The second stop in the World Poker Tour’s California Swing is the $7,500 Bay 101 Shooting Star at the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose. The tournament is a favorite for locals and pros alike, often with the rail three people deep, sweating the 54 “Shooting Stars” that come with a $2,500 bounty.
In addition to the bounties, there is a $10,000 cash bonus for the Day 1A and 1B chip leader. The buzz from the local fans is well-known on the Tour. “I’ve never seen poker fandom match the enthusiasm you see at Bay 101,” said Tony Dunst, WPT Host and player.
Maria Ho is returning for her fifth consecutive year as a Shooting Star. “It’s always on or around my birthday but it’s such a unique and fun tournament that I never miss it,” she said. “I final tabled last year so hoping to do even better this time around.”
Chance Kornuth was named as a bounty for the first time in his career. “I’m not sure if I like yet, I’ve only been a bounty once before in a Jacksonville event,” Kornuth said. He still has the shirts from when he busted Joe Kuether and JC Tran from previous years.
The honor of being tapped wasn’t lost on relative newcomer and recent WPT Playground Champ Ema Zajmovic. “I’m really grateful that the WPT gave me a spot among all those poker icons,” she said. “I’m really excited for the event and the amazing opportunities these days.”
Along with the cash bonus, each Shooting Star has a custom shirt with their face on it that goes to the player that knocked them out. Most of the time it’s an autograph and a handshake, but Todd Brunson’s bust to Jordan Young in 2011 made for classic photograph.
Here’s the list of the 54 Shooting Stars for 2017:
Vince Van Patten