2017 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event Day 1B: Stephen Graner Makes Waves



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The two starting flights of the ever-popular World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star are in the books and it is Stephen Graner who has a slight chip advantage over Charlie Carrel for the tournament’s pole position. With 332,700 and 320,800 chips, respectively, Graner and Carrel are the only two players in the event with more than 300,000 chips.

According to the WPT.com report, Graner was not only the center of attention on Day 1B because of his chip stack, but also because of how he got to that point. Graner sat at the featured table all day Tuesday and knocked out two of the Shooting Star players – Ari Engel and James Calderaro – earning their bounties. Graner has already profited from the tournament with $5,000 in bounties and the $10,000 chip leader bonus, but he has no intention of relaxing.

One of the more interesting hands for Graner came against Calderaro. As WPT.com reports it (with information received from players at the table), the intrigue started right away, when Graner raised pre-flop from middle position to 8,400 chips. This raised eyebrows as the big blind was just 1,200 chips and a 7x big blind opening raise from that position is quite unorthodox. Typically, there is no need to risk that many chips with no challengers. As such, people thought it was a “mis-click,” a term derived from online poker, when a player accidentally clicks the wrong button to make a bet (or fold, as the case may be) that he did not intend to make. Obviously, nobody can really mis-click in a live game, but people do sometimes miscount their chips or don’t realize they are putting out the wrong denomination.

Calderaro called and the two men saw a flop of K-5-3. Graner bet 13,000 at that point and Calderaro called again. On the 9 flop, Graner kept going, betting 24,000, followed by a Calderaro call. When a Queen landed on the river, Graner moved all-in. Calderaro tanked for nearly ten minutes, his remaining 65,000 chips at risk.

Calderaro eventually folded, informing the table he had A-K and just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Graner teased him, asking him if he folded “the worst bluff ever.”

Calderaro asked Graner to show what he had, but Graner didn’t. Calderaro felt that meant that Graner actually had the winning hand and just wanted to make him think he was bluffing.

Afterward, Graner gave mixed signals to WPT.com, saying, “It was not a misclick, I just did not say anything when they were talking about it.”

But he added, “It’s hard for me to have something there.”

There were a total of 806 entries for the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event, a record for this tournament. A $5,722,600 prize pool was generated; 81 players will make the money with first place receiving $1,373,000.

The 264 remaining players will resume play at noon Pacific time.

2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

1.    Stephen Graner – 332,700
2.    Charlie Carrel –     320,800
3.    Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4.    Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5.    Zach Hyman – 255,000
6.    Michael Rocco – 201,700
7.    Jon Turner – 187,200
8.    Chino Rheem – 174,700
9.    Bryan Piccioli – 170,100
10.    Tom Schneider – 168,100

2017 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star Main Event – Combined Day 1 Chip Leaders

1.    Stephen     Graner – 332,700
2.    Charlie Carrel – 320,800
3.    Igor Yaroshevskyy – 286,200
4.    Rainer Kempe – 284,300
5.    Eddy Sabat – 265,600
6.    Zach Hyman – 255,000
7.    Sergio Aldo – 242,500
8.    Sinisa Eimek – 235,400
9.    Eduazols Kudzjavcevs – 235,000
10.    Justin Young – 231,000

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