Born in 1940 in Augusta, Georgia, Billy Baxter began playing poker as a teenager. He started off playing pool and was soon hustling money in these games of pool. He was savvy enough to save up the money he had hustled and by the tender age of 16 he had amassed $5000 which he decided to take to the taverns once he had turned 18. This was where he discovered poker which became his next passion.
It was on the way home from a honeymoon vacation to Hawaii with his new bride, that Baxter took a detour to Las Vegas. That detour ended up with the happy couple living in a hotel room for nine months as Baxter played the poker tables and made his money this way.
Baxter has won seven World Series of Poker bracelets in his career. He has won 5 Deuce to Seven Draw bracelets. He won them in 1975, 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1993. He won the Ace to Five Draw in 1982 and the Razz in 2002. These seven wins have put him in seventh place when it comes to all-time WSOP bracelets. His WSOP cashes totals 28 and he has amassed over $1,000,000 during his World Series of Poker career.
Even though Baxter is well known for his WSOP bracelets, he is probably better known for the fact that he fought the IRS in a case where the court ruled in his favor. The result of the case meant that the money he made from poker tournaments could be considered as income earned. Had it been considered unearned income it would have been liable for tax of up to 70%. This ruling meant that all poker players could now have their winnings deemed as earned income.