William E. Baxter, Jr. is a popular and highly admired expert player of poker in America, who has won several tournament titles. His achievements consist of cash earnings, titles and also World Series of Poker (WSOP). In the year 2006, for his achievements, William Baxter was officially included in the Poker Hall of Fame. He is also known as Billy Baxter.
Billy was born in the riverside town of Augusta in the state of Georgia. In 1940, when Billy was born, it was common for children to visit pool halls and indulge in gambling. Not only did he start early by playing hustling pool games, but he had saved a good amount of money to start going to local pubs and saloons by the time he turned 18. It was at this time, that Billy was introduced to poker and it soon became an integral part of his life.
Billy Baxter has a craze for gambling and even known to have played roulette and blackjack without anyone knowing. He searched for proper poker games.
Interestingly, in 1975 William went for a honeymoon trip to the exotic Hawaii but on his way back ended up in Las Vegas. It is more attention-grabbing to know that Baxter and his wife spent nine months in a hotel while he played poker for his living. At Las Vegas, he came in contact with legendary poker players such as Puggy Pearson, Stu Ungar and Doyle Brunson.
He found Las Vegas as his home and continued to play poker giving his best.
Billy Baxter has an impressive poker career and is extensively known as one of the poker’s elite players in the history of the World Series of Poker. In 1975, William won seven gold bracelets among which five have come in deuce-to-seven draw events. He has won one title in razz and ace-to-five draw.
Critics also rank him with some prominent poker players such as Erick Seidel, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Johnny Moss and Phil Hellmuth.
In 1997, Billy Baxter earned fame for his unique way of staking Stu Ungar and finally Ungar's victory in the World Series of Poker. Because of his excellent skills and winnings he is ranked alongside Men Nguyen.
Till the year 2011, his total live tournament prize money are estimated to exceed the whopping amount of $2,300,000.
In the late 1970’s Baxter's contribution to poker involved his pains to emphasize that poker was his profession requesting the government to consider it similar to other incomes. But the government insisted that poker winnings were ‘unearned’ incomes, which were subject to a higher tax rate. After some years decided to take legal action and applied for a tax refund which was accepted by the court. The court declared the judgement in favour of William.
Many ardent admirers of Billy Baxter still like to say that his love towards the game has not in the least faded with time.