Now Live EPT 2016 EPT Season 13 Malta

2013 World Series of Poker Day 7: Matt Waxman Bests Eric Baldwin in Epic Heads-up Match

  • Brett CollsonBrett Collson
2013 World Series of Poker Day 7: Matt Waxman Bests Eric Baldwin in Epic Heads-up Match 0001

Day 7 of the 2013 World Series of Poker was one of the busiest of the summer. Three new WSOP champions were crowned early Wednesday morning, including top pro Matt Waxman, who endured one of the longest heads-up matches in WSOP history against Eric Baldwin in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event.

The $1,500 "Millionaire Maker" No-Limit Hold'em event also came to a close on Wednesday. Benny Chen outlasted more than 6,300 players to take down the $1.1 million prize. The other winner, Michael Malm, bested a tough field in the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix event after deciding to register last-minute.

Event #6: $1,500 "Millionaire Maker" No-Limit Hold'em

A new millionaire was created at the World Series of Poker early Wednesday morning. Benny Chen topped a record-setting field of 6,343 to win the $1,500 "Millionaire Maker" No-Limit Hold'em event, locking up $1.1 million and his first WSOP bracelet.

Chen began the day with the chip lead and, after a tumultuous ride at ESPN Feature Table, defeated Michael Bennington to win the title on the 195th hand of the final table.

1Benny Chen$1,198,780
2Michael Bennington$741,903
3Jonathan Gray$534,506
4Justin Liberto$400,408
5Dan Kelly$302,104
6Chris Hunichen$229,575
7Upeshka Desilva$175,714
8Robert McVeigh$135,467
9Theron Eichenberger$105,154

Day 4 began with 10 players eyeing the massive seven-figure score. Accomplished pro Joe Kuether busted in tenth place when he ran ace-king into Dan Kelly's aces, moving Kelly close to the chip lead. Theron Eichenberger, Robert McVeigh, and Upeshka Desilva were the first to exit the official final table, and online poker legend Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen followed in sixth. Justin Liberto raised to 320,000 from under the gun and Hunichen raised all-in for an additional 875,000. Liberto called with {A-Hearts}{3-Hearts}, which trailed Hunichen's pocket sixes. Hunichen was safe through the {9-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} flop, but the {A-Diamonds} on the turn spelled disaster for him. The {2-Clubs} completed the board, sending Hunichen out in fifth place for $229,575.

Dan Kelly, the most accomplished player at the final table, liked his chances coming into the day, but his run at a second million-dollar score at the WSOP came to an end in fifth place. Kelly lost a flip with pocket eights to Liberto's king-queen when Liberto made a flush on the river. That left four unknowns battling for the title, and it took a while for a winner to emerge.

Four-handed play lasted 95 hands with each player exchanging turns as both the chip leader and the short stack. Finally, on Hand #175, Justin Liberto fell at the hands of Chen. Three-handed play only lasted 12 hands before Chen dispatched of Jonathan Gray in third place.

With a roughly 3-to-1 chip lead to begin heads-up play, Chen sealed the deal on the eighth hand of the match. After Michael Bennington limped on the button, Chen raised from the big blind. Bennington clicked it back before Chen re-raised all in. Bennington called for his tournament life with {3-Spades}{3-Clubs}, well behind Chen's {9-Hearts}{9-Spades}. The board rolled out {k-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{A-Clubs}, locking up the victory for Chen — poker's newest millionaire.

Event #7: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 3 of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em began with a loaded "unofficial" final table that included Jason Koon, Amit Makhija, Matt Waxman, and bracelet winners Eric Baldwin and Brent Hanks. The other five players in the field had only one WSOP cash combined, creating a nice mix of pros and amateurs at the final table.

As expected, the cream rose to the top. Four of the top five finishers were pros, and Waxman and Baldwin found themselves heads-up for more than seven hours before Waxman was finally able to claim his first WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $305,952.

1Matt Waxman$305,952
2Eric Baldwin$189,220
3Jess Dioquino$130,825
4Amit Makhija$94,353
5Brent Hanks$68,975
6Jacob Jung$51,086
7Robert Dreyfuss$38,340
8Tuu Ho$29,147
9Jason Koon$22,435

After Scott Yelton's elimination in 10th place secured the official final table, Koon was eliminated in ninth place during a three-way preflop confrontation with Hanks and Makhija. Koon moved all in from middle position for 59,000 (three big blinds), and Hanks three-bet to 100,000 from late position. Makhija then four-bet to 200,000 from the cutoff, and action folded back to Hanks, who moved all-in. Makhika called, and the both Koon and Hanks were at risk.

