David Baker Highlights Recent World Poker Tour Wins

David Baker Highlights Recent World Poker Tour Wins

The World Poker Tour has been busy with the second half of its season, as WPTDeepStacks is all over the world, and the main tour is all over the United States and in Canada and Barcelona. It’s a whirlwind for staff and players alike.

The main WPT schedule started the year in North America with two tournaments and no winners. The WPT Gardens Poker Championship played to its final table in Los Angeles, as did the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, and both put the final tables on hold to be played in March at the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas.

Those two events just played out in Las Vegas last week, along with the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, and the results are in. Also, the WPT hosted events at the Fallsview Casino Resort and Thunder Valley Casino Resort, both of which played out at their venues without any delayed final tables.

Let’s take a look at all of the results.

HyperX Final Table: WPT L.A. Poker Classic

The Los Angeles Poker Classic at Commerce Casino is one of the longest running stops on the World Poker Tour, and it is also one of the few stops that maintains a $10K buy-in. That set up these numbers:

Total entries:  546

Total prize pool:  $5,169,270

Total players paid:  69

Minimum payout:  $17,230

Day 2 whittled the field down to 108 players, and the money bubble burst on Day 3 as the field dwindled down to just 35 players. That was when David Baker took the lead, and he held it at the end of Day 4 when only 12 players remained as well. On the fifth day, James Carroll finally exited in seventh place for $155,900, setting the final table with Darren Elias in the lead and Baker in second.

They took their final table action to the Luxor in Las Vegas on March 11, with Elias seeking his fifth WPT title, Matas Cimbolas hoping for a second, and Baker wanting his first.

John Smith started by doubling through Baker. About two dozen hands later, Steve Yea tried the same through Cimbolas but failed and exited in sixth place. Cimbolas then ousted Smith in fifth place, and Baker sent Jean-Claude Moussa out in fourth. Elias kept his lead until Baker took over and soared past 10 million chips, then 11 million, and then 13 million. Cimbolas put a dent in Baker’s stack, but the latter eventually doubled through Elias to lead again. Cimbolas eliminated Elias in third place and took 6,475,000 chips into heads-up play against the 15,375,000 of Baker. Baker dominated play, but Cimbolas made it difficult until Baker hit a straight with 5-4 on a 3-A-T-6-2 board against the T-5 of Cimbolas.

1st place:  David Baker ($1,015,000)

2nd place:  Matas Cimbolas ($646,930)

3rd place:  Darren Elias ($473,280)

4th place:  Jean-Claude Moussa ($346,550)

5th place:  John Smith ($267,400)

6th place:  Steve Yea ($201,650)

HyperX Final Table: WPT Gardens Poker Championship

Most of this tournament played out in January at the Gardens Casino in Southern California, and these were the numbers that the $10K buy-in produced:

Total entries:  253

Total prize pool:  $2,428,000

Total players paid:  32

Minimum payout:  $19,120

The final table was set with Frank Stepuchin far ahead of his opponents, though Jonathan Abdellatif doubled through him in the first few rounds of play in Las Vegas. Even so, Stepuchin busted Abdellatif a few hands later. Brent Roberts doubled through Shannon Shorr, and Ray Qartomy tried the same through Stepuchin but busted in fifth place. Steve Sung doubled through Stepuchin and then through Roberts, and Shorr then ousted Roberts in fourth place. Stepuchin eliminated Sung in third place, taking 8,655,000 into heads-up against the 1.46 million of Shorr. The shorter stack finally made a move with 8-5 on a 7-5-8-A board against the A-4 of Stepuchin, but a four on the river gave Stepuchin the victory.

1st place:  Frank Stepuchin ($548,825)

2nd place:  Shannon Shorr ($355,885)

3rd place:  Steve Sung ($259,880)

4th place:  Brent Roberts ($192,465)

5th place:  Ray Qartomy ($144,595)

6th place:  Jonathan Abdellatif ($110,225)

HyperX Final Table: WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

What started on January 27 in Atlantic City as a $3,500 buy-in WPT event with a $3 million guarantee set a record for the Borgata Winter Poker Open with these numbers:

Total entries:  1,415

Total prize pool:  $4,529,415

Total players paid:  177

Minimum payout:  $6,024

When the six finalists arrived in Vegas, Dave Farah led the pack, and Vinicius Lima was on the short stack. It only took 11 hands for Ian O’Hara to push against Brandon Hall, but O’Hara lost and busted in sixth place. Lima doubled through Farah, and Hall took over the chip lead. But Lima slowly climbed into contention for the lead. Joseph di Rosa Rojas doubled through Hall, but Hall took a solid chunk of chips from Lima, though the latter doubled back through Hall. Daniel Buzgon doubled through Hall and then through Farah, but Lima then doubled through Buzgon. Lima then busted Buzgon in fifth place. Lima continued to climb to more than 25 million chips. Rojas doubled through Hall, as did Farah, and Lima sent Hall out in fourth place. Rojas doubled through Farah, though the latter was the dominating leader. Lima then busted Rojas in third place, setting up heads-up action with 22.2 million for Lima and 34.4 million for Farah. Lima was focused and strong, and Farah lost ground over the nearly 50 hands of play. Farah put it on the line with 9-5 suited, but Lima had K-J suited, and the board brought a jack and a king to give Lima the victory.

