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Why the Poker World Is Watching Billy Baxter’s WSOP Run


Billy Baxter

All eyes are on Billy Baxter within the $1,000 Seniors Occasion on the WSOP, as he’s third in chips coming into the ultimate desk. [Image: / World Poker Tour]

Billy Baxter runs deep at WSOP

It’s been 21 years since Billy Baxter final left the World Collection of Poker with a bracelet. This week, he has an opportunity to win one other, making the ultimate desk of the 2023 WSOP $1,000 Seniors Occasion. Together with his title showing in headlines throughout poker media, youthful readers won’t perceive why his deep run within the occasion has attracted a lot consideration.

Even older readers is perhaps forgiven for having missed or forgotten his significance, however they shouldn’t have. It’s not simply because he ought to be remembered as an ideal poker participant — although he’s that — however for his wider contributions to the sport.

Legendary resume

Billy Baxter has seven WSOP bracelets, tied with Males “the Grasp” Nguyen, and behind solely six different gamers on the all-time record.

The late, nice Doyle Brunson as soon as stated of Baxter that “he offers you that country-bumpkin smile and that good ol’Georgia-boy accent, will get you laughing and having time. Then you definately search for and he has bought your cash.”

he gained no less than one bracelet in every of the following decade till the 2010s

Baxter isn’t just a few old-fashioned professional both – he’s a very long time stalwart of the sport. The primary of his WSOP bracelets is from 1975, the sixth WSOP ever performed. Since then, he gained no less than one bracelet in every of the following decade till the 2010s.

Throughout that interval, he was generally known as an ideal poker participant, but in addition as an ideal all-round gambler. He began out hustling pool as a young person and went on to play gin rummy and guess on sports activities professionally.

Baxter had an in depth relationship with Stu Ungar, who was not solely a prodigy at poker, but in addition at rummy. The pair performed each video games, and although Ungar might need been the higher participant, Baxter often got here out up total due to all of the aspect bets.

Regardless of their aggressive relationship, Baxter was the one to again Ungar in his well-known 1997 WSOP Major Occasion run, Ungar’s third Major Occasion win and his final main poker look.

The primary skilled poker participant

That profession ought to be memorable sufficient. however maybe Baxter’s largest contribution to the poker world was not on the card desk, however in court docket. Billy Baxter is arguably one of many first American skilled poker gamers, no less than so far as the IRS is anxious.

playing winnings reclassified as earned earnings

It was Baxter that sued the IRS to permit poker gamers to be handled as professionals. William E. Baxter Jr. vs. america of America noticed his playing winnings reclassified as earned earnings, decreasing the tax charge and permitting him to deduct bills.

Each participant who fills out Schedule C on their 1040 owes these financial savings partly to Baxter.

For all these causes, Billy Baxter was entered into the Poker Corridor of Fame in 2006 and is being cheered on in his seek for bracelet quantity eight.


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