Tuesday June 23,2015 : AMATEUR PLAYER WINS WORLD SERIES OF POKER SENIORS EVENT
50-year-old construction company manager adds $613,466 to his pension pot.
World Series of Poker event 40 – the $1,000 buy-in Seniors NLHE Championship – produced a surprise winner in a field full of professional and experienced players Monday when weekend player Travis Baker (50) took the honours and the $613,466 main prize, along with a maiden winner's bracelet.
The construction company manager from Oklahoma was one of a stellar entry field of 4,193 that generated a prize pool of $3.77 million for the event, and gave Baker his biggest ever poker win.
The final table was a rapid-fire affair which lasted just 124 hands and at one point saw four players busted out in just over half-an-hour.
Baker may be an amateur player, but he displayed impressive talent and skill to reach the five-hour final table as chip leader and emerge as one of the two survivors in the heads up, where he faced Carl Torelli, a retired Wall Street investor now living in Nevada.
Baker's momentum and chip stack were too much for Torelli, who lft the table as runner up with a consolatory $378,766 in prize money. Other final table cashes included:
Jim Hopperstead $274,989
Michael Smith $202,157
Justin Tucker $149,929
Lee Budin $112,154
Stephen Nussrallah $84,644
Steven Gee $64,417
Shane Goldsmith $49,435
"I always felt comfortable while playing," said Baker after the game. “I never got nervous or anything. It was partly because everything went my way. Even after I had a few beats, I stayed patient and that kept me going."
At fifty, Baker was one of the younger players in the event, for which WSOP recorded an average age of 60 years, with players from forty different nations. The oldest player was 92.