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Billy Baxter

by Lizzy Harrison |  Published: Apr 09, 2008

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Billy Baxter turned the phrase professional poker player into a legitimate job title decades ago when he stood up to the Internal Revenue Service. In William E. Baxter v. the United States, a Nevada judge ruled that Baxter's gambling income was not unearned income (which could be heavily taxed). The judge decided that Baxter had earned his poker winnings and that they should be taxed as any other earned income would be. Baxter has made his living as a professional poker player to this day, in part thanks to that landmark decision. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.


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