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Poker Star: Billy Baxter

Poker Star: Billy Baxter
Today's poker star is the American legend Billy Baxter.
by Academia   |   comments 0

Known as Billy Baxter, William E. Baxter Jr. was born in the year 1940. However, many details of his early years of life are not known, except that Baxter lived in Georgia, United States.

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Throughout his history, Baxter is recognized within the poker game as one of the greatest poker players in history. The player's notoriety began to reverberate throughout poker in the mid-1970s, when Baxter was champion of an edition of the World Series of Poker. That said, in 2006 Baxter was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame due to his background in poker.

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Having spent a period in Georgia, USA, Baxter got into poker in the same way as many other players. As a young man, Baxter frequented some arcades whose main attraction was snooker, but also the poker tables. At 14, Baxter became familiar with the pool tables, and began to play steadily.
Later, at age 16, Baxter had already earned a small amount of $5,000. After two years, Baxter had finally became of age and could legally attend arcades. That's how the contact with poker started.
However, in the meantime Baxter was studying at Augusta College, the school he eventually dropped out of to pursue his career as a poker player. It was then, in the mid-1970s, that Baxter became known within the game of poker.


In 1975, Baxter took a trip together with his wife to spend their honeymoon in Hawaii, and in that period Baxter ended up going to the Valley of Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, Billy and his wife ended up staying for nine months in Las Vegas, where Baxter was putting his poker skills to use in order to make a living out of it.
At the time, Baxter had his first contact with other poker legends such as Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson and Stu Ungar. In the same year 1975, Baxter was present at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, playing in the US$1,000 Deuce to Seven Draw tournament, of which he managed to be the champion and take his first WSOP bracelet, along with the amount of US $35,000.
Since his first contact with the WSOP, Baxter has earned seven bracelets in the event series' tournaments. In particular, all of his bracelets were won in tournaments, and in lowball, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven and California lowball. According to reports, Baxter ranks second in bracelets won in no-hold'em tournaments, trailing only legend Phil Ivey.
On his list of achievements, Baxter has the following bracelets: $1,000 Deuce to Seven-Draw ($35,000 in 1975); $10,000 Deuce to Seven-Draw ($90,000 in 1978); $10,000 Deuce to Seven-Draw ($95,000 in 1982); $2,500 Ace to Five Draw ($48,750 in 1982), $5,000 Deuce to Seven-Draw ($153,000 in 1987); $5,000 Deuce to Seven-Draw ($130,500 in 1993) and $1,500 Razz ($64,860 in 2002).

Notable moments

Some of Baxter's most notable moments happened while the pro was betting on Stu Undar at the poker tables. However, the professional became nationally known in the William E. Baxter Jr. vs. the United States case.
On the specific occasion, Baxter filed a lawsuit against the government for a refund of $178,000. In that episode, a judge ruled that Baxter's poker winnings were "earned income", going against the "unearned income" classification, of which income was taxed at 70%. Thus, thanks to Baxter's action, poker pros were able to take their profits as "earned income" through the game.


By 2017, Baxter's earnings had already passed the $2,600,000 mark. Of that profit, about $1 million went from the WSOP series of events alone.

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