Waxman outlasts Baldwin heads-up

Updated: June 7, 2013, 2:24 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

Need a yearly reminder that poker is a game of skill and not the often-touted luck? Take a look at the final table of the 1,837-player $1,000 buy-in Event 7. Working their way throught the masses were two previous bracelet winners, a WPT champion, a multi-million online poker winner and a runner-up from 2012 with massive experience who wanted to cash in this time around. Five well-known personalities were stacked against four relative unknowns, including three making their first WSOP cashes. Whoever was destined to win would have to earn it.

[+] EnlargeMatthew Waxman
WSOP.comMatthew Waxman earned $305,952 and his first bracelet in Event 7 of the 2013 WSOP.

Matthew Waxman can reflect on this final table and a seven-hour, 187-hand heads-up battle with Eric Baldwin and agree that he most definitely earned it. Waxman had previously found firsts on the World Poker Tour and WPT Circuit, but the gold bracelet had eluded him during his first three WSOP final table appearances. Early Wednesday morning, he was finally able to feel the sense of relief as the title and $305,952 was all his.

"I tried to avoid higher variance spots until the end because I had nice chips to sit back on the whole time," said Waxman of his approach at the final table. "I really had to work hard to win this one. I can't believe I had to work this hard at a final table for a $1,000. This was probably harder than a lot of $10,000 final tables."

According to the WSOP, the final day began with 10 players and Amit Makhija at the top of the chip counts. Eliminations came quick early on, as Scott Yelton finished without an official final table appearance, as those are recorded for the final nine players. Baldwin's stack was up and down early and found a big double-up against Jason Koon to stay alive. Koon was left with only four big blinds and was eliminated in ninth a few hands later.

Waxman was already in first by the time he knocked out Tuu Ho in eighth (Q-Q over A-Q) and for the first time had separated himself from the pack. As Waxman surged, Baldwin was short again and tripled up with A-8 over Waxman's A-J and Robert Dreyfuss' 5-5. Similar to Koon's exit, Dreyfuss was down to just seven big blinds after that hand and couldn't catch against Waxman (A-9 over A-7).

Jess Dioquino eliminated Jacob Jung in sixth and doubled through the 2012 bracelet winner Brent Hanks to move into second. Baldwin got lucky to bust Hanks in fifth (3-3 over 8-8) and the patient Makhija was coolered by Waxman as he moved all-in with Q-Q on a 8-5-4 flop and ran into Waxman's A-A.

A few hands later, Baldwin picked up J-J and doubled through Dioquino's 10-10. Dioquino's run ended in third and set the stage for a battle between two giants in the game. Waxman held an edge to start the action with a total of 183 big blinds on the table. It was a back-and-forth battle, with both players seemingly on the edge of victory time and time again. Seven hands later, there would be only 34 big blinds left and with Baldwin holding only six of them, he moved all-in with 7d-4h and was called by Waxman and his Ah-5s. The flop brought Waxman an ace and that was all he needed to stand up victorious and reflect on his accomplishment.

"[I felt] exhaustion, love for all the people in my life that I know were there with me or watching at home," Waxman said. "My first thought after winning was just a huge relief. I can't really describe my thoughts into words. [There are just] mixed emotions of happiness."

Baldwin's finish was anything but surprising as continues to find success at the WSOP. He won his first bracelet in a $1,500 event in 2009, then finished fifth in a $1,000 event last year. This was his second cash of the Series and responded to his supporters on Twitter saying, "Thank you for all the love. The summer is young :)"

Waxman now has 19 career WSOP cashes and has his eyes set on finding a matching piece of jewelry for his other wrist.

Other notable finishers include Paul Wasicka (33rd), Annette Obrestad (42nd) and David Peters (46th).

