Imad Allahham Leads Big After Frantic Finish on Day 2 of Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic

Imad Allahham has a sizable advantage going into Day 3 at Bay 101, with only 36 players left in the hunt.

Imad Allahham has a sizable advantage going into Day 3 at Bay 101, with only 36 players left in the hunt.

There’s a lot that sets the Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic apart from any other live tournament out there, from the bounties, to the fans, to the seemingly far more relaxed atmosphere. It’s also known for packing a full and exciting World Poker Tour event into an abbreviated schedule.

It makes for crazy days like the one that played out Wednesday at Bay 101, a day where registration was still open leading up to the start of play and 13 hours later just 36 remained in the hunt for over $1.2 million and one of the WPT’s most coveted titles.

One player among the 269 seated when play began on Day 2 distanced himself at the close of the night, and Imad Allahham, from nearby Redwood City, is positioned well for a run at Friday’s final table. His biggest cash of note is actually a satellite win in which he earned his seat to the 2013 Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic.

Four other players put over 1 million in their bags. Taylor Paur (1,096,000) is closest to Allahham, followed by WPT Champions Club member Giacomo Fundaro (1,082,000), Eric Werner (1,060,000) and Chane Kampanatsanyakorn (1,049,000). Kampanatsanyakorn started a rush to the top in a big hand against Mike Leah just one player off the money.

Leah, who took over the top spot in the BLUFF Power Rankings this week for the first time thanks to his second place finish at the LA Poker Classic, made a game effort at a comeback only to go out to a bad beat just inside the money.

The 36 players heading into a pivotal Day 3 are a deeply talented group, one that includes 2008 BLUFF Player of the Year Sorel Mizzi, Isaac Baron, Faraz Jaka, Barry Hutter, Toby Lewis, Oliver Price, Haixia Zhang, Byron Kaverman, Are Engel, Jake Bazeley and Ryan Julius, to say nothing of three other Champions Club members in Chris Moorman, Steve Brecher and Shawn Buchanan.

Garrett Greer is the last of the WPT Ones to Watch in the field, and the only one who earned a cash. While he’ll start Day 3 towards the bottom of the chip counts, Greer’s got a chance at adding to his stellar record of late on the WPT, as well as at Bay 101 over the last couple of years.

The vast majority of those who started Day 2 can’t say the same. A wide range of Shooting Stars and former champions bit the dust before the money bubble burst, including BLUFF’s Manager of Poker Information Kevin Mathers. In his first ever opportunity as a Shooting Star, Mathers was one of the last six standing; losing a tough coinflip and running into a tough spot about 20 spots from the money eventually doomed his hopes of cashing.

Larry Wright went out on the bubble in 73rd after running pocket sevens into pocket jacks, and a cavalcade of eliminations predictably followed. Despite an already long day looking at times as if it might carry on far further into the morning hours to get down from 72 to 36, the field was halved in an efficient manner that picked up significantly in the final hour of the night.

Tom Koral (69th), David Randall (68th), Dan Kelly (67th), Kane Kalas (66th), Ravi Raghavan (60th), Adam Geyer (58th), Carlos Mortensen (52nd), Jordan Cristos (50th), Matt Affleck (48th), Dan O’Brien (47th), Justin Young (46th), Ryan D’Angelo (42nd) and finally Rep Porter (37th) were hit by the figurative executioner’s axe to bring the field down to its current composition.

Those final 36 players come back at 12 pm noon PST Thursday to another Bay 101 wrinkle – six-handed tables on playdown day. One more long day of poker stands between six of them and a spot at the Televised WPT final table.

2015 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic – End of Day 2 Chip Counts

  1. Imad Allahham – 1,717,000
  2. Taylor Paur – 1,096,000
  3. Giacomo Fundaro – 1,082,000
  4. Eric Werner – 1,060,000
  5. Chane Kampanatsanyakom – 1,049,000
  6. Abe Aboukhalil – 975,000
  7. Sorel Mizzi – 906,000
  8. Isaac Baron – 883,000
  9. Faraz Jaka – 864,000
  10. Ravee Mathi – 859,000
  11. Quan Tran – 830,000
  12. Ron Lewis – 823,000
  13. Barry Hutter – 800,000
  14. Toby Lewis – 799,000
  15. Michael Loncar – 670,000
  16. Chris Moorman – 560,000
  17. Oliver Price – 558,000
  18. Justin Kindred – 528,000
  1. Danny Wong – 464,000
  2. Haixia Zhang – 450,000
  3. Byron Kaverman – 440,000
  4. Ki Nam – 420,000
  5. Ted Bui – 416,000
  6. Ari Engel – 388,000
  7. Mike McClain – 383,000
  8. Griffin Paul – 375,000
  9. Gordon Vayo – 324,000
  10. Tom Dobrilovic – 320,000
  11. Garrett Greer – 270,000
  12. Jake Bazeley – 179,000
  13. Steve Brecher – 171,000
  14. Paul Richardson – 159,000
  15. Shawn Buchanan – 120,000
  16. David Miscikowski – 118,000
  17. Kumar Sripadam – 110,000
  18. Ryan Julius – 107,000
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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