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Duhamel Charging as WPT Bay 101 Hits Final 20
A long day at the tables at the WPT Bay 101 has cut the field from 150 players to just 20 with Scott Baumstein on top but the hottest player in poker, Jonathan Duhamel, in the top six and gaining.
Baumstein, a veteran tourney pro with three-quarters of a million in career earnings, bagged up 1.3 million in chips to take the outright lead into Day 3 in San Jose, just ahead of Andrew Badecker with 1.1 million.
Moon Kim (1 million), Joe Elpayaa (861,000) and Erik Cajelais (807,000) round out the top five.
The name in sixth, however, should have the rest of the field worried.
Already on a notable heater to start 2012 with over $1.2 million in cashes, 2010 Main Event champ Duhamel has positioned himself for another huge score.
Starting slowly and struggling to win a pot, Duhamel turned it around and went on a major run late in the day, eliminating both David Pham and fellow Shooting Star Jason Mercier to cap it off and put himself in position for yet another final table.
Duhamel finished Day 2 with 751,000 to be the highest-ranking Shooting Star remaining and safely in the top six.
19 Shooting Stars Cut to Just 2
An event centred around its Shooting Stars has lost almost all of them with just Duhamel and JC Tran remaining as $5k bounties.
Tran is in serious trouble though as he’ll have the second-shortest stack to begin Day 3 at 145,000.
Other top players still in contention include Taylor von Kriegenbergh (737,000), Joe Serock (647,000) and 2011 WSOP Bracelet winner Amir Lehavot (376,000).
Marko Trapani Jr., whose late father helped create the Bay 101 Shooting Star concept, is also still in contention with 257,000.
Money Bubble Hits at 36, Mercier Cut Down
16 of the players who hit the rail today at least got to take a little money with them (outside of any bounties).
Josh Arieh (22nd - $22,420), Men "The Master" Mguyen (23rd - $23,420), Tommy Vedes (26th - $19,200), Jason Mercier (27th - $19,200) and Allen Cunningham (28th - $19,200) went the deepest.
Veteran pro Kathy Liebert was the true money bubble, finishing in 37th.
Action resumes six-handed at noon (PT) today with the playdown to the final six.
Follow the live updates with the WPT reporting team here or watch the feature table streaming live at Bay101Live.com.