Eric Baldwin wins second WSOP bracelet

The long-time pro took down the same event nine years after his first victory.

“In a lot of ways, this one is for him.”

The Event #37: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em generated a total of 1,330 entries, so the prize pool grew to $1,795,500. 199 of the participants walked away with a paycheck, with the lowest being a $2,249 min-cash. High-roller regular, Rainer Kempe was one of those players who finished in the money, even though this $749 profit is probably not what he was looking for when he entered the tournament.

20 players returned for the scheduled final day, and it took four and a half hours for the field to reduce to the final table of nine. Jason Guarinello became the final table bubble boy busting at 10th place, while Aaron Massey was holding the lead.

High-stakes cash game player, Matthew Moore was the first to bust on the final table for $24,032 after losing a race with sixes against the Ace-jack of Enrico Rudelitz's.

Matthew was followed by Gilsoo Kim. Kim lost his last chips in a cooler situation when his jacks ran into the kings of Robert Georato's. Gilsoo earned $31,290 for finishing 8th.

Busting one player wasn't enough for Georato, he knocked out Stephen Song in 7th place two orbits after finishing Kim. Song put his last 8 big blinds into the middle holding Jack-seven, which was second best against Ace-deuce on a board that read KQ8♦92. Song received a consolation prize of $41,257.

One of the biggest hands developed between Baldwin and Massey. Baldwin opened before the flop and continued on all streets, with an all-in shove on the river. Massey made the call.

Board: KT654

Baldwin: A3
Massey: T9

“That was an incredible runout for me, obviously,” said Baldwin. “Just a nasty cooler for him. It definitely propelled me and I believe it gave me the chip lead. Situationally, that had its advantages and I was able to take advantage of them.”

After a long period without a bust out it was Michael Finstein, who left the table when his King-queen suited couldn't manage to beat the pocket 3's of Baldwin's. Finstein collected $55,077 at the cage.

Georato got 5th for $74,434. Baldwin won another flip, this time with pocket nines against King-ten.

After maneuvering with a short stack for quite some time, Massey couldn't hold on any longer. Just like Georato, Massey busted to Baldwin, in an almost identical situation. Eric's beat King-ten with pocket 8's. Aaron was the first player to receive a six-figure paycheck, he earned $101,819 for finishing 4th.

Steinman busted Germany's Enrico Rudelitz in 3rd place to set up the duel. Enrico walked away with $140,957 and a nice memory.

Eric started the heads-up with a 3:2 lead, but Ian was able to turn things around. He won almost every pots to build a 4:1 lead over his opponent. “Heads-up did not start well. I ended up needing to get lucky all in one time and then built back up some momentum.” said Baldwin. However, he was able to fight back and retook the lead. At this point, they were discussing whether to keep on playing, but Steinman decided he needed to rest. The two bagged up their stacks and came back at noon on Thursday.

Despite a rough start, Baldwin was lucky enough to close out the tournament when he spiked a lucky Ace on the river to outdraw the pocket Kings with Ace-jack. As the bracelet and the $319,580 prize wouldn't be enough, Eric had some other special gift to be happy about: “My mom came out and surprised me. I had no idea she was coming, so it ended up being a blessing that we didn’t end up finishing last night. It gave her a chance to come out here and see it and that is pretty cool.”

Eric and Ian

Eric dedicated this win to his biggest fan, his late father: “He kept coming out and trying to catch me when I would make a final table,” said Eric feelingly. “And I could never win one, including a grueling second place. In a lot of ways, this one is for him.”

Final results

1 Eric Baldwin United States $319,580
2 Ian Steinman United States $197,461
3 Enrico Rudelitz Germany $140,957
4 Aaron Massey United States $101,819
5 Robert Georato United States $74,434
6 Michael Finstein United States $55,077
7 Stephen Song United States $41,257
8 Gilsoo Kim United States $31,290
9 Mathew Moore United States $24,032