1st place:  Vinicius Lima ($728,430)

2nd place:  Dave Farah ($485,611)

3rd place:  Joseph Di Rose Rojas ($359,555)

4th place:  Brandon Hall ($268,810)

5th place:  Daniel Buzgon ($202,942)

6th place:  Ian O’Hara ($154,734)

WPT Fallsview Poker Classic

This event was held in late February at Fallsview Casino Resort in Ontario, Canada, and it offered a CA$5K buy-in tournament just across the American/Canadian border.

Before Day 1 ended, the totals were revealed with record-setting numbers:

Total entries:  602

Total prize pool:  $2,744,518

Total players paid:  76

Minimum payout:  $6,834

But by the end of Day 1, only 188 players remained, and Ben Wilinofsky led the field. Day 2 took the top 76 players into the money, and players like Ping Liu, Peter Jetten, and Darren Elias cashed. Wilinofsky took 24th place, and play ended that night with just 19 competitors remaining. Garrett Dansereau was the chip leader. As play moved forward on Day 3, it was Dansereau who ended up as the bubble boy for the official final table, busting in seventh place for $86,535. Andrew Pantling had the chip lead at that point, with Jake Schwartz in second on the leaderboard.

Wing Yeung doubled through Schwartz on the fifth hand of action, while Noeung Troeung had to leave in sixth place at the hands of James Morgan. Demo Kiriopoulos then took a massive pot from Pantling to take over the lead, though Pantling battled back for it. Pantling ultimately took a huge pot from Morgan to slide ahead again, and Morgan busted to Yeung soon after in fifth place. Kiriopoulos sent Schwartz out in fourth place a few hands later, and Yeung then doubled through Kiriopoulos to stay alive. Kiriopoulos then did the same through Pantling. Play went on for hours – before and after the dinner break – before Yeung ousted Pantling in third place on the 109th hand of the final table. Yeung took 7,805,000 chips into heads-up, but Kiriopoulos had 16,265,000 chips. Kiriopoulos dominated, but Yeung put up a fight until moving all-in with J-6 suited against pocket tens. The board brought nothing for Yeung, and Kiriopoulos nabbed his first WPT title.

1st place:  Demo Kiriopoulos ($517,424)

2nd place:  Wing Yeung ($362,853)

3rd place:  Andrew Pantling ($233,339)

4th place:  Jake Schwartz ($167,388)

5th place:  James Morgan ($128,471)

6th place:  Noeung Troeung ($105,170)

WPT Rolling Thunder

Just before the action at HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas, some players left the L.A. Poker Classic and headed up to the northern end of California to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort for the WPT Rolling Thunder. The $5K buy-in event took place from March 8-12.

Day 1A delivered 80 entries, Day 1B another 166, and more came in before the start of Day 2. That produced the following numbers:

Total entries:  280

Total prize pool:  $1,302,000

Total players paid:  35

Minimum payout:  $9,305

By the end of Day 2, only 40 players survived, and Anthony Zinno was atop the leaderboard. Day 3 didn’t take long to get into the money portion of the tournament, and Matt Affleck was the first player to cash. Elio Fox and Jake Schwartz just missed the final table, as did Joseph Cheong who finished in eighth place. Brian Piccioli then busted in seventh on the official final table bubble, taking home $38,190.

The final table started with Jim Collopy holding a solid lead over the rest of the players. Jerry Robinson was one of the shorter stacks and exited in sixth place at the hands of Ajay Chabra. Zinno doubled through Chabra but then tried it against the chip leader and failed, as Collopy sent him out in fifth place. Erkut Yilmaz doubled through Collopy and Dylan Linde. The latter then lost a big pot to Collopy, and Collopy busted him in the next hand. Collopy continued to climb, while Chabra doubled through Yilmaz. Chabra then doubled through Collopy, as did Yilmaz. Chabra then tried it again, but Collopy sent him out in third place. Collopy had 4.9 million for heads-up play, but Yilmaz had 6.3 million. Collopy did take over the lead, but Yilmaz battled back. The two went back and forth until Collopy put his tournament life at risk with Q-J against the A-K of Yilmaz, and the board rivered an ace to give Yilmaz his second WPT title, both earned this season.

1st place:  Erkut Yilmaz ($303,920)

2nd place:  Jim Collopy ($200,780)

3rd place:  Ajay Chabra ($130,345)

4th place:  Dylan Linde ($95,530)

5th place:  Anthony Zinno ($68,860)

6th place:  Jerry Robinson ($50,720)


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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