After 119 players advanced from Day 1A of the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, 145 players navigated their way through Day 1B yesterday. The second starting flight saw 445 entries push the total number of entries over the 800-player mark, ballooning the prize pool over $5,700,000 and setting a Bay 101 record.
When the dust settled in Day 1B, it was Stephen Graner holding the overall chip lead, with four players besting Eddy Sabat’s Day 1A mark of 265,000. Graner finished with 332,000, thanks to some big hands against Shooting Star James Calderaro.
The former EPT champion won’t be resting on his laurels heading into today’s Day 2 session though, as he told the WPT, “Lot of work to be done.” after bagging last night.
Graner isn’t wrong, as Day 2 will play from 264 players down to the final 36. That long day will include some of the world’s biggest names that advanced from Day 1B, including Super High Roller Bowl champion Rainer Kempe. Fresh off an ARIA Super High Roller win, Kempe bagged a top-five stack yesterday and will return for Day 2 with 284,000.
Mike Sexton, who is fresh off a 4th place finish at the WPT’s last stop in Los Angeles, advanced, along with Shooting Stars Lon McEachern, Bruce Buffer and Jesse Sylvia. Shooting Stars that failed to get through the day included last year’s California Swing winner Ankush Mandavia, three-time WPT Champion Carlos Mortensen, Tony Dunst, Ema Zajmovic and Poker Central Ambassador Antonio Esfandiari.
Esfandiari was a hot topic before play began, after he and Joe Hachem bought a fan into the Main Event, and then during play, after he played a massive pot with Ronnie Bardah. Despite winning that hand to move near the chip lead, Esfandiari was unable to find a bag.
Those that did find a bag though will be competing for a massive prize pool. In total, $5,722,600 is up for grabs and there is $1,373,000 waiting for the eventual champion. 81 players will get paid and the Day 2 field will play into the money today.
Day 2 of the Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event begins at 12 PM PST and live updates can be found on WPT.com.