05/22/17 09:07:47 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Wins Harrah's New Orleans Main Event!
Texas grinder gets bitten by tournament bug, breaks through early on the Circuit
Jason Baldridge didn’t have to wait very long at all for a breakthrough victory. Just a couple months into life as a part-time tournament poker player, Baldridge won the $1,675 Main Event at Harrah’s New Orleans, defeating a field of 758 entries to collect the season’s last gold ring. It’s just the second result on his tournament record, and it was worth $227,412 in cash, along with one of the precious seats in the season ending WSOP Global Casino Championship.
Baldridge is a 34-year-old poker player from San Antonio, Texas. Born and raised in the Lone Star State, he graduated from St. Mary’s University with a degree in Business Management, and he's been playing the game since. It’s more about bankroll management than business management nowadays.
Like so many first-time winners, Baldridge is primarily a cash game player, but he sometimes tags along on his buddies’ tournament trips. “I play cash games when I go to tournament spots, usually,” he said. “I travel with Jose (Anaya) and I’ll play some tournaments, but I never really took them seriously.”
Anaya does take them seriously, though, and it was his run in the season-long points race that seems to be the thing that eventually grabbed Baldridge’s attention. “Jose started getting points, and I was like, 'Oh yeah, I want to do that,'” he said. “We’ve been coming to all these stops because Jose needs points.”
Baldridge followed Anaya to Choctaw back in January and failed to post a result himself, despite building a big stack on Day 1 of the Main Event. Then it was on to Baltimore this spring where he endured a similar fate in the Main, falling at the end of Day 1. He did, however, make the final table of the Turbo event on the final day, where he finished in sixth place for a $2,683 payday and a real, live tournament result.
Two weeks later, Baldridge was suddenly sitting at the final table of the Harrah’s New Orleans Main Event — entering Day 3 as the chip leader, no less. Anaya was planted on the rail, nervous, along with their mutual poker friend John Alvarez. Baldridge didn’t seem nervous at all.
“I’m a dork,” he said of himself in his postgame interviews. “I like to joke around.” Baldridge wore a bright-orange Reese’s hoodie for the duration of the final table, and he produced a furry koala hat from his backpack at one point as he was sifting through it. He’s a drinker and a dart player and he clearly knows how to grow a beard. And he put on a fine poker performance on Day 3, too.
Baldridge picked his way through the final table with a deftness typically exhibited by players with significantly more tournament experience than him. He played back at five-time ring winner Caufman Talley early and often, and he stole a big pot from the dangerous Ryan Leng after standing his ground with pocket sevens on a wet board with three overcards, among a few other highlights.
Baldridge dipped in and out of the chip lead over the course of the final day, but he grabbed it back for good with five players left. Leng limped the cutoff with ace-jack, Baldridge raised the button with ace-queen, and Leng moved all in for about 25 big blinds. When Baldridge called, Leng saw the bad news of his domination, and he could not catch up to stave off a fifth-place elimination.
Talley started to mount a bit of a challenge after eliminating Hal Kizzire in fourth place, but he was dismissed in third by William Tait in a bit of a cooler just a short while later. That left Baldridge heads-up with a big lead against Tait, and the early orbits were dominated by the big stack.
After winning three postflop pots in a row, Baldridge had Tait down under 20 big blinds, and although he doubled up once, Tait could not overcome the deficit. Baldridge has clearly picked up a thing or two from Anaya and Alvarez along the way, and his tournament aptitude was put on display in the final hand of the match.
After check-raising the turn of a ten-eight-five-deuce board, Tait bluffed all in when an ace fell on the river. He was holding nine-seven for a complete miss, needing Baldridge to fold to keep him alive. Baldridge found a call with eight-six, though, and his pair of eights was enough to earn him the final and most important pot of the tournament.
In the moments after his win, Baldridge was surrounded by friend as he posed for a fake-serious set of winner’s photos. Anaya and Alvarez were front and center.
When asked if this title is going to tempt him into playing more tournaments going forward, Baldridge nodded and became briefly and unusually serious. “I have to, you know?”
Final Table Results
1st: Jason Baldridge - $227,412
2nd: William Tait - $140,192
3rd: Caufman Talley - $103,353
4th: Hal Kizzire - $77,032
5th: Ryan Leng - $58,180
6th: John Cressend - $44,514
7th: Jett Schencker - $34,485
8th: Gabriel Andrade - $27,049
9th: Jeffrey Turton - $21,478
Ring winners who finished in the money include Loni Harwood (15th place), Nadya Magnus (19th), Jeremy Stein (20th), Vincent Moscati (22nd), Tim Burt (23rd), T.K. Miles (26th), Jonathan Poche (27th), Russ Head (28th), Marshall White (30th), Bob Beck (31st), Doug Carli (34th), Krzysztof Stybaniewicz (35th), BJ McBrayer (38th), Bubba Dukes (39th), Brett Bader (41st), John Richards (42nd), Raymond Walton (45th), Viet Vo (47th), DeJuante Alexander (48th), Curtis Terry (50th), David Aker (56th), Cory Waaland (58th), James Alexander (60th), Rob Georato (62nd), Sean Small (63rd), Kyle Cartwright (66th), and Kevin Sherrill (73rd). Harwood and Cartwright are also WSOP bracelet winners.
