Event #7 in the 2013 World Series of Poker could be one of the most stacked final tables in this year's festival of poker. Five amateurs and five established pros took their seats with two of the pros looking to strike "gold" for the second time — Brent Hanks and Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin. But Matt Waxman was in the mix and slid into home plate to win $305,952 and capture his first gold bracelet.
The official nine-handed final table came about when Jess Dioquino knocked out Scott Yelton.
Then Baldwin doubled through Jason Koon and that started Koon's exit in 9th place which happened six hands later by Hanks — Koon took home $22,435.
Hand #41 in Level 24 found Waxman eliminating Tuu Ho which gave Waxman the chip lead.
Hanks lost a large chunk of his chips in Hand #74 and the vision of bracelet #2 went out the window when Baldwin busted him 20 hands later.
Amit Makhija started the day as chip leader but he ran queens into Waxman's aces and that was all it took. Jess Dioquino was the last of the amateurs in the three-handed battle, but it was only for a brief run; he fell to Baldwin and took home $130,825 for his third place finish.
Heads-up play started with Waxman having a 3.1-million-to-2.4-million chip lead over Baldwin. Play went on for almost seven hours with the lead changing many times over the course of 187 hands.
Eric Baldwin moved all-in from the button for 1.025 million and Matt Waxman called in a heartbeat.
The flop brought the harsh reality of poker into the glaring headlights. Pre-flop the hand belonged to Waxman, the flop had it written in stone — — but the turned put an additional spin on the possibility of Baldwin's comeback. The river sent Baldwin to the cashier for a payday of $189,220 and the knowledge he made it through the starting field of 1,837, only to end up in second place.
For first time bracelet winner, 28-year old Matt Waxman, this had to be an incredible victory considering the stacked final table and locking up his first coveted piece of gold. Congratulations Matt!
Sarah Grant talks to Matt about his victory:
Catch the whole tournament report here.