Koon: {A-Clubs}{4-Hearts}
Makhija: {K-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}
Hanks: {K-Spades}{K-Diamonds}

Hanks was in excellent shape to more than double up, and he did exactly that when the board ran out {7-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{10-Spades}{J-Spades}. Koon was eliminated in ninth place for $22,435, and Makhija lost his chip lead to dropped to third in chips behind Waxman and Hanks.

A trio of amateurs dropped out in the next three places at the final table. Tuu Ho exited in eighth place when his {A-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} lost to Waxman's {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}. Waxman then played executioner again when he eliminated Robert Dreyfuss in seventh place with {A-Hearts}{9-Hearts} against {A-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. Jacob Jung then moved all in for his last 50,000 preflop with {K-Clubs}{4-Diamonds} and was run down by Jess Dioquino's {7-Clubs}{6-Hearts} on a board of {3-Hearts}{3-Spades}{7-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{10-Spades}.

Hanks, who won his first bracelet in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event last year, found a great spot to take the chip lead with five remaining, but Baldwin dealt a punishing beat to send Hanks out the door. Action folded to Baldwin in the small blind and he moved all in to put Hanks at risk. Hanks peeked down at pocket eights and quickly called, discovering that he had Baldwin's threes dominated. That changed when the flop rolled out {4-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{10-Spades}, giving Baldwin a set, and neither the {4-Spades} turn nor the {7-Diamonds} river helped Hanks, who exited in fifth place for $68,975.

Makhija entered the day with the chip lead, but he wasn't able to accumulate enough to earn his first bracelet. In his last stand, Makhija called a preflop raise from Waxman to see a flop of {8-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{4-Spades}. Makhija checked, Waxman bet 50,000, and Makhija responded with a check-raise all in for 300,000. Waxman called instantly.

Makhija: {Q-Spades}{Q-Diamonds}
Waxman: {A-Hearts}{A-Diamonds}

Mahkija needed to smack a two-outer to stay alive, but the {5-Diamonds} turn and {4-Clubs} river sent the pro to the rail in fourth place for $94,353.

A short while later, Jess Dioquino moved all in from the small blind and Baldwin called him from the big blind. Dioquino tabled the {Q-Clubs}{2-Hearts}, which was dominated by Baldwin's {Q-Spades}{10-Spades}. The board ran out {K-Clubs}{8-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{K-Clubs}, and the marathon heads-up match between Baldwin and Waxman was soon underway.

Baldwin versus Waxman
Baldwin versus Waxman

The two pro pros battled for more than seven hours and exchanged the chip more than a dozen times. The shorter stack doubled up 11 times before Waxman was finally able to finish the tournament in front of a crowded rail in the corner of the Amazon Room. In the 187th hand of the heads-up match, Baldwin moved all in from the button for 1,025,000 (8 big blinds) and Waxman snap-called.

Baldwin: {7-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}
Waxman: {A-Hearts}{5-Spades}

Once again, Waxman had Baldwin at risk, and the {A-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{3-Spades} gave him a stranglehold on the hand. The {6-Spades} on the turn gave Baldwin some gutshot straight outs, prompting a collective sigh from Waxman's rail, but the {6-Clubs} landed on the river to bring an end to the lenghty heads-up duel.

Waxman said afterward that the heads-up duel was the "most grueling time I've ever had in poker." With a WSOP bracelet now in his pocket, he's one step closer to winning poker's elusive triple crown (WSOP, WPT and EPT titles).

Event #8 $2,500 Eight-Game Mix

Michael Malm showed up to the Rio on Sunday to play in the $1,000 no-limit hold'em event. When he arrived too late to register, he decided to hop in the $2,500 Eight-Game Mix which started later in the day. Three days later, he is a World Series of Poker bracelet winner.

Malm emerge victorious in Event #8 early Wednesday morning after besting a tough field of 192 to claim the $225,104 top prize and his first gold bracelet. He finished on top of a tough final table that included Greg Mueller, Eric Crain, Dario Alioto, Mike Wattel and Marco Johnson.