05/22/17 06:20:50 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Wins Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event ($227,412); William Tait Eliminated in 2nd Place ($140,192)
Jason Baldridge wins the WSOP Harrah's New Orleans Main Event for $227,412
Jason Baldridge limps preflop. From the big blind William Tait raises to 270,000. Back to Baldridge and he calls.
The flop comes . Tait leads with a bet of 130,000. Baldridge makes it 350,000. Tait calls.
The turn is the . Tait checks to Baldridge who bets 450,000. Tait check raises and makes it 1,450,000. Baldridge calls.
The river is the . Tait shoves all in. Baldridge thinks for just a few seconds before he calls.
"Good hand," Tait says. He turns up for a missed double gutshot straight draw. Baldridge turns over his for a pair of eights and his pair of eights is enough to lock up the tournament. He will take home $227,412 for first place along with his first WSOP Circuit ring.
Tait finishes as the runner up and will take home $140,192 for second place.
William Tait finishes as the runner up and takes home $140,192
05/22/17 06:12:35 PM PST
William Tait Takes Another
William Tait completes on the button, Jason Baldridge raises to 470,000 in the big blind, and Tait calls.
On the flop, Baldridge bets 400,000 and Tait makes it 1,000,000 on top.
Baldridge folds and shows .
William Tait - 4,810,000 (40 bb)
Jason Baldridge - 10,350,000 (86 bb)
05/22/17 06:07:35 PM PST
William Tait Gets a Fold
William Tait raises to 270,000 on the button and Jason Baldridge calls in the big blind.
The flop is and Baldridge checks. Tait bets 275,000, Baldridge check-raises to 800,000, and Tait shoves for 2,040,000 more. Baldridge folds and the pot goes to Tait.
William Tait - 4,100,000 (34 bb)
Jason Baldridge - 11,060,000 (92 bb)
05/22/17 05:58:54 PM PST
William Tait Doubles
After shoving the last two hands in a row, Jason Baldridge opens to 370,000. William Tait moves all in and Baldridge quickly calls.
The board runs out and that keeps Tait ahead. Stacks are counted out and Tait earns a full double up for 2,020,000.
William Tait - 4,200,000 (35 bb)
Jason Baldridge - 10,900,000 (91 bb)
05/22/17 05:50:51 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Wins Three in a Row to Extend Chip Lead
Jason Baldridge has picked up quite a few pots without showdown early in this heads up match. He just won the last three in a row.
Baldridge completes on the button and William Tait checks his option. The flop comes and Tait leads 125,000. Baldridge makes it 325,000 and Tait folds.
Tait raises to 270,000 on the button and Baldridge calls. The flop is and both players check.
On the river, Baldridge bets 300,000 and Tait folds.
Baldridge completes on the button and Tait checks.
On the flop, Tait bets 130,000 and Baldridge calls.
The turn is the and Tait bets 260,000. Baldridge calls again.
On the river, Tait checks, Baldridge bets 325,000, and Tait folds.
Jason Baldridge - 13,100,000 (109 bb)
William Tait - 2,050,000 (17 bb)
05/22/17 05:38:00 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Takes First Blood
William Tait opens with a raise to 240,000 from the button. Jason Baldridge calls.
The flop comes and Baldridge checks to Tait who bets 265,000. Baldridge calls.
The turn is the and both players check. The river is the and Baldridge leads out with a bet of 375,000. After some thought Tait calls but mucks when Baldridge shows for a rivered top pair.
Jason Baldirdge - 11,500,000 (95 bb)
William Tait - 3,600,000 (30 bb)
05/22/17 05:30:14 PM PST
Level 32 Started
|Level:||32 ||Blinds:||60,000/120,000 ||Ante:||20,000|05/22/17 04:40:04 PM PST
Players have opted to take a one-hour dinner break and will return around 7:30 p.m. local time.
05/22/17 04:38:28 PM PST
Caufman Talley Eliminated by William Tait in 3rd Place ($103,353)
Caufman Talley Eliminated in 3rd Place
William Tait raises to 275,000 in the small blind and Caufman Talley calls in the big blind.
The flop is and Tait bets 225,000. Talley calls and they go to the turn.
Tait checks, Talley bets 400,000, and Tait calls.
The river is the and Tait checks again. Talley moves all in for 1,525,000 and Tait calls.
Both players have trip aces, but Tait's kicker is slightly better. Five time Circuit ring winner Caufman Talley is eliminated in 3rd place, earning him $103,353, and it is down to heads up.
William Tait - 4,700,000 (47 bb)
Caufman Talley - Eliminated
05/22/17 04:36:59 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Takes From William Tait
Caufman Talley raises to 250,000 on the button, Jason Baldridge calls in the small blind, and William Tait calls in the big blind.
The flop is and all three check.
