, courtesy of The World Poker Tour.

  Stack Player
  4,169,000 Steven Kelly
  3,701,000 Alan Sternberg
  2,173,000 Mike Matusow
  1,616,000 Vivek Rajkumar
  430,000 Casey McCarrel
  363,000 Mike Sexton

TV table taping starts tomorrow at about 4pm and we will be there.

Next: Bay 101 WPT TV Table...

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