2009 Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship Recap
March 21, 2022
Day 1A

The first day of the 2009 $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship began Monday, March 16th, with 136 registered Day 1A players. 86 of those players did not survive, including numerous top pros with $5,000 bounties on their heads, a.k.a. “Shooting Stars.” Some of the “Stars” eliminated on Day 1A included David Singer, Andy Bloch, Erik Seidel, Jerry Yang, John Juanda, Lee Watkinson, Phil Hellmuth, Jamie Gold, Marco Traniello, Todd Brunson, Mike Matusow, Robert Williamson III and Layne Flack. “Shooting Stars” fortunate enough to still be in the mix by the end of the day included Annie Duke, Hoyt Corkins, Erick Lindgren, Kenny Tran and PokerRoad Radio’s Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok. Day 1B
Tuesday’s Day 1B attracted 256 entrants before summarily dismissing all but 95 of them during a wildly fast day of action. Day 1B’s attendance was nearly double that of Day 1A’s, and together they created a full field of 391 players and a total prize pool worth over $3,700,000. Once again the field was littered with “Shooting Stars,” many of which were dispatched early, leaving barely more than a signed T-shirt to show they competed at all. Some of the “Stars” eliminated during Day 1B included Nenad Medic, Jennifer Tilly, Ted Forrest, Antonio Esfandiari, David Williams, David Chiu, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, John Phan, Phil Laak, Nam Le, Scotty Nguyen, Barry Greenstein, Michael Binger, J.C. Tran, Chau Giang, Jeff Madsen and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Of the 95 surviving players, the “Shooting Star” pros that did pull through included Brandon Cantu, T.J. Cloutier, Howard Lederer, Allen Cunningham and All Strategy’s Daniel Negreanu. Another pro who made it past Day 1B was Isaac “WestmenloAA” Baron, who finished Day 1B first in chips - good for a $10,000 chip leader bonus.

Day 2

Day 2 of the Bay 101 was responsible for eliminating all but 36 players, bursting the money bubble, and sending all but four of the remaining “Shooting Star” players to the rail. The last four were Kathy Liebert, Hoyt Corkins, Paul Wasicka and Joe Sebok. Of the four, Joe would have to begin Day 3 with the biggest hill to climb. His 116,500 in chips were the shortest stack of all the remaining “Shooting Stars” and significantly below the average at the time. Some other players still in contention included Amnon Filippi, Matt Lessinger, Freddy Bonyadi and Sebok’s “Favorite Little Online Guy” Vivek Rajkumar.

Day 3

Only six players remained by the end of Day 3 and of those six only one “Shooting Star” still hadn’t signed a T-shirt. Sadly that final bounty wasn’t PokerRoad’s Sebok, nor was it Wasicka, or even Corkins, none of who were even able to crack the top twenty. No, the final “Shooting Star” was the “PokerKat” herself, Kathy Liebert, at the time sitting in fourth place overall.

Final Table

The final six players of the Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship were Chris Moore (1,476,000), Thao Le (711,000), Steve Brecher (2,016,000), Tony Behari (2,046,000), Kathy Liebert (1,180,000), and Chau Vu (352,000)

After 12+ hours of play and more than 300 hands, the final table of the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship finally concluded early Saturday morning with Steve Brecher eliminating Kathy Liebert. For the victory, Brecher won over $1,000,000, an entry into the $25,000 WPT Championship and the $5,000 bounty for knocking out Liebert. Second place earned Liebert $550,000, her largest WPT cash to date and the second largest cash of her tournament career.

The final table finish positions for the 2009 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship were as follows :

1. Steve Brecher $1,025,500  
2. Kathy Liebert $550,000  
3. Chris Moore $291,500  
4. Tony Behari $2,347,000  
5. Thao Le $180,000  
6. Chau Vu $135,000
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