Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #23 David Baker and David Baker
At the World Series of Poker this year, the name most commonly heard around the conference center of the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino was David Baker. It seemed like every other day in the Rio the news would get around that David Baker was running deep in another tournament, and the response at first was “again?” and it make sense why. Someone with the name David Baker cashed a total of 11 times for $1,309,980 while appearing at the final table of 4 of the 55 open WSOP Events, and making the final 2 tables another 4 times (including the Main Event). And one of the 8 deep runs included David Baker winning a WSOP Bracelet. The WSOP Player of the year race seemed a shoe in at that point, as the POY leaderboard kept popping up with more and more David Baker scores. Then, we noticed that the name was there a second time. That, and the fact that David Baker looked completely different just about every time that he made a final table. It didn’t take too long to figure out that there were two professional poker players that were both named David Baker, and both of them decided that 2010 was going to be a David Baker coming out party.
The new game to play at the WSOP was to figure out which David Baker was running deep in the event. The David Baker WSOP overtaking began with the young online phenom David “Bakes” Baker from Bloomfield, Michigan who racked up the first large score of the Series for the duo when he final tabled Event #2, the $50k Players Championship. “Bakes” brought with him the loudest and most exuberant rail section to the final table, perhaps even louder than the Mizrachi clan which had two players in remaining in Rob and Michael. With a younger follower base, they were pretty sauced by the time that the Players Championship final table began late in the afternoon, and they whooped and hollered for their David Baker until he booked $272,275 for the 6th place finish in that star-studded event. “Bakes” had a couple of other deep runs in the WSOP including a win at the $10,000 buy in No Limit 2-7 Draw Championship. The win gave “Bakes” a $294,321 score, and the only WSOP Bracelet won by a David Baker in the 2010 WSOP. In total “Bakes” closed out the series with 4 cashes for $600,129.
The Texan David Baker was eventually called “ODB” (“ODB standing for “Old David Baker” as we began calling him in the media to differentiate the two). “ODB” had 7 total cashes in the 2010 WSOP, which was just 1 fewer than Shawn Buchanan and Allen Kessler who each had 8, tying them for the most cashes in this World Series of Poker in 2010. “ODB” finished in event #13, a $1k buy in No Limit Hold’em event where he would take home $206,813, and then final tabled event #37, the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament. That score was worth another $50,871 for his 6th place finish. But “ODB’s” biggest score of the series came in a deep run at the WSOP Main Event, where “ODB” would make it to the final 2 tables of play. As the main event wore on and “ODB” continued to survive day after day, the joke from Baker was “I hope that I win the Main Event, not because of the $8.9 million first place prize. I just want to get my name back.” But in the end “ODB” missed his outs when he check raised Jonathan Duhamel all in for his last 5 million chips on a Qs-2s-4c flop, and Duhamel quickly called with two red Kings. Baker tabled just Js-7s for nothing but a flush draw, and when the Qh was placed on the turn, and the 4h on the river, “ODB” was eliminated in 17th place for $396,967 running his summer series to a total of $709,851.
Both David Baker’s have bright poker futures in front of them. “Bakes” now has more than $1.2 million in career live tournament winnings, while “ODB” has more than $1.7 million. So the next time you hear that David Baker is running deep in a tournament, don’t sound surprised and ask “again?” Just simply ask “which one?”