Few in poker have stood the test of time to the extent of Billy Baxter, who continues to post results over 40 years after winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 1975.
Baxter's latest feat was officially coming in third place as part of a four-player chop of the L.A. Poker Classic $1,100 $1 Million Guaranteed event. The seven-time bracelet winner navigated through a field of 1,840 players before coming to a deal that saw Jesse Vilchez, Aditya Prasetyo, Baxter and Daniel Barriocanal each bank over $160,000. Vilchez was the official winner.
Official Final Table Results
*Reflects final table deal
The tournament, which featured four starting flights, paid out 148 places after nearly doubling the guarantee. Eli Elezra, Mike Shariati, Simeon Naydenov, Sorel Mizzi, Steve Sung, Daniel Strelitz, Amit Makhija, Dan Heimiller,John Racener, Cate Hall and David "ODB" Baker were some of the players making the money but falling short of the final table.
According to the live updates, Baxter ended the penultimate day with a big double through Vilchez when he raised on the button with jacks and called off his stack when Vilchez put him all in with . That vaulted him into the middle of the counts and positioned him for a run at the final table.
When the unofficial final table got underway, Baxter continued to pick up big hands. He got aces and eliminated short-stacked Shi Hu Huang, who shoved over him with ace-jack. Baxter followed that up with another knockout, getting lucky with ace-queen against the kings of Kevin Andriamahefa.
Suddenly, Baxter had over 80 big blinds and was well clear of his remaining opponents. He added to that tally when his nines crushed the sixes of Lou Ojeda.
After Prasetyo found a double in a race against start-of-day leader Walter Fisher, Vilchez finally slowed the Baxter train, though he had to get lucky to do so. Baxter picked up yet another big pair, this time kings, but they got cracked when Vilchez flopped an ace with .
After handing out another double, Baxter was dealt the biggest pair of all when he picked up aces again. He got in a raising war with Maxwell Lineberger, who couldn't get away from tens and saw the board run out to send him out seventh.
Vilchez then doubled through Fisher with aces against ace-king. Just after that, he finished him off with against after the two saw a flop that gave each top pair.
Prasetyo won another race with tens against the of John Conkright to get it down to four-handed.
Barriocanal was the shortest of the remaining players by far but got some traction with a double when he made a backdoor flush against Vilchez's straight. Prasetyo took a big pot off Baxter and the chip counts flattened out with everyone between 38 and 56 big blinds. After they went on break, the four came to a deal that saw Prasetyo take the most money and Vilchez the trophy.