Graner crowns “exceptional” day at WPT Bay 101, leads for Day 2

By Mad Harper

American pro Stephen Graner spent the whole of Day 1b of the  $7,500 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event in the middle of the feature table – and remains in the spotlight as he now goes through to Day 2 with a commanding chip lead.

 

Graner, who won EPT Prague in 2014 and finished 15th in last December’s WPT Five Diamond Main Event, has 332,700. Thanks to nabbing two bounties and receiving $10,000 chip leader bonus, he has already secured $15,000 but, like all 266 players remaining, has the $1,373,000 first prize in his sights. His total live tournament winnings already total over $2 million.

 

Graner vaulted to the top of the counts after busting Ari Engel and admitted later that a great run of luck and cards had played a big part in his “exceptional” day.  “I got aces literally nine times,” he said.

 

Day 2 resumes at 12 pm noon PT tomorrow when the 266 survivors will play down to a final 36. British pro Charlie Carrel, who bagged up 320,800, is currently second in chips. Also through to Day 2 with big stacks are Igor Yaroshevskyy, Rainer Kempe and Zach Hyman while LA Poker Classic finalist and WPT veteran commentator Mike Sexton, who is aiming for a second WPT title after taking down WPT Montreal in November, is also through.

 

With 445 entries on Day 1B, it was a record field for this longstanding event. There were 806 total entries, which has resulted in a prize pool of more than $5.7 million with 81 players getting paid.

 

WPT Bay 101 will be swiftly followed by WPT Rolling Thunder – stages 2 and 3 in the new “WPT California Swing” that includes last week’s WPT LA Poker Classic – won by Daniel Strelitz. We are the tour’s Official Travel Partner so do check for hotel deals here.

Last year’s 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. Harrison Gimbel 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.