David Baker Wins WSOP $2,500 Eight-Game Mix
Baker Defeats Greg Mueller Heads-Up To Capture First Bracelet
After 26 previous World Series of Poker cashes and numerous close calls, David Baker won the $2,500 eight-game mix event to capture his first gold bracelet, as well as the $271,312 first-place prize and 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points, moving him into 46th place in the overall POY rankings.
“It feels amazing. I have always known that if I kept getting there and kept giving myself shots that I would run well late in a tournament.
The 39-year-old professional from Katy, Texas topped a field of 477 entrants and a stacked final table that included opponents like Chris Viox (8th – $24,188), Donnacha O’Dea (5th – $56,277), Kevin Calenzo (3rd – $106,564) and eventual runner-up Greg Mueller. Play was halted heads-up after 13 hours of play on day three, with Mueller holding 2.65 million to Baker’s 925,000.
“I was really excited to come back today, and was really confident event though he had a big chip lead on me and he is a fantastic player,” said Baker. “I really felt like if I could just win a couple pots early, I would have a really good chance of taking it home."
This was Baker’s sixth final table at the WSOP, and he utilized his familiarity with final table situations to help keep things in perspective as clawed his way back into the match.
“I think my experience really helped when I got short,” said Baker. “I really focused in on the fact that I wasn’t desperate, and I didn’t have to make marginal decisions.”
Roughly an hour after resuming play heads-up, Baker had overtook the chip lead. Within the next hour, he had won his first gold bracelet, sending Mueller to the rail in second place with $167,637 and 900 POY points, moving him into 69th place in the overall POY rankings.
“I definitely got better cards than him for the last thirty minutes. He was kind of hamstrung by his hands, and I had some really good opportunities and I finally ran good late, so I’m thrilled.”
Baker now has 74 career tournament cashes totaling $2,547,443, with scores spanning the spectrum of poker games, and seemed excited that his first bracelet came in an event that tested entrants in all the games.
“This is definitely a premiere event. Obviously the World Series of Poker [players] committee and the best players on that committee think that eight-game is the best test of poker skill, or they wouldn’t have made it the $50,000 Players Championship.”
Baker has played poker professionally for eight years now, and is happy to continue to find success in a field that he also enjoys.
“I was in sales for ten years, doing different sales things. Then I started to make more money playing poker, and having more fun. I actually love my job. I think its funny when some of the young kids say they would stop playing if they won something big. Go get a real job and then say that. I had a real job for ten years, and this is great.”
Even after taking his official winner’s photos with his newly won bracelet and completing numerous interviews, Baker appeared serene, but deeply thrilled to have won.
“This is why we get up every day and come in here, is just for an opportunity like this. You just hope to take advantage of it, and I’m just so glad I did."
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:
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|4||Phil Hellmuth Wins Pittsburgh Poker Open Main Event|
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|6||Firm Cancels Deal To Buy Revel Casino|
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|8||Man Gets Probation For Gambling Away Bank Error|
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|10||Martin Jacobson Talks About His Main Event Win|
|1||WSOP Runner-Up Hit With Huge Tax Bill|
|2||Riess Apparently Put His Money In Stocks|
|3||Phil Ivey Approved For Medical Marijuana In Vegas|
|4||Phil Ivey's 'Ivey Poker' Closes Virtual Doors|
|5||WSOP: Van Hoof Leads Final Three Players|
|6||WSOP: Mark Newhouse Eliminated In Ninth Place|
|7||Online Poker: Check Out This Interesting Ivey Hand|
|8||Poker Pro Phil Ivey Swinging Hard Online|
|9||WSOP: Billy Pappas Eliminated In Fifth Place|
|10||Jacobson Wins WSOP Main Event and $10 Million|