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  1. [caption width="645"] The World Poker Tour returns to television with 27 weeks of episodes starting on February 28[/caption] The World Poker Tour announced that coverage of Season XIV will debut on the Fox Sports networks starting February 28th, with the first episode airing from the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten return as lead commentators, with Lynn Gilmartin serving as the anchor for her third season. Tony Dunst also returns for his sixth season as analyst of “The Raw Deal”, breaking down a key hand during each broadcast. Episodes of Season XIV include the two WPT events in Los Angeles (Legends of Poker and the LA Poker Classic), along with stops in Montreal, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Jacksonville, San Jose and the season-ending Tournament of Champions at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Each televised stop consists of three one-hour episodes, starting with highlights of the previous days of the tournament and the storylines showing how the last six players reached the final table. New episodes debut Sunday nights at 8pm local time, with further repeats available during the week on FSN and FS2. Viewers can check their local listings for additional times in their area. The WPT Season XIV television schedule and broadcast dates: February 28–March 13: WPT Choctaw March 20-April 3: WPT Legends of Poker April 10-24: WPT Borgata Poker Open May 1-15: WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble May 22-June 5: WPT Montreal June 12-26: WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic July 3-17: WPT L.A. Poker Classic July 24-August 7: WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star August 14-28: WPT Tournament of Champions
  2. The Season XVII World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic final table was set on Wednesday evening, with the tournament reaching its final six players from a field of 546 entries. The $10,000 buy-in event is now on a short break from action before the final table plays out on March 11, 2019, in Las Vegas. Four-time WPT champion Darren Elias topped the leaderboard entering the hiatus, with a first-place prize of $1.015 million awaiting the winner. The final six players were guaranteed $201,650. When action resumes on March 11, Elias will have a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. Not only with Elias’ opponents have to battle with his powerful chip stack, but they’ll have to go up against a chip leader with an incredible amount of WPT experience. Elias holds the record for most World Poker Tour titles with four. Of the $6.628 million in live tournaments he had to enter this event, Elias had won more than $3.2 million in WPT events. He’s making his 33rd cash and 12th final table on the WPT Main Tour and is in line to earn an unprecedented fifth title. The reason for the delay is so that the event can move to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. That’s where the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s Season XVII television schedule alongside the WPT Gardens Poker Championship and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The final six in the WPT Gardens Poker Championship will play to a winner on March 12, and the final six of the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will grind to a champion on March 13. WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 The Grind To the Final Table The WPT L.A. Poker Classic remains one of the few $10,000 buy-in tournaments with a freezeout format. Blake Bohn emerged as the Day 1 chip leader, and Andrey Zaichenko was atop the pack after Day 2. Day 3 brought about the money bubble, as 69 players of the 546-entry field would reach the money. On Day 3, 108 players returned to action and began to work their way towards a payday. Eventually, Andy Park busted in 70th place when he found the last of his chips in the middle on the flop of [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kh"][poker card=“5h"] holding the [poker card="Ad"][poker card=“Jd"] for top pair. He was up against the [poker card="Ah"][poker card=“7h"] of Oscar Carrasco. Park had the lead on the flop due to his kicker, but Carrasco had plenty of outs thanks to holding a flush draw. The turn and river were the [poker card=“4h"] and [poker card=“Qh”], respectively, giving Carrasco his flush and busting Park on the bubble. From there, players began to pile up in the payouts, including Bohn going out in 68th, Billy Baxter bowing out in 51st, Adam Levy busting in 49th, Mike Del Vecchio falling in 41st, and Gordon Vayo hitting the rail in 36th place. Vayo, who famously dropped his lawsuit against PokerStars, was the final elimination to take place on Day 3 and he scored $26,830 for his finish. With 35 players remaining, David Baker headed the charge into Day 4. Baker entered the event with only one WPT Main Tour final table on his résumé and just more than $4.4 million in live tournament earnings. On Day 4, Baker busted Brock Wilson in 34th, Douglas Smith in 22nd, Carrasco in 19th, and Zaichenko in 18th en route to leading