Poker Coverage:

Alan Sternberg Wins WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star

Steven Kelly Finishes Second at Tough Final Table


Alan Sternberg. Credit: Matt SavageThe 2011 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event came to a close early Saturday morning in San Jose, California, and the man left standing at the end was Alan Sternberg.

Sternberg outlasted a tough final table of 285 hands en route to capturing the prestigious title and $1,039,000 in prize money.

Despite lacking the poker résumé of some of the other players at the star studded final table, Sternberg was a force to be reckoned with, remaining near the top of the chip counts through most of the match.

However, at one point at the final table Sternberg was the victim of a massive cooler versus Vivek Rajkumar, who was making his second WPT final table this month.

The action in the hand started when Sternberg raised from the small blind to 63,000, and Rajkumar three-bet from the big blind to 160,000. Sternberg went into the tank before eventually calling.

The flop came ASpade Suit 6Club Suit 5Heart Suit, and Sternberg checked. Rajkumar bet 105,000, and Sternberg check-raised to 277,000. Rajkumar called, and the turn brought the QDiamond Suit. Sternberg fired 475,000, and Rajkumar called again. The QClub Suit fell on the river, and Sternberg shoved. Rajkumar insta-called with pocket queens for quads, while Sternberg was forced to muck his full house with the 6Diamond Suit 6Spade Suit.

Despite becoming the short stack after the brutal hand, Sternberg never lost focus, and eventually rebuilt his chip stack to contend for, and eventually take, the title.

Here are the final results:

1. Alan Sternberg — $1,039,000
2. Steven Kelly — $595,300
3. Mike Matusow — $369,800
4. Vivek Rajkumar — $295,800
5. Casey McCarrel — $221,800
6. Mike Sexton — $148,000

Here are the elimination hands:

Mike Sexton Eliminated in 6th Place ($148,000)

Mike Matusow raised to 55,000 on the button, and Mike Sexton moved all in from the small blind for about 200,000. Matusow called with the KHeart Suit JDiamond Suit and was in bad shape against the KClub Suit QSpade Suit of his opponent.

However, the board ran out AHeart Suit 8Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit 2Heart Suit JClub Suit, as Matusow came from behind to eliminate Sexton in heartbreaking fashion. Matusow collected Sexton’s $5,000 bounty, while the WPT commentator walked out with a six-figure score.

Casey McCarrel Eliminated in 5th Place ($221,800)

Vivek Rajkumar raised from the button to 55,000, Steven Kelly three-bet from the small blind to 140,000, and Casey McCarrel shoved from the big blind for 331,000. Rajkumar folded, and Kelly called with the JClub Suit 10Spade Suit. McCarrel exposed the AHeart Suit QHeart Suit and was ahead.

The board ran out 10Heart Suit 6Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit KHeart Suit 7Club Suit, and McCarrel was gone. Kelly added to his big stack with the elimination.

Vivek RajkumarVivek Rajkumar Eliminated in 4th Place ($295,800)

Vivek Rajkumar moved all in from the button for 750,000, and Steven Kelly reshoved from the small blind. Kelly tabled the KHeart Suit QClub Suit and was in great shape against the KDiamond Suit JClub Suit of Rajkumar.

The board fell A Club Suit 3 Club Suit 2 Heart Suit 7Diamond Suit 10Heart Suit, and Kelly scooped the pot to eliminate Rajkumar at his second WPT final table in about two weeks.

Mike Matusow Eliminated in 3rd Place ($369,800)

Alan Sternberg raised to 180,000 from the button, and Mike Matusow moved all in from the big blind for 1,380,000. Sternberg called with the KHeart Suit QHeart Suit and was ahead of the 9Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit of Matusow.

The board ran out QDiamond Suit 10Club Suit 6Diamond Suit 4Diamond Suit 2Heart Suit, and Sternberg eliminated Matusow in third place, collecting the $5,000 bounty in the process.

Steven KellySteven Kelly Eliminated in Second Place, Alan Sternberg Wins the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star ($1,039,000)

Steven Kelly raised to 240,000, and Alan Sternberg moved all in. Kelly called for his tournament life with the ASpade Suit QClub Suit and was in the lead against the 10Spade Suit 8Spade Suit of Sternberg.

The board ran out QDiamond Suit 8Heart Suit 7Heart Suit 7Spade Suit 8Club Suit, giving Sternberg the hand on the river in dramatic fashion. Kelly finished in second, earning $595,300 as consolation after a brutal river card.

In addition to the $1 million, Sternberg won a WPT bracelet, a Bay 101 trophy, and a $25,500 entry into the season-ending WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in May. Not bad for someone who entered into the event via a satellite.