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Alex Foxen Wins First Bracelet, $4.5 Million In World Series of Poker Super High Roller Event

The 31-Year-old Poker Pro Defeated A Field of 56 Entries In The $250,000 Buy-In Event, Increasing His Career Earnings To $26.8 Million

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High-stakes poker tournament star Alex Foxen came into the 2022 World Series of Poker as of the most accomplished players in the game without a bracelet to his name. He had more than $22.2 million in recorded tournament earnings, including multiple seven-figure paydays and a win in a World Poker Tour main event. The 31-year-old professional player finally added a WSOP bracelet win to his resume, and did so in style: Foxen took down the 2022 WSOP $250,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em super high roller, securing a career-best $4,536,700 payday as the champion.

“It definitely means a lot to me,” Foxen told PokerGO reporters after coming out on top. “It has kind of been a bit of a monkey on the back. I’ve always wanted a bracelet and had some close spots. I was always disappointed to not get one and this feels like a really special one to get my first in.”

This massive win saw Foxen increase his lifetime earnings to nearly $26.8 million, which is good for 21st place on poker’s all-time money list.

“I feel like the all-time money list can be a little misleading,” Foxen said when asked about moving up those rankings. “It’s not as important to me because it’s a lot of who wins the biggest field and the biggest buy-ins. But it’s still a metric that has some value and it’s cool to move up on that list. What means the most is just consistent performance at the highest stakes, and this is one of those. So, it feels really good.”

In addition to the hardware and the money, Foxen was also awarded plenty of rankings points for the win. The 600 Card Player Player of the Year points he secured for his third title and 14th final-table finish saw him move into fifth place in the 2022 POY race sponsored by Global Poker. He also locked up 700 PokerGO Tour points, moving into fourth place on that leaderboard.

The top nine finishers made the money in this nosebleed-stakes tournament, resulting in a huge six-figure money bubble. Two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo was the last player eliminated outside of the money, with his A-K losing a preflop race to Foxen’s pocket fours to guarantee the final nine at least $414,815 for their efforts. That payout ultimately was awarded to Henrik Hecklen, who finished ninth when his A-J lost a coin flip against the pocket eights of two-time bracelet winner Martin Kabrhel.

The final eight bagged up at the end of day 2, with Foxen in the lead heading into the final day of action. Three-time bracelet winner Dan Zack, who has already won two titles at this year’s series, finished eighth when his A-Q lost out to the pocket tens of Foxen, who rivered a king-high straight for the win. Zack earned a career-best $488,095 payday for his strong showing in this event.

Phil IveyTen-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey was just four days removed from a runner-up showing in the $100,000 buy-in high roller at the series when he made this final table. Ivey is on quite the run this year, with ten total final-table finishes including four so far at the WSOP. His run in this event came to an end when his Q-J ran into the A-Q suited of Brandon Steven. Ivey earned $597,381 as the seventh-place finisher, increasing his lifetime total to more than $37.1 million (good for 10th on the money list). Ivey also secured enough PGT points to move into the lead in that race. He sits in ninth place in the POY standings as well.

Kabrhel fell in sixth place ($759,362), getting his last handful of big blinds in with K-2 suited trailing the pocket jacks of Steven. Kabrehl picked up a flush draw on the turn, but failed to improve on the river. Steven strengthened his hold on the second-place spot heading into five-handed action, while Foxen remained out in front.

Bracelet winner and high-stakes regular Sam Soverel found a monster hand to get his last eight big blinds in with. Unfortunately for him, his pocket kings would not hold against the A-7 of a surging Steven. An ace on the flop left Soverel in rough shape, and he found no help the rest of the way. Soverel took home $1,001,142 as the fifth-place finisher, increasing his lifetime earnings to more than $19 million in the process.

Adrian Mateos won this event in 2021 for the largest score of his career. The four-time bracelet winner from Spain made a valiant run at defending his title, but lost a crucial pot during four-handed play to fall into the danger zone. He called a preflop shove from Chris Hunichen with K-10 suited, only to find himself up against K-J. The higher kicker played for Hunichen and Mateos was left with fewer than three big blinds. He managed a double up, but was soon all-in and at risk again with K-10 trailing the A-6 suited of Hunichen, who made two pair to secure the pot. Mateos earned $1,367,206 as the fourth-place finisher, increasing his career total to more than $29.3 million.

Foxen remained in the lead going into three-handed play. He soon extended his advantage when he picked off a bluff from Steven. Both players had turned flush draws. Steven missed the river entirely with his ace-high draw, but Foxen made a pair of nines to go with the two tens on the board. Steven fired on the river after his draw blanked out, but Foxen made the call to give him more than 70 percent of the chips in play.

Foxen was soon involved in another big pot, with his small-blind shove of Q-3 being called by Hunichen and his A-7 suited. Hunichen flopped a pair of aces, while Foxen hit a three. A queen on the turn gave Foxen queens up and the lead. A jack o the river changed nothing and Hunichen was sent home with a career-high payday of $1,931,718 for his third-place showing.

Foxen held more than an 8:1 chip advantage over Steven when heads-up play began. It didn’t take long for him to convert that lead into the title. In the final hand he limped in from the button with QDiamond Suit10Heart Suit and Steven checked with 5Spade Suit2Heart Suit from the big blind. The flop came down QHeart Suit5Heart Suit2Spade Suit. Steven checked his two pair and Foxen made a bet of a single big blind. Steven-check raised from 600,000 to 2,400,000. Foxen then three-bet shoved. Steven called all-in for 8,250,000 with his two pair. The KHeart Suit on the turn gave Foxen a flush draw to go with his other outs. The 10Club Suit on the river saw him improve to a higher two pair, queens and tens, to lock up the pot and the title. Steven earned $2,820,581 as the runner-up. This was his first seven-figure score, increasing his career earnings to over $6 million.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Alex Foxen $4,563,700 600 700
2 Brandon Steven $2,820,581 500 550
3 Christopher Hunichen $1,931,718 400 450
4 Adrian Mateos $1,367,206 300 400
5 Sam Soverel $1,001,142 250 400
6 Martin Kabrhel $759,362 200 228
7 Phil Ivey $597,381 150 179
8 Daniel Zack $488,095 100 146
9 Henrik Hecklen $414,815 50 124

Photo credits: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.

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