the final 12 players heading into Day 5. Elias came into Day 5 second in chips behind Baker. He stumbled out of the gate when Mike Meskin doubled through him, but Elias was back in form after taking a big pot from Tony Tran before busting the fellow WPT Champions Club member a short while later in 11th place. After Jeffrey Colpitts was eliminated by Matas Cimbolas in 10th place, Elias sought revenge on Meskin by busting him in ninth. Paul Fontan would later fall in eighth place to Baker, and after that, it was a series of double ups that tried to derail Elias. First, Jean-Claude Moussa doubled through Elias, not once but twice. Then, it was Steve Yea’s turn to double through Elias. The four-time WPT champion steadied the ship each time and would go on to bust James Carroll in seventh place and set the official final table. On the final hand of Day 5, Elias opened to 100,000 from the hijack seat with the blinds at 25,000-50,000 with a 50,000 ante. Carroll reraised all in for 800,000 from the cutoff position and Elias called with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card=“Qs”]. Carroll had the dominated [poker card="Kc"][poker card=“Jh”]. The flop, turn, and river came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="9d"][poker card=“3s”] to eliminate Carroll in seventh position. He took home $155,900 in prize money and Elias soared into the final table with the chip lead. Elias Continues To Shine as "Mr. WPT" If there was a player to be named “Mr. WPT,” it would be Darren Elias. His run on the World Poker Tour is tremendous and he now has a chance to claim a record fifth WPT title. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open, when Elias topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744 and his first World Poker Tour title. Less than a month later, Elias topped a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT title came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. Not only would a victory be Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, but he’d earned the largest payday of his live tournament career. Right now, the result is the eighth largest score of Elias’ live tournament career. [caption id="attachment_623019" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas looking for second WPT title (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Cimbolas Also Looking for Another WPT Title Matas Cimbolas, a Lithuanian player who won the Season XIII WPT Nottingham title for €313,327, is also looking to add another WPT Champions Cup to his trophy case. He’ll enter the final table third in chips with 4.675 million. Interestingly, this won’t be the first time Cimbolas and Elias share the stage at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. To close Season XVI of the World Poker Tour, both Cimbolas and Elias reached the WPT Tournament of Champions final table. Cimbolas finished second to Matt Waxman for $265,590, and Elias took third for $177,060. Waxman won that event for $463,375. [caption id="attachment_623020" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker is chasing his first WPT title and a career-best score (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Baker Chasing First WPT Title and Career-Best Result David Baker has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and comes into the final table second in chips with 4.76 million. Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Final Table Takes Place On March 11 The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events, plus the live stream can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
  3. Controlling your emotions is a key component of being a winning poker player and Monday night in Las Vegas, David Baker put on a master class on how to do just that as he won the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic for a little over $1 million. In the afterglow of his win, as the WPT television crew was setting up for one final shot, Baker let go of that control, looked skyward and let out a very visible, audible deep breath. After years of playing poker, with a good amount of time spent at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, Baker finally erased some of what he considered were glaring omissions from his poker résumé. "It kinda sounds corny, but it means so much to me," Baker said. "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 sometimes some of the guys are a little too cool for school to say that, but I do. I've got a good résumé, I've been there a lot, but I've never won a major No Limit Hold'em tournament, I've never won a WPT, I've never had a million-dollar score and I just get to check off all of those boxes today and I'm overjoyed." Fairly or unfairly, the win also changes the way Baker is viewed by the poker community and his peers and Baker admitted that's important to him - if only for him to be able to put his head on his pillow every night knowing that the people he respects, respect him for the work he's put in over the years. "I know that I'm considered a good poker player and even probably really good by my peers, but I want to be elite, I want to be thought of as