"Basebaldy" defeats Klausen for WSOP bracelet

Eric Baldwin
Eric Baldwin is surrounded by friends and family after his first WSOP bracelet win.

Poker pro Eric "Basebaldy" Baldwin has a plan for his life post-WSOP bracelet.

The former college baseball star defeated Jonas Klausen heads-up in the latest $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event and already knows how he's spending the $521,932 in prize money.

"My friend made me promise that if I ever won more than a quarter million dollars I have to buy a junk car and put like $10,000 rims on it," he told PokerListings.com shortly after the match.

"So I'm probably going to buy an old Cutlass and put some wheels on and a huge subwoofer in it."

Beyond just pimping his ride, Baldwin is thinking sponsorship deals.

"I always thought it was weird that poker sponsorships never crossed over into the real world," he said. "But I drink Miller Light and if they need someone in the poker world, just give me a free supply and we're golden."

Eric Baldwin
Clearly overjoyed!

The 26-year-old moved from his native Wisconsin to Las Vegas to further his career as a live poker professional and has since logged big scores in the Venetian Deep Stack and Bellagio tournaments.

"I was coming out here several times a year for some tournaments so I figured I would just buy a place out here," he said. "Plus I hate shoveling snow."

His first bracelet win is his biggest live result to date.

"It's head over heels above anything else I've done in my life," he said. "The bracelet is the measuring stick that most people look to in judging poker players."

To earn that bracelet, Baldwin had to outlast a field that included Full Tilt's Roland De Wolfe at the final table and PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who wielded the big stack before flaming out in 13th.

And he had to contend with Klausen, a Danish pro who is feared in the online arena.

"He's just an amazing player," said Baldwin. "He's aggressive, but he knows when to put the brakes on, too.

Jonas Klausen
Admired by nerds!

"I looked up his stats online at the break and he has over 100% ROI on PokerStars, which is a nerdy way of saying he's very good."

Baldwin entered the heads-up match with the chip lead, but saw Klausen take over the advantage before a spectacular cooler of a hand changed both players' fortunes.

The hand saw Klausen flop top two pair on a Q-10-4 board and when he got in he could not have been blamed for feeling the bracelet was in his grasp.

Baldwin, however, had pocket fours for bottom set and managed to fade queens and tens to double up and take a commanding lead in the match.

A few hands later and the tournament was over, courtesy a preflop race with a pair of tens that held against Klausen's A-Q.

"It's very special," Baldwin said of the win. "I can't even accurately describe it because it hasn't sunk in yet."

Check out the PokerListings.com 2009 WSOP section for more coverage of Baldwin's win.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »