I think it is safe to say that David ODB Baker is having a good week. On Monday, he took the chip lead at the World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic and on Tuesday, he stayed on top, ending Day 4 as the largest stack in the tournament for the second day in a row. He enters Wednesday’s Day 5 with 4.610 million chips; there are just a dozen players remaining of the original 546 in this $10,000 freezeout event.
As was the case the previous day, Baker was ecstatic with how everything went, as he should be.
“It feels amazing,” he told WPT.com at the end of the night. “This tournament has just been incredible, everything I’ve done has worked.”
As I often point out in this little write-ups, fortunes can change in a hurry in poker, so very few leads are ever safe. And while Baker has a sizable edge of more than a million chips, it’s not so overwhelming that he can coast.
“Obviously, nobody who signed up for this tournament is in better shape than I am at this point. I’m thrilled with it, but there’s so much work left. I think half the field remaining have won WPTs already so I’ve got my work cut out for me,” agreed Baker, as if he could time travel and know what I was going to write the next day.
He was pretty close on that guess. Of the twelve remaining players, five have won WPT titles. Darren Elias currently sits in second place with 3.365 million chips. He had an incredible Season XIII, finishing as runner-up in the Player of the Year standings to Anthony Zinno. That season, Elias won back-to-back titles and managed eight total WPT Main Event cashes.
Behind Elias is James Carroll with 3.085 million chips. He won the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star almost exactly five years ago.
Tony Tran, holding 2.500 million chips in fourth place, is trying to nab his second WPT title of this season. He previously won the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in October.
In seventh place is Matas Cimbolas, winner of the 2014 WPT UK, with 1.600 million. The short stack going into Day 4 is Andy Frankenberger, the Season IX WPT Player of the Year. That season, Frankenberger won the WPT Legends of Poker and finished fifth at WPT Festa al Lago.
So yes, David Baker certainly has some obstacles to overcome if he is going to advance toward his first career World Poker Tour championship.
Day 5 begins at noon Pacific time and will run until the final table of six is determined. The players will not return tomorrow, however, instead pausing until March 11th, when this and a few other WPT final tables will be contested in Las Vegas at the Luxor’s HyperX Esports Arena.
2019 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event – Day 4 Standings
1. David ODB Baker – 4,610,000
2. Darren Elias – 3,365,000
3. James Carroll – 3,085,000
4. Tony Tran – 2,500,000
5. Jean-Claude Moussa – 2,180,000
6. John Smith – 1,620,000
7. Matas Cimbolas – 1,600,000
8. Steve Yea – 1,150,000
9. Paul Fontan – 590,000
10. Mike Meskin – 470,000
11. Jeffrey Colpitts – 410,000
12. Andy Frankenberger – 290,000