David Baker has done it. He has won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event for $1.015 million. For Baker, it was a career achievement held in the highest regard, as he considers the WPT L.A. Poker Classic to be the most prestigious major tournament title to win other than the WSOP Main Event.
Baker also earned a Hublot Big Bang watch with the victory and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Bacarrat Crystal Tournament of Champions, in addition to moving to more than $5.4 million in live tournament earnings.
WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Results
1st: David Baker – $1,015,000
2nd: Matas Cimbolas – $646,930
3rd: Darren Elias – $473,280
4th: Jean-Claude Moussa – $346,550
5th: John Smith – $267,400
6th: Steve Yea – $201,650
Darren Elias entered the final table with the chip lead, holding more than 40% of the chips in play to start the final six. After John Smith doubled early to climb off the short stack, Steve Yea was eliminated in sixth place. Yea went out to Matas Cimbolas on the 33rd hand of the final table when his lost out to Cimbolas’ .
Despite the early double, Smith didn’t last much longer and was out on the 36th hand of the final table. Again, it was Cimbolas doing the deed. This time, it was Cimbolas’ pocket kings beating the pocket fives of Smith to send the 72-year-old home in fifth place.
Four-handed action only lasted a handful of hands, as Jean-Claude Moussa fell to David Baker in fourth place. Moussa was all in with the and busted to Baker’s .
Three-handed action lasted quite some time as Cimbolas, Baker, and Elias battled back and forth with several lead changes. No one wanted to give an inch, but eventually, it was the four-time WPT champion Elias who ran into Baker’s aces to bust in third place.
On his final hand, Elias, who had just doubled up Baker a few hands prior, moved all in from the button with the for 950,000 with the blinds at 75,000-150,000 and a 150,000 ante. Cimbolas called from the big blind with the . The board ran out to eliminate Elias in third place.
Heads-up play began with Baker in the lead by a sizable margin. At the start of the final duel, Baker had 15.375 million to Cimbolas’ 6.475 million.
Baker stretched his lead in the early portion of the heads-up match, but then Cimbolas found a double up when he picked up two tens and Baker three-bet shoved on him with the . Cimbolas flopped a set of tens and held from there to move to 8.6 million in chips. Baker was knocked back to 13.25 million.
Baker went right back to work and he began stretching his lead once again. The next thing everyone knew, Cimbolas was pretty short once again and needed something to pull him back into the match. It wouldn’t be in the cards, though.
On the final hand, Cimbolas limped the button with the blinds at 150,000-300,000 with a 300,000 ante. Baker checked and the flop came down . Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 300,000, and Baker called to see the land on the turn. Baker checked, Cimbolas bet 600,000, and Baker called. The river was the and Baker announced a bet of 10 million. Cimbolas tanked for a bit and then called for his tournament life. Baker tabled the for a straight to beat Cimbolas’ and win the tournament.