The $7,500 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star is underway and will be swiftly followed by WPT Rolling Thunder next week – stages 2 and 3 in the new “WPT California Swing” that includes last week’s WPT LA Poker Classic – won by Daniel Strelitz.
The 2016 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event drew a record field of 753 entries creating a $5,346,300 prize pool. German student Stefan Schillhabel took it down for $1,298,000, his very first major poker tournament title after outlasting the huge field and a stacked final table.
The $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event starts March 11. The dates for the overall poker festival, which is being held at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, are March 8-15. PCA champion Harrison Gimbel (pictured right) won last year’s event, beating Mohsin Charania heads-up for his first WPT title. There were 409 players with Gimbel taking $275,112 for first. The Florida native was fourth in the same event two years ago.
In addition to the $3,500 Rolling Thunder Main Event, the schedule also includes a $250k guarantee deep stack event, a one-day $100k guarantee NL tourney and “The Knockout” bounty event with $1,100 buy-in and £500 bounties.
Since 2004, the World Poker Tour has had a late winter swing through the state of California, starting with L.A. Poker Classic in Los Angeles followed closely by the Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose When WPT Rolling Thunder was added to the tour in 2014, the WPT formalized this segment of the tour as the “WPT California Swing,” offering a Grand Prize to the player who accumulates the most WPT Cali Swing points during the three California stops.