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Lonnie Hallett Wins World Series of Poker Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship

54-Year-Old Canadian Defeats Seven-Time Bracelet Winner Billy Baxter Heads-Up To Earn His First Bracelet and $765,731


The 2023 World Series of Poker $1,000 seniors no-limit hold’em championship event drew an absolutely huge field of 8,180 entries, each of whom was at least 50 years of age. From this sea of players, the last senior standing was 54-year-old Lonnie Hallett. The Canadian earned $765,731 and his first-gold bracelet for the win.

Hallett had to overcome plenty of tough competition, including two-time bracelet winner and 2014 champion of this event Dan Heimiller (3rd) and seven-time bracelet winner Billy Baxter (2nd).

This was the largest tournament payday yet for Hallett. Prior to this win, his top score had been a third-place finish in an online event on PokerStars back in January of 2021. He placed third from a field of 6,922 total entries to earn $646,189.

With his recent win at the series, Hallett now has more than $1.5 million in recorded earnings to his name.

This event took six days to complete, with two starting flights and four more days of action. The top 1,227 finishers cashed, with big names that ran deep including seven-time bracelet winner Men Nguyen (131st), bracelet winner Yue Du (103rd), bracelet winner Kevin Song (97th), World Poker Tour champion Victor Ramdin (35th), bracelet winner Jiaqi Xu (16th), and the previously mentioned Heimiller and Baxter.

The final day began with just seven players still in contention, with Heimiller in the lead and Hallett in second chip position. Rudolf Fourie (7th – $122,130) ran pocket fives into the pocket nines of Gordon Eng to hit the rail early. Hallett then scored his first knockout of the day when his 8-4 outran the A-2 of Loren Cloninger (6th – $158,006) in a battle of the blinds.

Eng’s tournament came to a brutal end when his KSpade SuitKClub Suit lost a preflop all-in against the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit of Shannon Fahey. The board brought four hearts to give Fahey a winning flush, sending Eng home in fifth place ($205,799).

Fahey was soon the one who was all-in and at risk, with her Q-9 suited flipping against the pocket sevens of Heimiller. A seven on the flop gave Heimiller a big lead with a set, and a blank on the turn left Fahey drawing dead. She earned $269,841 as the fourth-place finisher.

Heimiller and Hallett clashed in the next key pot, with all of the chips going in on a QHeart SuitJHeart Suit4Heart Suit flop. Heimiller held AHeart SuitJClub Suit for middle pair, an overcard, and the nut flush draw. Hallett had QClub Suit4Club Suit for top and bottom pair. The turn and river changed nothing and Heimiller was knocked out in this place, earning $356,166 for his podium finish. He now has more than $6.7 million in lifetime earnings after this deep run.

Heads-up play began with Hallett holding more than an 8:1 chip lead over Baxter, who was looking for his first bracelet win in more than two decades (having last come out on top at the series in a 2002 $1,500 razz event). It didn’t take long for all of the chips to get into the middle, with Baxter shoving around ten big blinds with QClub Suit2Heart Suit. Hallett called with AClub Suit8Club Suit and a 8Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit6Club Suit3Spade Suit8Spade Suit runout gave Hallett trip eights and the title. Baxter was awarded $473,212 as the runner-up finisher, the largest tournament score of his illustrious career.

Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings
1 Lonnie Hallett $765,731
2 Billy Baxter $473,212
3 Dan Heimiller $356,166
4 Shannon Fahey $269,841
5 Gordon Eng $205,799
6 Loren Cloninger $158,006
7 Rudolf Fourie $122,130
8 Ron Fetsch $95,040
9 David Sterns $74,464

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest event results. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Matthew Berglund.