Alan Sternberg beats Sexton and Matusow to WPT Bay 101 title

Alan Sternberg beats Sexton and Matusow to WPT Bay 101 title

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Alan Sternberg has been crowned WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event. The New Yorker fought off the challenges of big names Mike Sexton, Vivek Rajkumar and Mike Matusow to claim the first prize of just over $1m.

Tony Dunst had taken Mike Sexton's usual place in the commentary box but alas for the 'voice of the WPT' his stay at the final table didn't last long. A short stacked Sexton looked in good shape when his KQ shove came up against Mike Matusow's KJ but a Jack on the river sent him to the rail.

Casey McCarrell was the next to go followed by Vivek Rajkumar. Rajkumar had earlier won a huge pot after rivering quad queens to beat Sternberg's flopped set that turned into a full house. The 2008 WPT Borgata winner couldn't keep the momentum going though and departed after running KJ into Steven Kelly's KQ.

That left Mike Matusow alongside Sternberg and Steven Kelly. The Mouth's hope of adding a WPT bracelet to the four WSOP equivalents stalled when his 1.3m 9-2 shove with the blinds at 40,000/80,000 and a 10,000 ante was called by Strenberg's KQ. A queen on the flop took the pot but Matusow can feel pleased with his best tournament performance in a long time. $369,800 won't hurt either.

Sternberg and Kelly held almost identical stacks at the start of heads up play but Sternberg soon took control, winning a couple of significant pots. He kept the pressure thereafter but needed a bit of luck to eventually seal the title. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 and a 60,000 ante Kelly, holding a stack of 2.25m, raised to 240,000. Sternberg, holding a big chip lead came over the to and went all in. Kelly made the call and revealed A-Q putting him nicely ahead of Sternberg's 10-8.

A Q-8-7 flop gave both players a pair and Kelly remained in front with another 7 on the turn. He looked set to double up as long as he avoided one of the two remaining 8s. Sure enough the 8 appeared on the river giving Sternberg a full house and with it the $1,039,000 first prize. Kelly had to settle for $595,300 for his runner up finish.

The final table positions and payouts were as follows:

1st: Alan Sternberg - $1,039,000
2nd: Steven Kelly - $595,300
3rd: Mike Matusow - $369,800
4th: Vivek Rajkumar - $295,800
5th: Casey McCarrel - $221,800
6th: Mike Sexton - $148,000

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