elite," Baker said. "I know I'm not an elite No Limit Hold'em player. I know I'm not sitting down in the $100Ks and battling with the GOATs of GOATs, but I can still play man, I can still play with these guys in the $10Ks and all-around, I'll take my all-around poker game versus anyone. I've always had this chip on my shoulder that I don't know if I've always felt that I've gotten the respect that I deserve. I really feel like being able to put this on my resume really helps, at least helps me mentally just being able to do that." The final table might have been in Las Vegas, but the fact that this was the L.A. Poker Classic and not just some other WPT event, was another important component of why the win was so important for Baker. Over the course of his poker career, the Commerce Casino, the host of the LAPC, has become his home away from home - to the point that a good number of people are actually under the impression that he does live there year-round. "I haven't been able to live where there's a poker room for the last 20 years because of family," Baker said. "I've still been able to support my family by traveling 2-3 weeks a month every single month for the last 15 years and my major destination spot is the Commerce. I've grinded the cash games there since at least 15 years. I stay at the Commerce Casino 200 days a year and it's my home away from home. I go there, I know everybody, everybody knows me. Most of the people there don't even realize that I don't live there because I basically do live there." The HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor is designed to hold a good-sized crowd. Over the nine hours of play on Monday night, most of the seats were filled by Baker's friends and family and each of them served an important role throughout the night. Some were there for moral support, others were watching the live stream and helped Baker understand what his opponents were doing and how he should adjust to them. "I had the three or four people that I really wanted to talk to; Cord (Garcia), (John) Racener, Josh Arieh, Ray Henson," Baker said. "Those were basically like my four guys. My wife, my mom, my other friends, they all just left us all alone. I jumped off the stage, I went, we talked, they got me in the right state, they pumped me up, they brought me down, whatever needed to happen. We discussed a strategy of how we were going to start and what we were going to do if things changed. Then they left me by myself for a few minutes, I could unwind. My crowd was great. A lot of crowds they just want to talk and bombard you, and drink and joke and do all that. My crowd was perfect. The four people who I needed, came to me, gave me what I needed, the rest of them left me alone and cheered and it was perfect. This is surreal. This is what I dreamed of and everybody around was a part of it." The million-dollar score isn't just some box Baker checked off. The financial windfall served as a reminder of some of the hard times Baker has endured over the course of his career and the impact those tough times have had on the people he loves most. The tough times, including spending upwards of 250 days a year on the road away from his family, are part of the sacrifice Baker has made to reach this point in his journey. Having had to share the tough times with his family, he's now happy to share the joy of the win with them as well. "My wife has been through the war," Baker said. "I do OK, but there have been many times in my career where I've had struggles. I've got very high expenses because of my family situation, my children and she has children from a previous marriage. We've battled a lot. Everyday," Baker said. "There's nobody who works harder than me, honestly, when it comes to the poker arena. I'm traveling and I'm at the Commerce 2-3 weeks a month, sometimes month round. I start the games, I end the games. I quit the game, I go play a tournament, I bust the tournament, I go back down and play the cash game. I work hard." Those cash games almost kept Baker from even entering the LAPC Main Event - even though he's played in it every year for the last dozen or so years. Baker didn't want to give up his seat in a game he enjoys playing to play a five-day tournament. A good satellite system, putting lots of qualifiers into the tournament who normally wouldn't play a $10,000 buy-in event, was part of the reason he decided to play, but so was the scheduling. "Our game really runs Monday through Friday, so I could play (the Main) Saturday, play Sunday and if I was still in Day 3, which was Monday, it was fine to miss a game or two," Baker said. "Had this tournament started on a Monday, I probably wouldn't have played, honestly, but the Saturday start got me to pony up." Baker isn't sure what's next. It might be a vacation with his wife and it might just be a return trip to the Commerce to get back to the high stakes mixed game. "I'm in a mixed game now that I just love, I love the people, I love playing it, it's fun, Baker said. "I'm a poker player man, some of these people they play just for the money and they just want to be lazy. I'm a poker player, I love this shit."
