Amateur Moon Kim Wins WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star

Moon Kim
Moon Kim (Photo courtesy of the WPT)

Overcoming a final table brimming with tough talent, amateur poker player Moon Kim became the latest World Poker Tour champion at the Bay 101 Shooting Star this weekend.

A local San Jose player who won his way into the event in a $1,000 satellite, Kim walked away with almost a million dollars.

This year’s Shooting Star attracted 364 players and boasted a prize pool of nearly $3.5 million.

Moon Kim received $960,900 for first place, including a seat in the WPT Championship worth $25k.

Continuing the Shooting Star tradition of big-name bounties were 47 players who carried a price on their head.

But for the first time in this event’s history not a single Shooting Star made it to the final table.

Players like Daniel Negreanu, Freddy Deeb and Barry Greenstein all fell on the way to the finale, conceding their $5k bounty and a novelty tee-shirt to their eliminators.

Despite losing those 47 poker stars, Kim had a stacked roster to overcome at the final table.

Amateur Night at WPT Bay 101

Four of the spots at this year's Shooting Star final table were occupied by professionals, and leading that list in terms of chips and star power was French-Canadian Erik Cajelais.

Joe Serock
Joe Serock finished third for $320,400.

This was Cajelais’ second WPT final table, having finished second in the Turks and Caicos in Season 6, but the win would once again elude him.

The final table was a marathon, lasting 218 hands. That’s more than twice as long as the recent LA Poker Classic finale.

It took 113 hands but the first player out at the Bay 101 final table was Joe Elpayaa, sent packing by WSOP bracelet winner Andrew Badecker.

Badecker followed him out the door shortly after, losing a big race with A-K against Moon Kim’s pocket fours.

Cajelais went broke at the hands of Ubaid Habib in fourth place and live tournament circuit fixture Joe Serock was next out, also losing a preflop all-in flip against Moon Kim.

Outlasting all the pros was Kim’s fellow amateur Ubaid Habib.

The match was decided when Kim shoved all-in with a flopped flush draw, and Habib called with top pair. Kim’s flush draw came in on the river and made his victory official.

Here are the full final table payouts.

  • 1st: Moon Kim - $960,900 (includes $25,500 WPT World Championship seat)
  • 2nd: Ubaid Habib - $570,200
  • 3rd: Joe Serock - $320,400
  • 4th: Erik Cajelais - $256,300
  • 5th: Andrew Badecker - $192,300
  • 6th: Joseph Elpayaa - $128,200
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