03/10/2012 : KIM OVER THE MOON AT 101 SHOOTING STAR POKER
 
Californian pro the best of 364 entrants
 
Californian poker pro Moon Kim is $960,900 wealthier this weekend, having taken down the World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star main event in San Jose, besting an entry field of 364 top players. Along with the big money goes a $25,000 seat in the WPT Championship later this year
 
Kim started the final table among the average chip stacks, well over a milllion chips behind leader Erik Cajelais (3,640,000) and facing Joseph Elpayaa, Joe Serock, Ubaid Habib and Andrew Badecker, but he didn't stay there for long, advancing with disciplined play and the right measure of aggression when it was required.
 
When Joe Serock busted out in third place, it was Kim and Ubaid Habib facing each other in the heads up, with the latter tending to dominate initially but fail at the death, leaving with the runner up prize of $570,200.
 
The $10,000 buy in World Poker Tour Shooting Star main event has an interesting format that generates plenty of railbird entertainment.
 
Each table starts with at least one “Shooting Star,” usually a well-known professional player, who has a bounty on his or her head. When a player eliminates a Shooting Star the reward is $5,000, an autographed bounty T-shirt and a photo with the pro.
 
The event also pays out a daily $10,000 to the chip leader at the end of each day's action over the two start days.
 
The action starts out with one-hour levels on the first day, escalating to 90-minute levels as the tournament progresses. Once the entry field has been whittled down to 36 competitors, play changes from standard nine-handed to six-handed, staying in that format until the end.
 
At 364, this year's entry field was well short of 2011's registration of 415, but it still managed to provide a prize pool of almost $3.5 million.