The 2019 Bay 101 Shooting Star $5,200 no-limit hold’em main event attracted a total of 440 entries, creating a prize pool of $2,156,000. After four days of action, Sandeep Pulusani emerged victorious with the title and the top payout of $354,400. This was the second largest score of Pulusani’s poker career, behind his win in a 2013 World Series of Poker $3,000 no-limit hold’em event for $592,684. The Huntsville, Alabama resident now has lifetime live tournament earnings in excess of $1.2 million.
In addition to the money and the title, Pulusani also earned 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second POY-qualified score of the year, and it was enough to see him climb into 27th place in the overall race standings.
The final day of the tournament saw five players return with a shot at the title, with WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood sitting atop the leaderboard when action resumed.
2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open high roller champion John Andress was the first to hit the rail, losing the majority of his stack to WSOP bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Ryan Tosoc before ultimately succumbing to Dan Shak. Andress earned $103,710 as the fifth-place finisher, while Tosoc surged into the chip lead.
Harwood was the next player to be eliminated. She got the last of her chips in with KClub SuitQDiamond Suit. Tosoc called her three-bet shove with 8Club Suit8Diamond Suit. The board ran out 10Spade Suit9Club Suit6Heart SuitKSpade Suit7Club Suit and Tosoc made a straight on the river to win the pot and bust Harwood in fourth place ($142,440).
Dan Shak got the last of his chips in holding KHeart SuitJHeart Suit on a KSpade SuitQHeart Suit5Heart Suit flop. Ryan Tosoc called to put his at risk, with KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit for top two pair. The 9Diamond Suit on the turn and JDiamond Suit on the river were no help and Shak was eliminated in third place, earning $200,055 for his deep run.
Tosoc began heads-up play with more than a 2-to-1 chip lead over Pulusani. The final two eventually struck a deal that saw them set aside $50,10 and the trophy to play for, distributing the rest of the remaining prize money based on their chip counts at the time. Pulusani locked up at least $304,300 in the deal, while Tosoc guaranteed himself $336,500.
Pulusani picked up pocket kings against Tosoc’s pocket fives and held up to double into the chip lead after the deal was made. In the final hand, the two got all-in preflop with Tosoc holding AHeart Suit9Club Suit and Pulusani the ASpade SuitAClub Suit. The flop came down ADiamond SuitQHeart Suit2Spade Suit to give Pulusani top set. The 4Spade Suit on the turn left Tosoc drawing dead, and he was knocked out in second place ($336,500).
Official Final Table Results