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This Week's Big Winner: David ‘ODB’ Baker Earns First World Poker Tour Title At LA Poker Classic

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 10, 2019


The 2019 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event attracted a field of 546 total players to create a $5,169,270 prize pool. Over the course of five days of action at The Commerce Casino, the field was narrowed down to a final table of six players, with play halting on March 6. The final table resumed on Monday, March 11 at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas inside Luxor Hotel and Casino, the first of three delayed WPT final tables.

After more than eight hours of intense poker action, David ‘ODB’ Baker emerged victorious, capturing his first WPT title and the top prize of $1,015,000. Baker outlasted a final table that included top poker players Steve Yea, J.C. Moussa, bracelet winner John Smith, WPT champion Matas Cimbolas, and four-time WPT winner and record holder Darren Elias.

“It kind of sounds corny, but it really means so much to me,” Baker told the WPT after his win. “I’ve battled my whole life in this business, I care about this business, I care about the prestige of these things and I know some of the guys are a little too cool for school. But I’ve had a glaring omission on my resumé. I get to check off all those boxes today and I’m overjoyed.”

Baker now has more than $5.5 million in career live tournament earnings, with titles in both WPT and World Series of Poker events.

Here are the five hands that propelled Baker to the title.

Tournament: WPT LA Poker Classic
Buy-In: $10,000
No. of Entries: 546
Prize Pool: $5,169,270
1st Place Prize: $1,015,000

The Action

With 22 players left in the tournament, Smith raised to 40,000 from the cutoff and Baker three-bet to 125,000 from the button. Smith then four-bet all-in for 620,000 out of turn, not realizing the blinds had yet to act. The blinds folded, making Smith’s action binding, and Baker made the call with pocket sevens. Smith had him in bad shape with pocket queens, but the board fell JSpade Suit 9Club Suit 7Diamond Suit AHeart Suit JClub Suit to give Baker a set and the winning hand. Smith banked $36,350 as he hit the payout table, while Baker climbed above the 3 million mark.

The Action

Baker raised in early position to 90,000 and Fontan responded by moving all in for 385,000 from the button. Baker called with pocket fours and was in a race situation against Fontan’s AHeart Suit JHeart Suit. The board fell KDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit 2Diamond Suit 5Spade Suit 10Heart Suit and Baker’s pocket pair held to ship him the pot. Fontan picked up $122,870 for finishing in eighth place.

The Action

After Baker raised from under-the-gun, a short-stacked Moussa pushed for just under ten big blinds from the button. The blinds folded and Baker quickly called with pocket queens. Moussa had one over card with AHeart Suit 10Club Suit, but failed to hit as the dealer produced a board reading 6Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit 3Club Suit 5Diamond Suit KClub Suit. Moussa earned $346,550 for his fourth-place run.

The Action

Cimbolas raised to 375,000 on the button and Elias raised all-in from the small blind, having both his opponents covered. Baker immediately called all-in with pocket aces, and Cimbolas folded. Elias needed help with pocket sixes, but he failed to connect as the board ran out QClub Suit 10Club Suit 5Spade Suit JDiamond Suit 3Spade Suit. The double up gave Baker nearly three-quarters of the chips in play, and left Elias short stacked. He was eliminated a few hands later in third place, pocketing $473,280.

The Action

Cimbolas limped in from the button and Baker checked his option. The flop fell AHeart Suit 10Club Suit 3Spade Suit and Baker checked. Cimbolas bet 300,000 and Baker called. The turn was the 6Heart Suit and Baker checked again. Cimbolas then bet 600,000 and Baker called. The river was the 2Heart Suit and Baker bet 10,000,000, more than enough to cover his opponent. Cimbolas used all of his allotted time and called with 10Spade Suit 5Diamond Suit for second pair. Baker held 5Club Suit 4Club Suit, however, for a runner, runner straight. Cimbolas earned $646,930 for his runner-up finish, while Baker claimed the title and the $1,015,000 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. David Baker — $1,015,000
2. Matas Cimbolas — $646,930
3. Darren Elias — $473,280
4. Jean-Claude Moussa — $346,550
5. John Smith — $267,400
6. Steve Yea — $201,650
7. James Carroll — $155,900
8. Paul Fontan — $122,870
9. Mike Meskin — $97,500