By Arnold Warner
Just before COVID-19 shut down most of the world, including Northern California’s casinos, Bay 101 Casino managed to complete the 23rd Annual Shooting Star tournament series.
The $5,200 buy-in Main Event had 290 entries and a prize pool of $1,331,000. There were 40 bounty players for $2,000 each and both Day 1 chip leaders received $5,000.
It was scheduled for four days, but due to the lower than usual number of entries and the impending crisis they finished it up in just two. In the end, 10 players agreed to an independent chip model (ICM) chop.
Craig Varnell was named the champion as chip leader. He took home the trophy and $159,710. The other nine were Kristen Bicknell ($141,520), Navin Mohan ($132,780), Tyler Patterson ($113,860), Anshul Kulshrestha ($101,430), Michael Tureniec ($91,180), John Andress ($88,800), Anthony Zinno ($55,600), Anthony Spinella ($50,000) and Lexy Gavin ($41,0060).
Varnell, Bicknell and Patterson were bounty players, so they also collected their own bounties.
Before the Main Event Bay 101 also held tournaments with $1,100 and $2,100 buy-ins.
The $1,100 event had 216 entries for a $216,000 prize pool. After a two-way chop was arranged, the winner was Nicky Vu who received $48,720 and the trophy. Second place was Dustin Wood, whose share was $40,170. Filling out the top five were Danny Qutami ($22,140), Wilson Chan ($13,470) and Hieu Le ($10,400).
The middle event ($2,100) had 77 entries and $214,150 in prize money. It also ended in a two-way chop, with Darren Elias named the victor. He claimed the trophy and $60,700. Danny Wong was the runner up, getting $53,870. They were followed by Tristan Shi ($26,130), Florian Duta ($17,670) and Francis Cervantes ($13,380).