  4. The World Poker Tour heads back to fabulous Las Vegas on Monday, March 11, for the first of three consecutive final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The three final tables to play out are, in order, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Gardens Poker Championship, and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic is headlined by four-time WPT champion Darren Elias and has a $1.015 million first-place prize up for grabs. What Are They Playing For? The winner of the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic will take home $1.015 million in first-place prize money. That includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. As this event is a televised WPT event, the winner will also score a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $1,015,000 2nd Place: $646,930 3rd Place: $473,280 4th Place: $346,550 5th Place: $267,400 6th Place: $201,650 Click here to read about how the final table was set. [caption id="attachment_623033" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] HyperX Esports Arena (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] How To Watch the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Now, let’s meet the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table. [caption id="attachment_623037" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jean-Claude Moussa (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Jean-Claude Moussa is a 36-year-old player from Massachusetts, who entered this event with $516,544 in live tournament earnings. He has two prior WPT Main Tour cashes on record, including his career-best live tournament score of $321,840 when he finished fifth in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic back in Season VIII. Other notable results for Moussa included a deep run in the 2011 PCA Main Event for $45,000 and two cashes in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $25,027 and $24,808. Moussa enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table in fourth chip position with 1.25 million. [caption id="attachment_623039" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas seems to be becoming more and more of a fixture on the World Poker Tour by the day. The 25-year-old already has one WPT title to his credit thanks to winning WPT Nottingham in Season XIII for $313,327. At the end of last season, he made his way to the WPT Tournament of Champions final table and ultimately finished second for $265,590. Those are the two biggest scores of his live tournament career. Interestingly enough, when Cimbolas made the WPT Tournament of Champions final table, it was played out at the HyperX Esports Arena in Vegas. Whereas the enormity of the arena might cause some players to feel a little less comfortable, Cimbolas has the experience of playing there already under his belt. Another interesting note is that Darren Elias, who leads the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, finished third in the WPT Tournament of Champions event that Cimbolas took second in, so these two have a bit of history on the very stage they’ll be competing on come Monday. Cimbolas entered the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic with just shy of $2 million in live tournament earnings. A third-place finish or higher would move Cimbolas ahead of Dominykas Karmazinas and into second on Lithuania’s all-time money list. Cimbolas enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.675 million. [caption id="attachment_623038" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] John Smith (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 John Smith is by far the oldest player at the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He’s also the shortest stack remaining. Don’t let those two things fool you, though. Smith packs plenty of game that’s received a popular following in recent years due to his success in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship at the WSOP. In that event, Smith has results of 11th place in 2014 for $26,584, second place in 2016 for $198,192, and second place again in 2017 for $208,154. As Sean Chaffin wrote for the WPT, Smith served in the U.S. Army when he was younger. He was in Vietnam in the 1960s when a tank he was in hit a landmine. Everyone in the tank died, but Smith survived. He would later receive a Purple Heart for his service. Ahead of this event, Smith had $1.256 million in live tournament earnings. He has five prior WPT Main Tour cashes, with his best being a 20th-place result in the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship in Season III for $75,485. Smith enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table as the shortest stack with 850,000. [caption id="attachment_623034" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Darren Elias (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 A four-time World Poker Tour champion, Darren Elias is "Mr. WPT." No one has won more WPT titles than Elias and on Monday he could better his record by scoring an unprecedented fifth. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744. Less than a month later, Elias beat a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT win came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. In addition to a victory on Monday being Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, he’d earn the largest live tournament score of his career. As mentioned above, the 32-year-old Elias has experience playing at the HyperX Esports Arena. On Monday, he’ll start the final table with a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. [caption id="attachment_623035" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 David Baker, better known as "ODB" to many in the poker world, has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and a huge score of $1.015 million. https://twitter.com/audavidb/status/1103776743091953665 Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Baker comes into the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.76 million. [caption id="attachment_623040" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Steve Yea (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 If you’re a diehard follower of poker, you’ve heard the name Steve Yea. For casual