WPT: Cajelais, Duhamel Going Strong with 20 Left

Cajelais is one of four former WPT final tablists left in the field

Bay 101 Casino may be in the heart of Silicon Valley, but it is not the Californians who are thriving after two days of action in the World Poker Tour’s Bay 101 Shooting star Main Event.  Instead, the two big names with twenty players left are French Canadian. Jonathan Duhamel and Erik Cajelais are two of the biggest stacks left in the field with just twenty players remaining in the $10,000 buy-in event.

Duhamel was one of the 19 Shooting Star bounties to begin Day 2 action, but one of only two to survive to the end of the day.  The bounties were evenly spread out amongst the 149 Day 2 players at the start of the day, but their presence started to grow scarce as the field got close to the 36-person money bubble. A couple of coolers did Shooting Stars like Chau Giang, Scott Seiver, and Mike Matusow in while start of day big stacks like Vanessa Selbst and Michael Mizrachi saw their chips steadily dwindle as the day progressed.

By the time the field was on the money bubble, eight bounties remained and one of them would end up being the bubble girl. Kathy Liebert broke the money bubble when her A-Q fell to fellow Shooting Star Men Nguyen’s A-10. Nguyen flopped a ten and improved to a flush to bust Liebert, burst the bubble, and collect $5,000.  Nguyen would be one of the five bounties who made the money but failed to survive the day though. Nguyen busted out in 23rd place. The other bounties who finished in the money were Jason Mercier (27th), Allen Cunningham (28th), Linda Johnson (33rd), and Fabrice Soulier (35th). Other notable names who finished in the money include Josh Arieh (22nd) and Tommy Vedes (26th).

Duhamel carried a big stack through the money bubble and rarely struggled to pick up chips while the other remaining Shooting Star, JC Tran, had quite the opposite experience. At one point in the lengthy Day 2 action, Tran held the chip lead, but he hit some rough patches late in the day and barely made it through to the end. He finished with 145,000 chips, which will put him second to last in the counts heading into Day 3 action.

Marko Trapani Jr, son of late Bay 101 owner Marko Trapani, is also near the bottom of the counts, but the amateur player who took part in the event in order to honor his father’s memory is happy to continue the tradition started by his brother Chris, who took 12th in this event last year. Other notables who made it through the day include Adam Geyer (296,000), Amir Lehavot (376,000), Joe Serock (647,000), Taylor von Kriegenbergh (737,000), Cajelais (807,000), and Joe Elpayaa (861,000).

The player at the very top of the counts are a trio who finished with over a million chips. Scott Baumstein is chip leader with 1.3 million. He crossed into seven-figure territory after picking up kings when Arieh held aces, then built his stack from there. WSOP bracelet winner Andrew Badecker also picked up his chips late in the day and picked up a bounty by busting Nguyen when his jacks cracked Nguyen’s aces. Moon Kim is the other millionaire returning for Day 3. He bagged up 1,016,000.

Day 3 action will shrink the field from 20 to the final six who will return Friday for the televised final table. Action gets underway at 12pm PT.

Here are the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 2 of the Bay 10 1 Shooting Star event:

1.  Scott Baumstein – 1,301,000
2. Andrew Badecker – 1,106,000
3.  Moon Kim – 1,016,000
4. Joe Elpayaa – 861,000
5.  Erik Cajelais – 807,000
6. Jonathan Duhamel – 751,000
7. Taylor von Kriegenbergh – 737,000
8. Joe Serock – 647,000
9. Mike McClain – 537,000
10. Danny Le – 443,000

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