The final table of the 2011 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship found Alan Sternberg walking away with the $1,039,000 in prize money but he had a full-fledged battle on his hands to get to that point. The final table had two 'Shooting Stars' competing for a title, Mike Matusow and Mike Sexton. Mike Sexton normally sits in the announcer's booth as the WPT Final Table Championship unfolds but this time he was at the table with chips in front of him. WPT Raw Deal analyst Tony Dunst stepped into the announcer's booth next to Vince Van Patten and another piece of poker history was written, this was a World Poker Tour first.
Matusow is the one that busted Sexton - Sexton started the table short stacked. “It was a lot of fun making my first WPT open final table,” said Sexton. “I only wish I had more chips when I got there. I look forward to playing in the upcoming Indiana and Florida WPT events. And hopefully, I’ll get to another final table. I must say it is even more fun playing on the green felt than being in the booth.”
Matusow picked up a $5,000 bounty when he busted Sexton and got an autographed "I busted Mike Sexton" shirt. What goes around does come around and Alan Sternberg picked up the bounty and Matusow's shirt when he busted Matusow out in 3rd place.
When Alan Sternberg and Steven Kelly entered heads-up play they were almost even in chips but after a long, grueling battle it came down to Sternberg's 10-8 against Kelly’s A-Q on a board that ran out Q-8-7-7-8. Alan Sternberg made his own poker history winning $1,039,000 and a $25,000 seat in May’s WPT World Championship at Bellagio in Las Vegas, a WPT bracelet, and Bay 101 trophy.
“I came in feeling pretty comfortable with my position but my seat draw was not good. I had a plan and I stuck to it and it worked out really well,” said Sternberg. “It was an honor to play with Mike Sexton. Mike Matusow is interesting to play with. I had played with them both yesterday and had an idea of how they played. This was my 4th WPT tournament but I never cashed. Glad it was this one I cashed and won.”
A must mention - just two weeks ago Vivek Rajkumar finished second at the Los Angeles Poker Classic and his 4th place finish in this event gives him impressive back-to-back final table appearances.
The Final Table Standings:
1. Alan Sternberg, $1,039,000 2. Steven Kelly, $595,300 3. Michael Matusow, $369,800 4. Vivek Rajkumar, $295,800 5. Casey McCarrel, $221,800 6. Mike Sexton, $148,000