David ‘ODB’ Baker is a poker professional who has earned over $4 million in live poker tournaments in his career, capturing a World Series of Poker gold bracelet along the way. When Baker survived a field of 419 players in the 2017 WSOP $1,500 razz event to make it heads-up against 40-year-old Chicagoan IT worker Jason Gola, it seemed safe to say that Baker was the favorite to emerge victorious. When Baker took the lead he entered heads-up play with and stretched it to that point that he held 3,000,000 to Gola’s 100,000 in chips, it seemed all but certain that he would come out on top. But even though that 100,000 was less that one big bet at the 60,000-120,000 limits, Gola found a way to rebuild and eventually come back and defeat his veteran opponent. For the win Gola earned the $132,957 top prize, which was by far his largest ever live score, and of course his first WSOP gold bracelet.
David Baker wasn’t the only tough competition that Gola had to contend with on the road to victory. Joining him at the final table of this event was none other than all-time WSOP bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth, who was looking to add to his record total of 14 wins at the series. Hellmuth was eliminated in sixth place ($19,865) when his (6-2)4 failed to beat Baker’s initial holding of (A-Q)4. Baker caught good on each progressive street, making an 8-4-3-2-A by sixth street. Hellmuth was drawing live going into seventh street, but caught a jack and could only produce a 10-6-4-2-A in the end.
The other serial bracelet winner at the final table was Benny Glaser, a three-time WSOPchampion. He was the next player to hit the rail, earning $27,503 for his fifth-place finish.
Baker and Gola continued to build as the final table become short-handed, with Baker eventually sending Bradley Ruben to the rail in third place ($55,958) to take a 1.8 million to 1.3 million lead into heads-up play against Gola.
As previously mentioned, Baker ran with the lead early on in their final showdown, extending his chip advantage to roughly 30-to-1 before Gola began to mount his incredible comeback. When he was down to less than a big bet Gola got his last chips in on third street with (9-7)6 against Baker’s (7-2)9. Gola made an 8-7-6-3-A by sixth street and that was good enough to earn him the double up. The two went on break shortly after that hand. When they returned Gola quickly worked his way into the lead, which was traded back and forth a few times before Gola began to string together some key pots.
By the time the final hand arose Baker was left with only a couple of antes. He got his last chips in only to be drawing dead by sixth street with the following boards:
David Baker: (2-2)J-5-J-8 (X)
Jason Gola: (K-9)7-A-6-4 (7)
With that Gola completed his incredible comeback, securing the pot and sending Baker to the rail with $82,174.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points|
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.