Below are the complete results of Event 7 at the 2013 World Series of Poker:

Event 7: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $1,000
Entries: 1,837
Prize pool: $1,653,300
Players in the money: 198

1. Matthew Waxman ($305,952)
2. Eric Baldwin ($189,220)
3. Jess Dioquino ($130,825)
4. Amit Makhija ($94,353)
5. Brent Hanks ($68,975)
6. Jacob Jung ($51,086)
7. Robert Dreyfuss ($38,340)
8. Tuu Ho ($29,147)
9. Jason Koon ($22,435)
10. Scott Yelton ($17,491)
11. Cole Jackson ($17,491)
12. Rajaee Wazwaz ($17,491)
13. Kelvin Gates ($13,805)
14. James Beard ($13,805)
15. Angel Pagan ($13,805)
16. Ronald Crabtree ($11,027)
17. Nicholas Abourisk ($11,027)
18. Cesar Flores ($11,027)
19. Michael Shelton ($8,927)
20. Billy Rogers ($8,927)
21. Dana Krohn ($8,927)
22. Matthew Kirby ($8,927)
23. Grayson Ramage ($8,927)
24. John Cline ($8,927)
25. Adam Geyer ($8,927)
26. Michael Bokan ($8,927)
27. Erle Mankin ($8,927)
28. Kevin Ho ($7,307)
29. Michael Doucette ($7,307)
30. Rodney Brown ($7,307)
31. Srinivasan Thavarajah ($7,307)
32. Andrew Neeme ($7,307)
33. Paul Wasicka ($7,307)
34. Jacob Beck ($7,307)
35. Jared Koppel ($7,307)
36. Richard Jackson ($7,307)
37. Leonard Crews ($6,051)
38. Sean Hegarty ($6,051)
39. Jose Nadal ($6,051)
40. James Barlow ($6,051)
41. Sam Cohen ($6,051)
42. Annette Obrestad ($6,051)
43. Damien Kabbaz ($6,051)
44. Brian Pinkus ($6,051)
45. Michael Devinsky ($6,051)
46. David Peters ($5,075)
47. Louie Saludes ($5,075)
48. He Huang ($5,075)
49. Robert Garinger ($5,075)
50. Ari Engel ($5,075)
51. Tremayne Taylor ($5,075)
52. Mark Kadner ($5,075)
53. David Grossman ($5,075)
54. Joshua Stineford ($5,075)
55. Brandon Hall ($4,298)
56. Jefri Islam ($4,298)
57. Alfred Wang ($4,298)
58. Changjae Lee ($4,298)
59. Robert Johns ($4,298)
60. Stephen Lee ($4,298)
61. Edgar Delatorre ($4,298)
62. Marc Rosenberg ($4,298)
63. Jeffrey Forrest ($4,298)
64. Edward Blount ($3,686)
65. Joel Tushnet ($3,686)
66. Chance Steed ($3,686)
67. Michael Kopjanski ($3,686)
68. Chase Olsen ($3,686)
69. Jonathan Neckar ($3,686)
70. Danny Steinberg ($3,686)
71. Alexander Venovski ($3,686)
72. Thomas Lesigonich ($3,686)
73. Alec Bradlow ($3,207)
74. Braxton Dunaway ($3,207)
75. Richard Stymiest ($3,207)
76. Milad Jorshari ($3,207)
77. Kenneth Shei ($3,207)
78. Daniel Makowsky ($3,207)
79. Gary Benson ($3,207)
80. Steven Kelly ($3,207)
81. Arthur Demmerley ($3,207)
82. Barry Seidman ($2,810)
83. Yashar Darian ($2,810)
84. Edward Duncan ($2,810)
85. Stephanie Pearce ($2,810)
86. Jamie Rosen ($2,810)
87. Ali Rabah ($2,810)
88. Vikki Cox ($2,810)
89. Tobias Huber ($2,810)
90. Imari Love ($2,810)
91. Johnpaul Cao ($2,513)
92. Allan Bieler ($2,513)
93. Derrick Barry ($2,513)
94. Karl Himmler ($2,513)
95. Brian Park ($2,513)
96. Michael Souza ($2,513)
97. Mark Dube ($2,513)