The turn is the and Baldridge bets out 375,000. Tait calls and Talley folds.
They go heads up to the river and Baldridge bets 475,000.
Tait calls and Baldridge shows for a turned straight and Tait sends his hand to the muck.
Jason Baldridge - 10,500,000 (105 bb)
William Tait - 2,700,000 (27 bb)
05/22/17 04:27:02 PM PST
William Tait Shoves On Caufman Talley
William Tait opens to 275,000 from the small blind. Caufman Talley calls from the big. The flop comes and Tait leads for 300,000. Talley calls.
The turn is the and Tait continues his aggression with a bet of 500,000. Talley calls again.
On the river. Tait moves all in with just a little over 1.6 million left behind. Talley folds quickly and Tait takes down the pot.
William Tait - 3,875,000 (39 bb)
Caufman Talley - 2,200,000 (22 bb)
05/22/17 04:21:14 PM PST
William Tate Gets a Fold from Jason Baldridge
William Tait raises to 225,000 on the button and Jason Baldridge defends in the big blind.
The flop comes and Baldridge checks. Tait bets 175,000 and Baldridge calls.
On the turn, Baldridge checks, Tait bets 275,000, and Baldridge calls again.
The river is the . Baldridge checks once more and Tait puts together a bet of 750,000. Baldridge folds and Tait takes down the pot.
William Tait - 2,825,000 (28 bb)
Jason Baldridge - 8,940,000 (89 bb)
05/22/17 04:07:20 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Applies Pressure With The Big Stack
William Tait limps on the button. Cuafman Talley limps as well from the small blind. Jason Baldridge thinks for a moment before announcing an all in. Both players fold and and Baldrigde takes down the pot.
Jason Baldridge - 9,340,000 (93 bb)
William Tait - 2,000,000 (20 bb)
Caufman Talley - 3,650,000 (37 bb)
05/22/17 03:50:19 PM PST
Hal Kizzire Eliminated in 4th Place ($77,032)
Hal Kizzire Eliminated in 4th Place
Caufman Talley opens the button to 225,000, Jason Baldridge calls in the small blind, and Hal Kizzire calls in the big blind, committing most of his remaining stack to the pot.
The flop is . Baldridge checks, Kizzire moves all in for 85,000, Talley calls, and Baldridge folds. Kizzire is heads-up for his tournament life, at-risk, and drawing live to triple-up.
Neither player has a pair, but Talley's high card has him two cards from the knockout. The turn and river complete the board with blanks, and Talley does win the pot with ace-king-high. Kizzire is eliminated in fourth place.
Caufman Talley - 4,750,000 (48 bb)
Hal Kizzire - Eliminated
05/22/17 03:45:33 PM PST
William Tait Finds an Eight to Double Through Hal Kizzire
Action folds to the blinds and Hal Kizzire raises to 275,000 in the small blind. William Tait moves all in for 1,970,000 in the big blind and Kizzire quickly calls to put Tait at risk.
Kizzire claps when he sees Tait's hand, which he is dominating.
The flop is safe for Kizzire, but the turn gives Tait a pair of eights. The river is insignificant and Tait doubles up, leaving Kizzire short-stacked.
William Tait - 3,980,000 (40 bb)
Hal Kizzire - 310,000 (3 bb)
05/22/17 03:34:37 PM PST
Level 31 Started
|Level:||31 ||Blinds:||50,000/100,000 ||Ante:||10,000|05/22/17 03:33:26 PM PST
Ryan Leng Eliminated by New Chip Leader Jason Baldridge in 5th Place ($58,180)
Ryan Leng Eliminated in 5th Place
Ryan Leng limps in the cutoff and Jason Baldridge raises to 250,000 on the button. The blinds fold and Leng moves all in for 2,085,000. Baldridge calls and Leng is at risk.
The flop is , giving Leng a flush draw, but Baldridge is still ahead.
The turn and the river provide no help to Leng and he is out in 5th place for a payout of $58,180.
Jason Baldridge - 5,815,000 (73 bb)
Ryan Leng - Eliminated
05/22/17 03:27:34 PM PST
Jason Baldridge Check-Raises Caufman Talley
Caufman Talley raises to 175,000 and Jason Baldridge calls in the small blind. The big blind folds and the flop comes .
Baldridge checks, Talley bets 175,000, and Baldridge check-raises to 500,000.
Talley lets it go and Baldridge shows for two pair.
Jason Baldridge - 3,600,000 (45 bb)
Caufman Talley - 3,350,000 (42 bb)
05/22/17 03:24:33 PM PST
Caufman Talley vs William Tait
William Tait raises to 175,000 in the cutoff, Caufman Talley calls on the button, and Jason Baldridge comes along in the big blind.
The flop comes and it checks to Talley. He bets 275,000, Baldridge folds, and Tait calls.
It is heads up to the turn and Tait checks. Talley bets 350,000 and Tait calls.
On the river, both players check and they show down.
Talley's pair of queens is best and he drags the pot.
Caufman Talley - 3,720,000 (47 bb)
William Tait - 3,045,000 (38 bb)