What started as a field of 4,345 players in Event #3 of the 2010 World Series of Poker, a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, is down to just 41. Sitting in eighth on the leaderboard after two days of play is UB.com pro Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, aWSOP bracelet winner who is in prime position to collect his second piece of hardware.
Baldwin nearly didn’t survive Monday’s action, however. He pushed all-in pre-flop with 8-7, but picked an inopportune time to do so, as an opponent woke up with pocket tens. However, Baldwin flopped two pair when the first three cards came A-8-7, but his opponent turned a gutshot straight draw when a six fell. Needing to hit a nine or ten on the river to send Baldwin home, his opponent watched as a harmless three fell.
Earlier in the day, Baldwin sent poker veteran Jon “pokertrip” Friedberg, the host of “Under the Gun” on CardPlayer TV, to the rail. Baldwin held A-Q and came out on the better end of a race against Friedberg’s pocket tens. In addition to being a podcast host, Friedberg is a bracelet winner, having won a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 2006.
Also on Monday, Baldwin’s wild ride saw him run pocket nines into pocket queens for his tournament life, but spike a two-outer on the river to survive. You read that right. The flop of A-K-2 was no help to Baldwin, who watched as an eight hit on the turn. Needing a nine and a nine only to move on, Baldwin jumped for joy as one hit on the river.
Baldwin owns the eighth spot on the leaderboard entering Day 3 of the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the top 10:
1. Drew Crawford – 800,000
2. William Davis – 775,000
3. Dash Dudley – 745,000
4. Nick “agriffrod” Mitchell – 681,000
5. Robert Scott – 644,000
6. Dana Kellstrom – 507,000
7. Terry Fleischer – 489,000
8. Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin – 479,000
9. Cory Brown – 476,000
10. Aadam Daya – 476,000
Baldwin made waves during last year’s WSOP. The former baseball player took down Event #34, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament, for $521,000. Eleven events later at the WSOP, Baldwin finished third in the $10,000 World Championship of Pot Limit Hold’em for another $259,000, narrowly missing out on his second bracelet. The latter event featured Egypt’s John Kabbaj coming out on top for $633,000 in a final table that also included Isaac Haxton, Eugene Todd, Darryll “DFish” Fish, and bracelet winner Davidi Kitai.
When play paused for the night, the action was in Level 19, where blinds were 5,000/10,000 with an ante of 1,000. This means Baldwin has 47 big blinds remaining. First place will pay out $625,000, a solid return on an investment of $1,000. Every player remaining is guaranteed to bank at least $12,000 and the top six will make the money. Today’s action will see the field trimmed from 41 players to nine. Then, the final nine will convene in the Rio’s Amazon Room on Wednesday to determine a winner.