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Poker legend in position to win 8th career WSOP bracelet

Billy Baxter went largely unnoticed during the first three days of the World Series of Poker’s $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-limit Hold’em Championship.

The legendary poker player and sports bettor couldn’t escape the spotlight Sunday on Day 4 at Horseshoe Las Vegas.

Baxter reached the final table of the seniors event and is in position to win his eighth career WSOP bracelet, which are awarded for tournament victories. Should the 83-year-old Las Vegas resident emerge victorious, he would be the seventh player with eight or more bracelets.

Johnny Moss is the oldest player to win a WSOP bracelet at age 80.

When seven-handed play resumes at noon Monday at Horseshoe Las Vegas, Baxter will be third in chips with 26 big blinds. Two-time bracelet winner Dan Heimiller, who won the seniors event in 2014, holds the chip lead with 99 big blinds.

Top prize in the event, which drew a record field of 8,180 entrants, is $765,731. All the remaining players are guaranteed at least $122,130.

Baxter’s last bracelet came in 2002 in the $1,500 buy-in Razz event, and all of his victories have come in lowball events. Along with his own accolades at the poker table, Baxter famously staked Stu Ungar during his victory in the 1997 WSOP Main Event.

Baxter was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.

When action started Sunday, Baxter was seventh out of 29 players. But he couldn’t get any traction early and found himself on a short stack at the first break.

Baxter scored a key double-up through David Stearns with 12 players remaining and added another double against Canadian Lonnie Hallet during nine-handed play to climb the leaderboard.

Heimiller, a Las Vegas resident, took control at the final table with nine players left when he caught Ron Fetsch bluffing in the largest pot of the tournament. Heimiller and Hallet control more than two-thirds of the chips in play.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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