fans, his name might not be so common, but Yea has been around for quite some time. Yea has live tournament results dating back to 2007 and he’s amassed more than $630,000 in live tournament winnings entering this event. He hails from South Korea and is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. Yea’s largest live tournament score came from a second-place finish on the Asian Poker Tour in 2008 when he won $250,000 in an event in Macau. He also placed second in an APT event in 2009 in Manila for $100,000 as the second biggest live tournament score of his career. Yea enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table fifth in chips with 1.205 million. [caption id="attachment_623036" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Hublot WPT Player of the Year and Baccarat Crystal (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of more than $5.1 million, the maximum amount of points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race are up for grabs in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. The winner gets 1,400 points, with the rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,400 points 2nd Place: 1,200 points 3rd Place: 1,100 points 4th Place: 1,000 points 5th Place: 900 points 6th Place: 800 points As it stands, Ping Liu is the man to catch at the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. He has 1,900 points thanks to six cashes and two final tables in Season XVII. For the six players at this final table, the points would mean the most for Elias, as he’s the only competitor remaining with points entering this event. Elias has 150 points on the season and could shoot up to 1,550 with a win. That would put him in fourth place overall on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. For the other five, a victory would place them in sixth place on the leaderboard. Despite all of his success on the World Poker Tour over the years, Elias has never been crowned WPT Player of the Year. He has had some close calls, though. Last season, Elias finished third in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. In Season XV, he finished sixth. In Season XIV, he ended up in 12th. In Season XIII, he finished second to Anthony Zinno, who also won two WPT titles that season. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  5. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. The month of March was headlined by the attempted home invasion robbery of WPT champion Darren Elias and the emotional career-defining victory of David 'ODB' Baker. Darren Elias Targeted In Home Robbery In one of the scariest stories of 2018, four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias was the target of a home invasion robbery by Shannon Soroka, a 24-year old part-time poker player. Elias and his wife were not at home at the time. A babysitter was watching over Elias' two-year-old daughter when Soroka, armed with a handgun, burst into the house and demanded to know where Elias kept his cash. Elias had recently returned home from a third-place finish at the World Poker Tour Los Angeles Poker Classic where he earned more than $473,000. Soroka locked the babysitter in one of the home’s bathrooms and fled, eventually being caught by the Medford Township Police Department. Soroka was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, mischief and making terrorist threats. No one, including Elias’ daughter or the babysitter, was harmed during the incident. “It’s incredibly scary for me and my family,” Elias said. “It was an awful feeling.” [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] David Baker Wins LAPC In March, long-time professional poker player David ‘ODB’ Baker secured a career-defining win at the 2019 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic, taking home a career-high score of over $1 million. In the aftermath of his victory, an emotional Baker spoke about what the win meant to him. More than simply how much the money would help his family, Baker reflected on how it felt as validation of a hard-fought career on the grind. “It kinda sounds corny, but it means so much to me,” Baker said. “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 sometimes some of the guys are a little too cool for school to say that, but I do.” Baker continued to run good in 2019 as he racked up 17 World Series of Poker cashes, including winning his second career gold bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em. West Virginia Legalizes Online Poker West Virginia officially became the fifth U.S. state to legalize online gambling, including online poker. After the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act soared through both the House and Senate, all eyes were on the office of Governor Jim Justice. After all, it was just months ago that Michigan was in a similar situation. In Michigan, a bill had cleared and was simply awaiting a signature but outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder shockingly vetoed the bill on his way out the door. For West Virginia, once the Interactive Wagering Act passed, the Governor had 15-days to act on the bill. That time came and went without any movement from Justice which made it official - online poker would be legal by late June. At the time of this writing, no online poker operators have gone live in West Virginia. partypoker Launches Team Online Less than a month after stepping away from his position as an ambassador for PokerStars, Jeff Gross announced he was joining the rapidly growing team of online ambassadors for partypoker. At the time, the Poker Flow Show host was the highest-profile poker player to be picked up by partypoker. Eventually, the team was filled out with over 13 players including Jaime and Matt Staples, Hristivoje ‘AlLLinPav’ Pavlovic, and Kevin Martin, who has since left the squad. Geraldo ‘grealdocesar’ Cesar Wins Monthly PLB Brazilian online pro Geraldo‘ grealdocesar’ Cesar picked up his first PocketFives Leaderboard victory in March holding off top-tier pros like ‘C Darwin2’ and Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Cesar picked up seven five-figure scores in the month including a spotlight victory in the March 11 edition of the partypoker Sunday High Roller Bounty Hunter for over $47,000.
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