MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – DAVID “BAKES” BAKER
Note: Baker uses “Bakes,” in part to differentiate himself from another notable poker pro with the same name. In most of his official records, he is listed as DAVID BAKES BAKER.
The $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. champion (Event #32) is David “Bakes” Baker, from Las Vegas, NV.
Baker is 25-years-old.
Baker was born in Charlotte, NC. But he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI which is a suburb of Detroit.
Baker started out competing in play money games online, where he learned how to play.
Baker attended Michigan State University for two years.
Baker played poker part-time, mostly online while attending college. He eventually decided to attend a technical institute in Miami, FL, where he transferred for one year.
While living in Florida, Baker continued to play poker. He enjoyed his first major score in poker when he won $30,000 in 2006.
He invested more time and energy in improving his game and has been playing professionally ever since. Baker credits former WSOP gold bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst with coaching him and helping to improve his game.
Baker is dating “Poker Queen” Maria Mayrinck, from Brazil. She was in the crowd to cheer him to victory at the final table. According to official records, David Baker now has two wins, seven final table appearances, and 16 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
Question: So, the 2010 bracelet versus this 2012 bracelet. Which one is better?
Baker: This one for sure. The first one was nice, but it was only a one hundred person tourney, it was in a game that I have practiced but people don’t play as much. It didn’t have as much prestige as this one. This one there were a lot of very good players at the final table that were on top of their game. This one feels like more of an accomplishment. Obviously the first time, you can never get over that. But, this one feels really good and probably a little bit better now that I’m a little more seasoned.
Question: There were 25 gold bracelet wins combined at this final table, which was the second most in history. Is there more pressure in this type of environment?
Baker: Yeah there’s definitely more pressure. The stage is packed, everyone is watching, and the two most famous players in the game are right there. So yeah, the spotlight is on and you don’t want to make a bad play, you don’t want to make a mistake, and the money adds to the pressure. Definitely a higher standard of play was required this time.
Question: Are you taking a day off to celebrate?
Baker: No, I don’t think so. I mean, the only thing that might make me not play tomorrow is that there is only one hour of late registration. If there was four hours, I’d be in there for sure. It’s the WSOP, you can do well here and not have to work for the rest of the year. So, I got to keep going and I’m still not out of player of the year and that’s something I would like to do.
Question: Do you take pride in being good at games outside of No-Limit?
Baker: I don’t know if I take pride, but I definitely enjoy it. When I started playing these games, No-Limit was getting really stale for me and I didn’t want to play it. Playing a bunch of different games keeps me fresh and keeps me interested in the game of poker. I’m happy that I was able to get to a high level at these games, but it was the same process that got me decent at No-Limit Hold’em. So, I just have a lot of fun with it playing the different games and I’m happy that the practice has paid off.
Question: What’s tougher? The play at this final table or the big cash game in Ivey’s Room (at Aria Poker Room)?
Baker: They’re a lot different. Sometimes, I wish we play straight HORSE in there but we play so much draw in that mix that it’s not even comparable. We play Omaha/Eight and we play Stud/Eight and sometimes Hold’em. It’s a much different mix. But, John (Monnette) was tough in that mix and he was tough in HORSE too, so at least that part was consistent.