1Michael Malm$225,104
2Steven Wolansky$139,034
3Greg Mueller$89,673
4Eric Crain$64,975
5Michael Hurey$47,771
6Dario Alioto$35,634
7Mike Wattel$26,966
8Marco Johnson$20,699

The third and final day of Malm's journey began with 19 runners returning to the felt. One by one the professional players began to hit the rail. The likes of Josh Arieh, Robert Mizrachi, Chris Reslock, Randy Ohel, and Chris Tryba all fell before the final table was reached. Travis Pearson became the official final table bubble boy during a hand of No-Limit Hold'em where he lost a coin flip to Crain in dramatic fashion.

Marco Johnson was eliminated in eighth place just a few hands later when his ace-king was outdone by last year's runner-up Greg Mueller's ace-queen. Shortly thereafter, Mike Wattel was also slain by Mueller and had to settle for a seventh place finish.

The next casualty came just a few mere moments later when Crain made a wheel in Omaha Eight-or-Better to bust Alioto in sixth place. Michael Hurey was next to follow when he ran into Steven Wolansky's pocket aces in limit hold'em.

The final four played for quite some time before Crain found himself the fourth-place finisher. The last casualty before heads up play was none other than last year's runner-up Mueller. Mueller was looking to improve on his finish and clinch the bracelet, but was unfortunately forced to settle for third place after a hand of limit hold'em resulted in his demise.

Malm and Wolansky began heads up play virtually even in chips and it was actually Wolansky who was the first to pull away. Wolansky had Malm down to just around two big bets at one point. After a key double up and a grueling few levels of play, the match finally came to a head during a pot-limit Omaha round. After a preflop all in, Malm was able to make the nut flush on the river and clinch the bracelet, eliminating Wolansky in second place in the process.

Event #9: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout

After two rounds in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, a ten-handed final table is in place for Wednesday afternoon. David "Bakes" Baker, Cliff Josephy, Steven Silverman and Chris Klodnicki will headline a tough group with a bracelet and nearly $300,000 up for grabs.

1David "Bakes" Baker430,000
2Chris Klodnicki429,000
3Max Steinberg428,000
4Tim West428,000
5Steven Silverman428,000
6Simeon Naydenov427,000
7Evan Silverstein427,000
8Ryan Hughes422,000
9Alessandro Longobardi421,000
10Cliff Josephy419,000

*Chip counts are varied due to action in previous rounds

Three of the remaining 10 have already won World Series events: Josephy, Max Steinberg, and Baker (two). Klodnicki has won a WSOP Circuit ring but is still looking for his first bracelet. Klodnicki twice finished in second place in World Series events, including last year’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship.

The action continues Wednesday at 1 p.m. local time, and a winner is expected to be crowned at the ESPN Feature Table. Follow all of the updates right here at

Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold'em

After 10 more levels of play in Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold'em, the field is down to 19 players, and your end-of-day chip leader is two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Eric Froehlich. Froehlich bagged 319,000 chips, and his closest competitors are Mark Mierkalns, Morgan Newman, and Aaron Ogus.

1Eric Froehlich319,000
2Mark Mierkalns266,000
3Morgan Newman242,000
4Aaron Ogus233,000
5Binh Ly197,000
6Chiduziem Obi183,000
7Brian Nichols182,000
8Thomas Blizniak170,000
9Jack Jiang161,000
10Malissia Zapata161,000

The day began with 177 players, and several notable players quickly hit the exits. On one of the first hands of the day, Phil Ivey was knocked out by the aforementioned Ogus. Ogus made a pair of fours, which bested the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner's jack-high. Ivey's friend and fellow multiple gold bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu also fell before the first break of the day. He found himself all in with ace-king, made top pair, but unfortunately an opponent turned two pair to eliminate him.

Other notables who fell short of the money include David "ODB" Baker, Bryan Devonshire, and Tobias Peters. Once the players were in the money, several players hit the rail before the end of the day, including Matt Hawrilenko, Sam Barnhart, Tom Schneider, Nick Schulman, David Goldberg, Michael Moore, Kevin MacPhee, Larry Wright, Hoyt Corkins, Lee Goldman, and Alex Dovzhenko.

Play will resume at 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday, and a bracelet is expected to be won later in the day. Follow all of the updates at

On Tap

Event #9: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout and Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold'em are expected play down to winners on Wednesday, and the Event #11: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) event is schedule to reach a final table. The new events on Wendesday will be Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em at noon and Event #13: $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better at 5 p.m.

Video of the Day

Matt Waxman and Eric Baldwin played one of the most epic heads-up matches in recent WSOP memory on Tuesday. Sarah Grant caught up with the champion shortly after his victory.

Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook now!

More Stories

Other Stories

What do you think?