If you play online tournament poker you are probably well aware of the PokerStars alias ‘WhooooKidd’.
In a possible reference to the Hip-Hop DJ of the same name, David Baker has been absolutely crushing the site’s major tournaments in recent times and now has prizes of over $1.1million just from Stars at the tender age of 22.
Baker is better known as ‘Bakes’ in the online community and uses that nickname for his Pocket Fives and Two Plus Two profiles – the latter where he has made over 9,000 posts! His views on hand scenarios are always given the highest respect and a glance at his results shows that this is fully merited.
Hailing from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Baker discovered poker in Michigan State College where he made the then standard $50 deposit on PartyPoker and started hitting the sit and go’s. “I was really bad”, he told Poker Road Radio, “- I just sat there and folded everything, getting to heads-up play with about 3 big blinds”. He didn’t take poker seriously until dropping out of school 2 years in and heading to Miami to do a Sound & Audio Engineering course – having lots of free time he deposited $300 online and after a coupled of big MTT scores built it up to $10,000 – the rest, as they say, is history. ‘Bakes’ says the key to him taking poker to the next level was the coaching he received from Deuces Cracked instructor Vanessa Selbst, who mentored him through the levels and who he describes as “an incredible player, even when she’s drunk”.
It’s pretty clear that the $250 an hour was a wise investment. On New Years Day 2008 Baker took down the Stars Super Tuesday for $74,360 and proceeded to go on an awesome run of form, taking down the first of many $100 Re-Buys (for $40,750) just 3 weeks later. A runner-up finish in the Sunday Warm-Up ($53,794) and another Super Tuesday final table (3rd, $44,000) further enhanced his reputation before the biggest score of his young career in October ’08 – victory in the Sunday 500, overcoming a 942 runner field packed with talent to earn himself a cool $91,500. There is a fascinating discussion with Anthony ‘holdplz’ Spinella on Card Player discussing one of the key hands of the tournament against Baker (see here) and it is a good illustration of the extreme pressure he puts his opponents under in the end game of tournaments. Since then he has gone on to take down the $100 Re-Buys on a further two occasions (for a combined $62,000 – check out his incredible record in this tournament here) as well as another huge score in the Super Tuesday – this time runner-up for $59,295 on 14th January ’09.
‘WhooooKidd’ turned 21 in November 2007 and since then has shown an appetite for the offline game as well, collecting over $300,000 in live prizes and 2 cashes at the 2008 WSOP (including placing 252nd in the Main Event for $35,383). His highlight to date must surely be the WPT Five Star Classic at the Bellagio in April ’08, where he placed 2nd in the $5,000 event for $230,580.
We would also advise checking out his interview with Poker Road radio made at the 2009 PCA as he talks about some interesting strategy and clearly has a fairly light-hearted & affable demeanour. Just don’t be surprised if ‘WhooooKidd’ is taking your money on Stars in 2009.