Isaac Haxton Wins U.S. Poker Open $25,000 Event For His Fourth Title of 2023

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Isaac Haxton has dominated the live high-roller poker tournament circuit so far in 2023. He leads all players so far this year in titles won (4), final tables made (10), and tournament earnings ($5.1 million).

The 37-year-old poker pro’s latest victory saw him defeat a field of 54 entries in the 2023 U.S. Poker Open $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. Haxton took home $432,000 for the win, increasing his career earnings to nearly $37 million. As a result, he now sits in 12th place on poker’s all-time money list.

Haxton’s incredible start to the year has seen him accumulate 3,752 Card Player Player of the Year points through the first quarter of the year, enough to move him into second place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker. He also sits in fourth place in the PokerGO Tour season-long points race, with two titles and three cashes for more than $1.1 million in PGT events.

The event that gave Haxton his latest trophy took place inside the PokerGO Studio at ARAI Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two-day, $25,000 buy-in affair drew 54 entries to create a prize pool of $1,350,000. The money bubble burst late on day 1 when Cary Katz’s A-K was outrun by the K-Q of bracelet winner Dan Smith. Masashi Oya (8th – $54,000) and Chris Brewer (7th – $67,500) soon followed to the rail, leaving six contenders remaining for day 2.

Alex FoxenThe final day began with Smith in the lead and Haxton in second chip position. A severely short-stacked Alex Foxen got all-in with Q-4 facing the A-K of 16-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and recent USPO event no. 5 champion Phil Hellmuth. Foxen, a bracelet winner himself, found no help and was eliminated in sixth place ($81,000). This was his eighth final-table finish of the year, with one title won and nearly $1 million in POY earnings secure along the way. As a result, he now sits in fifth place on the 2023 POY leaderboard.

Despite scoring that knockout, Hellmuth was the next to hit the rail. He called all-in from the small blind with A-Q suited leading the Q-7 of Smith, who had raised enough to put Helluth at risk from the button. Smith took the lead with a pair of sevens made on the turn and held through the river to extend his lead. Hellmuth earned $108,000 as the fifth-place finisher, growing his career earnings to $25.4 million in the process.

Bill Klein’s run in this event came to an end when his A-4 suited was unable to beat out the pocket tens of Haxton. Klein found no help from a jack-high runout and was eliminated in fourth place ($135,000). The successful businessman and accomplished amateur poker player now has nearly $6 million in tournament cashes to his name.

The final three went on to battle for more than an hour and a half. The next knockout was the result of a preflop clash of small pocket pairs, with Smith’s 2Spade Suit2Heart Suit being dominated by the 6Spade Suit6Heart Suit of Haxton. The board brought four spades to give Haxton a superior flush and the pot. Smith took home $189,000 as the third-place finisher. The score increased his career earnings to more than $41 million.

Heads-up play began with Haxton holding 6,775,000 to Joey Weissman’s 1,325,000. Weissman, a bracelet winner who took down the kickoff even of the USPO this year, won a big pot with a flush beating the pocket aces of Haxton to nearly level the playing field, but Haxton still had the lead when the following hand after that clash turned out to be the final one dealt in this tournament.

Weissman limped in on the button with QHeart Suit10Diamond Suit and Haxton checked his option with AHeart Suit4Heart Suit. The flop came down JDiamond Suit6Heart Suit6Heart Suit and Haxton checked to Weissman, who bet a single big blind. Haxton check-raised to 4.5 big blinds and Weissman called. The QClub Suit on the turn gave Weissman top pair. Haxton checked and Weissman checked behind. The river was the 8Heart Suit, completing Haxton’s flush. Haxton bet 300,000 and Weissman thought it over for a while before raising to 1,000,000. Haxton reraised all-in and Weissman went deep into the tank.

Weissman eventually called and Haxton revealed his nut flush to secure the pot and the title. Weissman earned $283,500 as the runner-up. With 429 total PGT points earned so far at the USPO, Weissman now sits in second place in the player of the series standings.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded on day 2:

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Isaac Haxton $432,000 420 259
2 Joey Weissman $283,500 350 170
3 Dan Smith $189,000 280 113
4 Bill Klein $135,000 210 81
5 Phil Hellmuth $108,000 175 65
6 Alex Foxen $81,000 140 49

Photo credits: PokerGO Tour / Enrique Malfavon.





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