Poker Coverage:

Isaac Haxton Wins PokerGO Cup $50,000 Finale For $598,000

Cary Katz Finished Second In The Closing Event, Securing The PokerGO Cup Series Title With Five Cashes For $655,800

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The 2023 PokerGO Cup high-stakes tournament festival reached its exciting conclusion on Friday, Jan. 20 inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The series-ending $50,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament was won by longtime high roller contender Isaac Haxton, who earned $598,000 for overcoming a field of 26 entries.

This was the 12th-largest payday in Haxton’s career and his tenth recorded live tournament title. The win brought the 37-year-old poker pro’s lifetime live tournament earnings to $32.4 million, good for 15th place on poker’s all-time money list. He is one of just 17 players in the game’s history to accrue more than $30 million on the circuit. His biggest score ever also came at this same venue. In that event, he topped a field of 36 in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl V for more than $3.6 million.

In addition to the title and the money, Haxton also secured plenty of rankings points with this latest victory. The 306 Card Player Player of the Year points he was awarded moved him inside the top 100 in the 2023 POY race presented by Global Poker. The 359 PokerGO Tour points he took home for his first cash of the year catapulted him into fourth place on that leaderboard.

Haxton also ended up inside the top five of the PokerGO Cup player of the series points race thanks to his title run in event no. 8. The tournament played out over the course of two days, with day 1 coming to a close after the six-figure money bubble burst. Bracelet winner Brian Kim ran K-10 into the pocket aces of Cary Katz to finish fifth, setting up the final four for day 2.

That hand saw Katz take the second-largest stack into day 2, trailing only Haxton. Daniel Colpoys, fresh off of a runner-up showing in the $25,000 buy-in event no. 7 for $201,500, was the first to fall. Colpoys’ pocket nines could not beat out the A-5 suited of Haxton, who raised from under the gun and then four-bet shoved over Colpoys’ three-bet. Haxton flopped an ace and held from there to send Colpoys to the rail with $130,000 for his fourth-place showing.

2022 U.S. Poker Open and Poker Masters series title winner Sean Winter could have added another PGT player of the series award to his collection with a win in this event, but ended up finishing third for $208,000. He lost a big pot with rivered kings up facing the flopped trip sevens of Haxton. Winter bet half of his short remaining stack on the river, but folded to Haxton’s raise that would have put him all-in. Winter committed 240,000 of his 245,000 stack preflop with K-7 from the small blind and Haxton called with A-9. The pair checked it down and Haxton rivered a straight to win the pot, leaving winter on fumes. He was sent home in the next hand when Katz made a straight.

Heads-up began with Haxton holding 3,550,000 to Katz’s 1,650,000. The final two went on to battle for more than an hour, with Haxton maintaining the lead throughout. By the time the final hand was dealt, Haxton had extended his advantage to more than 14:1. Haxton open-shoved from the button for roughly 9 big blinds effective with JDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit and Katz called all-in with KSpade Suit7Club Suit. The board ran out ADiamond SuitJSpade Suit2Spade SuitQClub SuitAClub Suit and Haxton made aces and jacks to lock up the pot and the title. Katz earned $364,000 as the runner-up finisher, growing his career total to $36,243,910.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Isaac Haxton $598,000 306 359
2 Cary Katz $364,000 255 218
3 Sean Winter $208,000 204 125
4 Daniel Colpoys $130,000 153 78

Cary Katz Wins PokerGo Cup Series Title

Cary KatzWith his runner-up finish in the series finale, Katz officially secured the 2023 PokerGO Cup series title and the $50,000 in added prize money that comes with it. The 52-year-old businessman, high-stakes poker player, and founder of PokerGO cashed in five of the eight events that comprised this series, more than any other contender. Daniel Negreanu, Adrian Mateos, and Anthony Hu tied for the next-highest amount of cashes with three each.

Katz accrued $655,800 in earnings across his five in-the-money finishes at the festival, the most of any player. Katz came into the final day of the $50,000 buy-in event needing to either win the tournament outright or finish second to Haxton in order to capture the series title. Sean Winter and Daniel Colpoys both would have won the series title if they were the last player standing. Anthony Hu, who was the leader in the clubhouse with three cashes and a title, would have locked up the player of the series honors if Haxton won and any player other than Katz finished second.

After Colpoys finished fourth, Winter’s elimination in third secured the series title for Katz. Hu ended up in second position in the standings, with Alex Foxen in third, Haxton in fourth, and Winter rounding out the top five.

The PGT points that players accrued in this series will count toward the year-long leaderboard which will determine the invite list for the 2023 PGT Championship. This year, the top 40 will qualify for the $1,000,000 freeroll event with a $500,000 top prize.

Here are the top ten in the final PokerGO Cup standings:

Place Player Wins Cashes Winnings Points
1st Cary Katz 0 5 $655,800 460
2nd Anthony Hu 1 3 $454,200 454
3rd Alex Foxen 1 2 $470,040 393
4th Isaac Haxton 0 1 $598,000 359
5th Sean Winter 1 2 $424,000 341
6th Punnat Punsri 1 2 $459,400 335
7th Aram Zobian 1 2 $291,500 292
8th Ed Sebesta 1 2 $258,000 258
9th Orpen Kisacikoglu 0 2 $399,460 212
10th Erik Seidel 0 2 $223,200 223

Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.