98. Mounir Srour ($2,513)
99. Chou Chou ($2,513)
100. Elia Ahmadian ($2,248)
101. Joseph Turnbull ($2,248)
102. Jacob Arguello ($2,248)
103. Scott Laird ($2,248)
104. Jeffrey Barta ($2,248)
105. Sean Small ($2,248)
106. Can Kim Hua ($2,248)
107. Daniel Healey ($2,248)
108. Johnathan Adams ($2,248)
109. Jeremy Dresch ($2,248)
110. Morgan Litwin ($2,248)
111. Eric Ladny ($2,248)
112. Brian Davis ($2,248)
113. Hien Ly ($2,248)
114. Keven Stammen ($2,248)
115. John Bettencourt ($2,248)
116. Deip Paul ($2,248)
117. Warren Chu ($2,248)
118. Jack Salter ($2,248)
119. Jon Eaton ($2,248)
120. Jason Belanger ($2,248)
121. Jeffrey Fielder ($2,248)
122. Avraham Lipman ($2,248)
123. David Jones ($2,248)
124. Anthony Mar ($2,248)
125. Alberto Holguin ($2,248)
126. Matthew Button ($2,248)
127. Carl Olson ($2,033)
128. Joseph Golias ($2,033)
129. Ronald Tregillis ($2,033)
130. Morgan Machina ($2,033)
131. Andrew Jackson ($2,033)
132. Mark Maldonado ($2,033)
133. Dana Kellstrom ($2,033)
134. Peter Bosen ($2,033)
135. Amir Lehavot ($2,033)
136. Adam Levy ($2,033)
137. Stephen Kats ($2,033)
138. Craig Bergeron ($2,033)
139. Patrick Smith ($2,033)
140. Brett Schwertley ($2,033)
141. Brian Combs ($2,033)
142. Lisa Vukasin ($2,033)
143. Dustin Graves ($2,033)
144. Matthew Bingel ($2,033)
145. Jimmy Chan ($2,033)
146. Oleksandrgna Gnatenko ($2,033)
147. Steven Parkin ($2,033)
148. Andrew Crawford ($2,033)
149. Christopher Johnson ($2,033)
150. Heiko Hoenmanns ($2,033)
151. Dustin Ward ($2,033)
152. Todd Pfalzgraf ($2,033)
153. Robert Georato ($2,033)
154. Pressly Moffatt ($2,033)
155. Terry Grimes ($2,033)
156. Shawn Glines ($2,033)
157. James Lewis ($2,033)
158. Daniel Nichols ($2,033)
160. Ivo Schoofs ($2,033)
161. Cherish Andrews ($2,033)
162. Kevin Klueh ($2,033)
163. Jason Senti ($1,868)
164. Stuart Marshak ($1,868)
165. Ping Liu ($1,868)
166. John Le Blanc ($1,868)
167. Richard Nagamatsu ($1,868)
168. Matthew Berkey ($1,868)
169. Min So ($1,868)
170. Thomas Lavagnino ($1,868)
171. Hanny Kiroloss ($1,868)
172. James Luteijn ($1,868)
173. Seth Hilleren ($1,868)
174. Mark Lewis ($1,868)
175. Jeffrey Gibralter ($1,868)
177. Alex Freiberg ($1,868)
178. Beau Wilshire ($1,868)
179. David Eller ($1,868)
180. Andrew Teng ($1,868)
181. Adolfo Masliah ($1,868)
182. Phillip Oliphant ($1,868)
183. Joseph Marzicola ($1,868)
184. Jedidiah Hoffman ($1,868)
185. Ryan Haury ($1,868)
186. Craig Schiro ($1,868)
187. Nicholas Galtos ($1,868)
188. Robert Reist ($1,868)
189. Mantas Visockis ($1,868)
190. Adam Shuman ($1,868)
191. Dylan Linde ($1,868)
192. Tom Brownscombe ($1,868)
193. Valerio Silva ($1,868)
194. Jason Pawloski ($1,868)
195. Scott Sitron ($1,868)
196. Theodore Corey ($1,868)
197. Sigfrido Cuen ($1,868)
198. William Klein ($1,868)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE