Friday, June 22, 2018

Eric Baldwin Captures Second Gold Bracelet in 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

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Eric Baldwin Captures Second Gold Bracelet in 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Eric Baldwin took down last night Event #37: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for his second gold bracelet from the WSOP and a first-place prize of $319,580. It has been nine years since the player from Henderson, Nevada captured his first gold piece from the series.

Baldwin made it through a field of 1,330 entries and a long and action-packed heads-up match against Ian Steinman, a player who was vying for his first WSOP gold bracelet but had previously won a gold ring from the WSOP Circuit.

Originally scheduled as a three-day tournament, action extended into a fourth day during which Baldwin and Steinman battled it out for a while before determining the champion.

As many as 20 players returned for Day 3 and that starting field was reduced quite quickly to just nine finalists who were seated at the official final table. From that point on, chips were swinging back and forth as players were not keen to give up on the title without a good fight.

During six-handed play, Baldwin won a massive pot against Aaron Massey. The former was propelled to the chip lead while the latter’s stack was weakened to a point that made it too challenging for him to recover. Massey, a two-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner, eventually went out in fourth place.

A Two-Day Heads-Up

Heads-up kicked off after Steinman eliminated Germany’s Enrico Rudelitz in third place. It was Baldwin who entered the two-handed match as the chip leader. The two finalists played a level and a half on Day 3 of the tournament. The eventual champion built quite a momentum and stack during that time.

The players had the opportunity to choose between playing one more level Wednesday night or call it a day and resume action on Thursday. Baldwin, holding the lead, was keen to keep playing as he wanted to go back home on Thursday and celebrate his wife’s birthday. However, Steinman asked for an additional day of play and it was decided that the two players would have to return at the host casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, on Thursday.

The next day saw Steinman put some pressure on his final opponent. The player managed to catch up a bit, but never took the lead. Chips went back and forth and short-handed play lasted for hours, which Baldwin said sucked his mental energy. Yet, the winner pointed out that he had great fun playing against Steinman.

Hand #270 of the final table was the last one dealt within the tournament. It saw Baldwin raise to 300,000 pre-flop and Steinman re-raise to 950,000. Baldwin then looked at his opponent’s chips and announced all in, which Steinman snap-called, tabling [Kh][Ks] to Baldwin’s [As][Jh]. The board ran out [2c][8h][10h][Js][Ac] to deliver a winning to two pair to Baldwin. The two finalists shook hands and Steinman headed to the payout desk to collect his consolation prize of $197,461.

In his post-victory interview, Baldwin said that he was actually happy that things turned up the way they did and that they had to play a fourth day because his mother was thus able to join his rail on that additional day to support her son. Baldwin said that he dedicated his second WSOP gold piece to his late father who had always attended tournaments he had played in.

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