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2012 H.O.R.S.E Tournament won by David Baker

The high buy-in H.O.R.S.E event is always of the most hotly contested at the WSOP, and the 2012 event was no different. All told, on the final table, there were 25 bracelets, which was actually a record (outside the player’s championship.) The winner of the tournament, David Baker, is a 25-year-old professional from the US. With this win, David has now won two bracelets and cashed 17 times at the WSOP.

The final table was a who’s who of some of the biggest names in poker. Ivey and Hellmuth who have 8 and 12 bracelets respectively were by far the two largest names. However, the other players at the table had some vast experience as well. One of the players, Dan Kelly, won the $25,000 No Limit Hold'em Six Handed event in 2010. Another, John Monnette, won the $2,500 Eight Game Mix in 2011, and $5,000 Seven Card Stud event in 2012. All the media attention was on Ivey and Hellmuth after Ivey’s second in the $10,000 pot limit Hold’em tournament earlier in the series, and Hellmuth’s recent 12th tournament bracelet in the $2,500 Seven Card Razz event.

It was not easy for Baker, who took a long time to get going when he moved to the final table. At one point, Baker had just 300,000 in chips, which was one of the lowest stacks, and it looked like he would be blinded out before long. However, soon after, Baker doubled up through Ivey moving Ivey to one of the short stacks in the process. From there he went on to win a few more vital hands, and before the dinner break (the final five), Baker found himself in second on 1.3 million, which while above average, was still 700k behind Monnette.

There were a few decisive hands on the final table that helped Baker to his win. Playing Hold'em, Baker found himself heads up against Hellmuth. Hellmuth called the positional raise with K-4. Baker (who held Q-4) put out a continuation on the flop a board that missed both players, which Hellmuth called. The turn came another dead card and they both checked the river showed a queen, and after Baker bet Hellmuth made a call with king high to give Baker the win.

Heads up Baker found himself against Monnette, with Monnette about 700k in front. Baker quickly turned this around, and, at one point, even took a 2.5 million chip lead. However, Monnette clawed his way back into the tournament before Baker took the initiative and the win playing Stud.

The win saw Baker pick up just over $450,000 with Monnette picking up $279,000 for his second-place finish. However, with Ivey cashing for the fourth time in this series and Hellmuth having won a previous event in this series it would not be a surprise to see at least one of them run deep in the main event, and who knows, maybe with a bit of luck one of them could take down the title.

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