Battling through an eight-hour final table featuring some of the toughest high-stakes players in the world, Isaac Haxton emerged victorious in the fifth running of the Super High Roller Bowl. In taking down the $300,000 buy in event, Haxton pocketed over a $3 million payday for his efforts.
Come in as The Leader, Leave as the Leader
Haxton walked into the Poker Central studios on Wednesday afternoon with the chip lead at the final table, but it was a slim one. Haxton’s 2.415 million in chips barely outpipped Stephen Chidwick and his 2.405 million stack. They were the only players over the two million mark as 2018 Player of the Year contender Alex Foxen (1.59 million), Igor Kurganov (1.55 million), Talal Shakerchi (995,000), Adrian Mateos (975,000) and Poker Masters defending champion Ali Imsirovic (875,000) rounded out the final table.
These seven men were the only players from the 36 player field to earn a cash from the event and they wasted little time getting to business. Haxton sent Imsirovic further into the basement on the very first hand of action, but then watched as Foxen rocketed into the lead in a big hand against Kurganov. On a 9-6-5-J-6 board and facing a big bet from Kurganov, Foxen used up a trio of time extension chips before making the call. It turned out to be the right move as Kurganov could only show K-8 for King high; Foxen showed a 9-7 for a pair of nines, good enough to scoop the pot and the chip lead.
That lead for Foxen was short lived, however. He would give a big stack of them to Mateos as Haxton took a turn chopping some chips from Kurganov and Shakerchi. Haxton then became the first player over the three million chip mark in knocking off Imsirovic in seventh place, his pocket Jacks run down by Haxton’s A♣ 5♣ when Haxton caught two clubs on the flop and a third on the turn.
As Haxton pulled away, the remainder of the table tried to keep pace with him. Shakerchi eliminated Kurganov in sixth place and emerged as a challenger when he took the chip lead after winning a big pot against Chidwick to go to 3.295 million chips. This only seemed to spark Haxton as he nearly immediately came back and retook the lead, knocking Foxen down the ladder in the process. It was then Foxen’s turn to fight back, winning a nearly million chip pot against Shakerchi before eliminating Mateos in fifth place to surge back to the lead after six hours of play.
A Rush to the Finish
Down to four handed, Haxton once again turned on the jets. He eliminated Shakerchi in fourth and Chidwick in third to pull within a million chips of Foxen as heads up play started. On the very first hand, Haxton took a 1.38 million chip pot to take over the lead in the tournament and didn’t look back.
On the final hand, Haxton limped in and Foxen raised, only to see Haxton fire all in over the top. Foxen considered his situation and made the call, tabling an A-8 against Haxton’s paint, K-J. The monochrome 6-A-Q all club flop pushed Foxen further into the lead, but Haxton made a pair of Kings on the turn. The river was brutal, a Jack, making two pair for Haxton and eliminating Foxen in second place as Haxton claimed the Super High Roller Bowl championship.
1. Isaac Haxton, $3,672,000
2. Alex Foxen, $2,160,000
3. Stephen Chidwick, $1,512,000
4. Talal Shakerchi, $1,188,000
5. Adrian Mateos, $972,000
6. Igor Kurganov, $756,000
7. Ali Imsirovic, $540,000
Haxton may have taken down one of the biggest tournaments of 2018 but he was able to keep his head regarding the victory. “I felt like I was in a great spot coming into today, but obviously it’s still very lucky to come away with the win,” Haxton commented to Steve Schult of the Poker Central Blog. “It’s easy, in the moment, to fall into putting too much significance into one tournament. It’s a 36-player event and I was the luckiest guy this time and won. I don’t think it changes anything about the player I am or my legacy, but damn does it feel good to win a tournament.”