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David Coleman Dominates PGT Kickoff Series To Continue Hot Streak

Kristen Foxen Beats Daniel Negreanu Heads Up In Finale

by Erik Fast |  Published: Feb 21, 2024


The PokerGO Tour doesn’t believe in an off-season. The 2023 PGT Championship concluded on Jan. 10, and the very next day the new season got underway with the five-event 2024 PGT Kickoff.

A total of $1,965,000 in prize money was paid out across the handful of no-limit hold’em events. The two standout performers during the festival were David Coleman, who made four final tables and won two titles, and Kristen Foxen, who took down the finale for the largest payday of the series.

David Coleman Makes All But One Final Table

30-year-old former online poker grinder David Coleman came into 2024 without a live tournament title to his name. Midway through January, the New Jersey native has managed three such victories across five final-table finishes, with nearly $411,000 in earnings secured along the way.

Four of those final-table showings came in this series, each in a $5,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. Those four scores accounted for $294,800 of his total haul so far this year.

Before making his way to the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the PGT Kickoff series, Coleman scored his very first live title at the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian $1,600 main event. He outlasted 457 entries to walk away with $115,989 and the trophy.

While it had been years and years waiting for that first breakthrough, it took Coleman just five days to find himself hoisting another trophy. He overcame an 89-entry field in the first tournament of the PGT Kickoff to add $120,150 to his tally.

The very next day he placed fifth in event no. 2 for another $31,500 score. Event no. 3 saw him make his way back to heads-up play, only to finish as the runner-up for another $69,350.

The day after that close call, Coleman made his way to his fourth final table of the series. He went on to beat out a stacked final table on his way to the title and another $73,800. Viktor Ustimov finished second, marking his third final table of the series.

Coleman’s incredible start to the year has seen him seize the lead in both the PGT season-long race and the series-long leaderboard with 590 points.

He is also the current leader in the Card Player Player of the Year race, with 1,564 total points across four qualified scores. His most recent win did not award POY points, though, as it failed to meet the minimum required threshold of either more than 50 entries or a prize pool of more than $250,000.

Coleman’s career earnings have also grown to more than $4 million thanks to his hot start.

Dylan Weisman and Justin Young Capture Titles In Events 2 and 3

The second event on the schedule drew 90 entries to build a prize pool of $450,000. After two days of play, Dylan Weisman emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $121,500.

This was the sixth-largest tournament score yet for the bracelet winner, and the biggest payday of his career to come in a no-limit hold’em tournament. Most of Weisman’s success on the circuit has come in pot-limit Omaha variations and mixed-game offerings.

Weisman now has nearly $2.6 million in lifetime tournament earnings. He went on to follow this victory up with a 10th-place finish in event no. 3. As a result, he climbed to second in the PGT standings with 265 total points.

Plenty of high-stakes regulars ran deep in this event, including Joao Simao (11th), Jeremy Ausmus (10th), Sean Winter (8th), Victoria Livschitz (7th), Jesse Lonis (7th), and of course, Coleman. Sergey Kislinsky, who finished 16th in the CPPT Venetian main event less than a week earlier, took home $78,750 as the runner-up.

Justin Young came out on top in event no. 3, besting a field of 73 entries to take home $105,850. The World Poker Tour champion based out of Las Vegas now has nearly $6.6 million in recorded tournament scores after this latest win. This was his 17th live title and 304th in-the-money finish.

Young also earned 212 PGT points for the win, moving him into fifth place in the season-long standings.

Young closed out this tournament in exciting fashion, scoring a double knockout with pocket eights against two higher pairs held by David Coleman and four-time bracelet winner Kristen Foxen. Young flopped a set of eights and held from there to bring the event to a sudden conclusion.

Coleman took home $69,350 as the runner-up thanks to having one more chip than Foxen (3rd – $49,275) to start that wild final hand. But Foxen was far from finished at this series.

Kristen Foxen Wins $10,500 Buy-In Finale Event, Defeating Daniel Negreanu Heads-Up

Kristen Foxen earned her first poker tournament title of 2024 by taking down the series finale. She overcame a field of 50 entries in the $10,500 event, defeating Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu heads-up to secure the trophy and the top prize of $165,000.

This was her 12th recorded title, and her second win in a PGT event. Her first came in a $25,000 event at the 2019 Poker Masters for $408,000, the largest score of her career.

With this victory, Foxen climbed to second place in the PGT season-long rankings, with 429 total points and $214,275 in qualified earnings.

The $500,000 prize pool was ultimately paid out amongst the top eight finishers in this event, with Dylan Linde (8th) and Eric Baldwin (7th) cashing late on day 1.

Day 2 began with Negreanu in the chip lead among the final six, while Foxen sat in fourth place on the leaderboard, just ahead of her husband Alex Foxen.

This was not the first time that the couple squared off against each other at a final table, nor would it be the last (see pg. 29). Back in 2018 they ended up heads-up in a $5,000 event at the Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series, with Alex ultimately coming out on top after the couple struck a deal to redistribute the remaining prize money.

Bracelet winner Masashi Oya was the first to fall in sixth place, adding $30,000 to his sizable lead on Japan’s all-time money list with $5.8 million.

Alex Foxen soon followed when his pocket aces were unable to hold against the pocket queens of his wife. Kristen flopped top set and held from there to send her husband to the rail with $40,000 for his efforts. He now has more than $31.8 million in lifetime earnings after this fifth-place showing.

Negreanu then took out Aram Zobian in a classic race, winning a flip to send the bracelet winner to the payout desk for $50,000.

Sam Laskowitz recorded his fourth final-table finish of the year in this event. All five of his in-the-money finishes in 2024 have come in PGT tournaments. This latest run concluded when his flush draw clashed with the flopped top set of Foxen. Laskowitz was unable to come from behind and was knocked out in third place for $70,000.

He now sits in a four-way tie for fifth place in the POY race with 960 points and more than $377,000 in qualified earnings.

Heads-up play began with Foxen holding a 4:3 lead over Negreanu, and with the blinds getting bigger and being dealt the better of the starting hands, she was able to close out the victory.

Negreanu cashed for $105,000 as the runner-up. This was his second final-table finish of the year, having won a $10,500 buy-in event during the PGT Last Chance festival just a couple of days into 2024. The six-time bracelet winner and two-time WPT champion now has more than $51 million in career tournament earnings, good for seventh on poker’s all-time money list. ♠