Bay 101 Casino News

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The 2020 running of the Bay 101 Shooting Star $5,200 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event drew 290 entries, building a $1,331,000 prize pool despite the growing concerns around the country regarding the spread of COVID-19. The field was narrowed down to stacked final ten that were set to return on Friday, March 13 to play down to a winner. Before play resumed, though, the remaining players negotiated a ten-way chop of the remaining prize pool based on ICM numbers. The Casino’s live bloggers covering the event explained that the decision was “due to circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus.”

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World Poker Tour champion and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Craig Varnell held the chip lead at the time the deal was made, and was awarded the largest payout of $159,710 and the title. The score brought his career earnings to $2,643,430.

  1. After years of legal battles between San Jose and the Bay 101 casino, the City Council voted 10-1 Sept. 22 to approve a 2020 settlement agreement and put a series of suits to bed. Most notably, Bay 101 sued the city in 2013 for charging “unconstitutionally excessive” fees.
  2. 1788 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95112 ♣ 408.451.8888.

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Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell was second in chips when the deal was made, and was awarded $141,520 as the second-place finisher in the final results listings. The cash was enough to see Bicknell surpass $5 million in career live tournament earnings, making her only the third female player to ever do so behind Vanessa Selbst and Kathy Liebert. After the deal was made, she took to Twitter to note how tough the situation was to assess.

Bay 101 Casino News

Every March, Bay 101 Casino has been home to the legendary Shooting Star a World Poker Tour Event. Bay 101 Casino Looks To Move Closer To New Competition Redwood City Restaurant Goes Virtual In Effort To Survive COVID ShutdownWith the shelter-in-place likely to be extended, some businesses are.

One of the strangest chop situations I could have imagined. Would have loved to play it out and personally don't think ending play at this point would reduce any possible spread, but I could be wrong

Bay 101 Casino San Jose News

— Kristen Bicknell (@krissyb24poker) March 13, 2020

Bay 101 Casino News

Bicknell also Tweeted that it was, “Unfortunate to not play this out, I hope all are safe and well! Thanks to [Bay 101 Casino] and [Tournament Director Matt Savage] for hosting another great event and handling this the best that they could.”

There were plenty of other highly accomplished players who were involved in the deal, including WPT and WSOP winner Tyler Patterson, who took home $113,860 for fourth place. Patterson described the result as a “Covid-19 induced ICM chop” on Twitter.

Swedish poker pro Michael Tureniec was awarded $91,180 as the sixth-place finisher, while three-time WPT champion and two-time bracelet winner Anthony Zinno cashed for $55,600 as the eighth-place finisher. Bracelet winner and two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Anthony Spinella earned $50,000 for ninth place, while Lexy Gavin earned her largest career cash of $41,060 for tenth place.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded to the final ten:

RankPlayerChipsPOY Points
1 Craig Varnell $159,710 912
2 Kristen Bicknell $141,520 760
3 Navin Mohan $132,780 608
4 Tyler Patterson $113,860 456
5 Anshul Kulshrestha $101,430 380
6 Michael Tureniec $91,180 304
7 John Andress $88,800 228
9 Anthony Zinno $55,600 152
9 Anthony Spinella $50,000 76
10 Alexis Gavin $41,060 0

Winner photo via Bay 101 News’s tournament blog.

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Bay 101 New Location

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Work was underway Wednesday at San Jose’s two cardrooms, Bay 101 and Casino M8trix, to prepare for outdoor operations.

At Bay 101, crews were seen erecting a large, white vinyl tent directly adjacent to the main building, to house dozens of playing tables with clear plastic partitions. Electricians spent the day wiring multiple surveillance cameras above.

At Casino M8trix, also underneath a white tent, the carpeted flooring was illuminated by chandelier lights above. The length of the tent was estimated to be at least half the length of a football field.

The State of California has issued industry-specific guidelines for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • where players touch the cards, the deck must be discarded, sanitized, or set aside for 7 days after each dealer rotation
  • all chips must be washed and disinfected prior to circulation
  • all chips must be replaced after each dealer rotation
  • players who cannot maintain six feet apart must have barrier separation
  • eating at the table is prohibited, but drinks are OK

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“If there is a safe legal way for them to operate outdoors, that’s a no brainer. Absolutely,” said Raul Peralez, San Jose City Councilmember.

Because of the lockdown, San Jose has been unable to collect millions of dollars in tax revenue from the two cardrooms, and 700 employees have been laid off, according to Peralez.

“I don’t think anybody can argue that somehow that would be an essential operation that you want people to engage in. It’s not about that. It’s about the jobs, bringing back those jobs. It’s about bringing back that tax revenue for the city,” said Peralez. “And quite frankly, if it was not allowed by the state, If there wasn’t a legal, safe way to do this, we wouldn’t do it, we wouldn’t ask for it.”

Bay 101 Casino News

Johnny Heshmati, a longtime customer, has been gambling online since the lockdown. Heshmati is looking forward to playing under the new health orders.

“I think it will add a different dynamic, right? But like everything else in the world, you know we’re we’re adapting with it,” said Heshmati. “I think it’s becoming the norm now so I don’t see it really throwing a damper on the experience or affecting things. I think you know, it’ll be just fine.”

Bay 101 Casino News

Casino M8trix hopes to be open by the week of September 7. Bay 101 says it is pushing to pass inspections and reopen by the end of this week.