The final championship for the World Poker Tour in 2019 has been determined. After a seven-hour final table battle, defending Global Poker Index Player of the Year Alex Foxen was able to capture one of the most prestigious titles on the WPT circuit, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. In addition to winning the more than $1.6 million first place prize, Foxen also appears to have earned enough points to defend his POY title – at least on the GPI side.
Stacked Final Table Brings Excitement
After playing down to the final table at the Bellagio on Friday, the six men who were still alive for the WPT Five Diamond title moved over to the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas so that the action could be captured for the streaming audience. Leading the way when the chips and cards had been transferred was Daniel Park, who sat on a stack of 11.1 million chips at the start of the action. Park wasn’t a massive leader, however, as Foxen was stacked with 9.75 million chips and WPT Champions’ Club member Jonathan Jaffe was looking to add his name to the Cup once again with just over nine million chips. Seth Davies (4.825 million), Toby Joyce (4.575 million) and Peter Neff (2.075 million) rounded out the table of potential champions.
It would take almost 30 hands of play before the first significant move among the competitors. After Park popped the action from the small blind and Foxen called him from the big blind, a J-6-Q rainbow flop hit the felt. Park fired a continuation bet and Foxen, undaunted, called. On an eight turn that brought two clubs, Foxen once again called a bet from Park to see a third club, the deuce, come on the river. Park would fire a third bullet, this one worth 775K in chips, only to see Foxen come over him with a 3.175 million bet.
Now Park was in a spot. Did Foxen get there on the river? Did he turn the straight? Park used three “time extensions” to ponder his situation before making the call. Foxen tabled the Q♣ 3♣ for the flopped pair of queens and the runner-runner flush; Park could only muck his cards as he sent the chip lead over to Foxen.
The rich would only get richer when Foxen dumped Jaffe from the tournament in sixth place, his pocket nines standing strong against Jaffe’s K-Q. He would get a challenge from Joyce, however, as he ascended the ladder in eliminating Park from the tournament when he rivered a Queen with his A-Q to best Park’s pocket pair of tens. Foxen would continue to dominate the table, however, even after Davies eliminated Neff in fourth place.
Three Players Down to One
Down to three players, Foxen (25.7 million) had his opposition Joyce (8.625 million) and Davies (7.075 million) at a serious disadvantage and he wouldn’t let up on them. Within ten hands of three-way action, Foxen had his stack over 31 million chips and Joyce and Davies had no answers. Foxen would just use the mountain of chips in front of him to literally bully his opposition out of hands.
The bullying didn’t mean it was easy, however. Davies and Joyce both would find opportunistic double ups before Foxen eliminated Davies in third place. After a quick break to stage the table for the PokerGO audience, it only took another eight hands for Foxen to complete the deal.
On Hand 165, Foxen would limp in and Joyce would be thankful to get a free look at the flop. A J-5-3 flop saw Joyce check his option but, after Foxen fired a bet, he would plop in a check-raise. Foxen continued to push, three-betting the action to two million chips and Joyce made the call. A King on the turn saw Joyce check again and, after Foxen moved all in, he would drop into the tank. Using four of his “time extension” chips, Joyce felt that Foxen was bullying him again and made the call for his tournament life.
It turned out to be the wrong move. Foxen had flopped top pair with his A-J, which completely dominated Joyce’s J-9. Looking for one of the three nines in the deck that would save him (Foxen had him outkicked with anything else), the duo saw an innocuous four come on the river to end the tournament with Alex Foxen as the champion.
1. Alex Foxen, $1,694,995
2. Toby Joyce, $1,120,040
3. Seth Davies, $827,285
4. Peter Neff, $617,480
5. Danny Park, $465,780
6. Jonathan Jaffe, $355,125
With the victory, Foxen moves into excellent position to defend his 2018 Player of the Year championship. Although official calculations are not yet out from the GPI, the POY points earned by Foxen in the WPT Five Diamond will push him into first place over Bryn Kenney and Stephen Chidwick for the 2019 calendar year. It would mark the first time that a player has repeated as the GPI POY since it was introduced.