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Brecher sucks out Bay 101 win
Steve Brecher walked away with the 2009 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star title in San Jose early Saturday morning.
On the way there, the retired software developer-turned-Farzad Bonyadi's kings.
He came into the final six in a dead heat for the chip lead with Bay Area resident Tony Behari.
When things got rolling just after 4 p.m. Friday, short-stacked locals Chau Vu and Thao Le got out of the way early before Behari ran a naked bluff into a Liebert full house to give away his share of the chip lead.
This set up a three-way battle for the title between Brecher, Liebert and 2008 Wynn Classic champ Chris Moore.
After sucking out on Liebert by turning a straight holding ace-queen against ace-king all-in preflop, Brecher took care of Chris Moore making a flush against his unconnected big slick and waltzed into heads-up with Liebert holding a 2.5-1 chip lead.
The final table took a WPT record 319 hands over more than 12 hours, but Brecher held on to book the win.
"I'm ecstatic. I'm not really that much of an animated guy, but I'd be much more animated now if I hadn't just played twelve and a half hours," he said.
Born in San Diego and raised in Queens, N.Y., Brecher plays an extremely tight-aggressive style and is well-known as a tournament structure aficionado.
"He's always one of the most critical people when it comes to structures," said renowned tournament director Matt Savage. "He's a structure buff."
Brecher said he spends a lot of time analyzing and comparing blinds and antes using spreadsheets and graphs, and praised Savage and his relatively deep structure at Shooting Star.
"I love it," he said. "Not everybody does, it depends on your style, but it's just perfect for me. I love deep-stacked poker and for a four-day event, this is just a fantastic structure."
Having knocked on the door of a major tournament win before, Brecher said the difference this time was a combination of concentration and luck.
"I was just able to stay focused and keep out of trouble," he said. "On occasions in the past I have made dumb plays and I was able to avoid that this time.
"I was able to play my A-game, which, with a little bit of luck, was good enough to win."
To see details on how it all played out at Bay 101, visit the Live Tournaments section.