Poker Pro Donates $200,000 to Baseball Team
Eric Baldwin may not have had what it took to get from Division III baseball powerhouse University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to the pros, but that’s just fine with him. In fact, it’s more than fine because he has become a pro in something else…..poker.
Baldwin, who was a member of the UW-Whitewater team that won the 2005 NCAA Division III Championship, made his old school very happy with a $200,000 donation. The $200k is going towards new lights for Jim Miller Stadium, which will help UW-Whitewater secure its spot as host for the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional that takes place from May 19-23.
The former team captain and right fielder was ecstatic about being able to help his old school. He expressed this by saying, "It feels awesome to be in a position to help UW-Whitewater host the regional again. UW-Whitewater has an amazing baseball program, and hopefully the team will be playing in this year’s regional in front of its hometown crowd."
Baldwin was able to generate the funds for the new lights through his extremely successful poker career. Baldwin has reached a pinnacle since he won 4 big poker tournaments this year, and was named the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year. Perhaps more importantly for himself and UW-Whitewater, Baldwin earned $1.5 million in 2009, which made the $200,000 donation possible.
Since graduating from college in 2006, Baldwin has been on the poker circuit competing in quite a few major events. The biggest win of Baldwin’s poker career came in the 2009 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event where he finished in first place, and cashed for $521,932. Baldwin also took first in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Classic and earned $256,660.
Baldwin was able to take a lot away from his college baseball career and apply it to poker freerolls as he said, "When you’re a captain, you deal with different kinds of people and you learn to understand why certain people do certain things, just like in poker." He continued by saying, "We were fortunate enough to take third place in 2004 and then win a national championship in 2005. I learned that if you put a lot of hard work into something and fight through the hard times, things will work out. Preparation leads to success."