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Kristen Foxen Wins PokerGO Tour Kickoff Series Finale

Four-Time Bracelet Winner Tops 50-Entry Field in $10,500 Buy-In Tournament To Earn $165,000

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Kristen Foxen earned her first poker tournament title of 2024 by taking down the finale of the PokerGO Tour Kickoff series. The four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner overcame a field of 50 entries in the $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, defeating Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu heads-up to secure the trophy and the top prize of $165,000.

Foxen increased her career tournament earnings to $7,872,216 with this victory. She remains in second place on the female all-time money list, trailing only ($10,899,027).

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

In addition to the title and the money, Foxen was also awarded plenty of rankings points as the champion. The 300 Card Player Player of the Year points she earned for her second final-table finish of the series were enough to move her into 13th place in the 2024 POY race standings presented by Global Poker. She also climbed to second place in the PGT season-long rankings, with 429 total points and $214,275 in qualified earnings.

The fifth and final event of the PGT Kickoff series ran from Jan. 15-16 at the PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The $500,000 prize pool was ultimately paid out amongst the top eight finishers, with World Poker Tour champion and bracelet winner Dylan Linde (8th) and two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (7th) cashing late on day 1.

Alex FoxenDay 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. Back in 2018 they ended up heads-up in a $5,000 buy-in event at 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 (6th – $30,000). 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 home with $40,000 for his efforts. He now has more than $31.8 million in lifetime earnings after this fifth-place showing.

A classic race spelled the end of bracelet winner Aram Zobian’ run in this event. His K-Q was unable to outflip the pocket tens of Negreanu. Neither player connected with the board and Zobian was eliminated in fourth place ($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 find a spade after the chips went in and was knocked out in third place ($70,000). He now sits in third place in the POY race with 960 points and more than $377,000 in qualified earnings.

Heads-up play began with Foxen holding 4,265,000 to Negreanu’s 3,235,000. She was able to extend her advantage even further before the final hand was dealt. She moved all-in from the button for 4.5 big blinds effective with JSpade Suit6Spade Suit and Negreanu called from the big blind with KSpade Suit9Club Suit. The board ran out JDiamond Suit8Diamond Suit2Club Suit10Heart Suit9Diamond Suit and Foxen’s pair or jacks earned her the pot and the title.

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 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.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Kristen Foxen $165,000 300 330
2 Daniel Negreanu $105,000 250 210
3 Sam Laskowitz $70,000 200 140
4 Aram Zobian $50,000 150 100
5 Alex Foxen $40,000 125 80
6 Masashi Oya $30,000 100 60
7 Eric Baldwin $20,000 75 40
8 Dylan Linde $20,000 50 40

Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.