Alex Foxen Wins WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

  • 1,035-entry field largest-ever for a $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event
  • First WPT title earned Foxen $1.7 million, $15,000 seat into the Tournament of Champions
  • Foxen now leads Global Poker Index Player of the Year race after winning in 2018
the Fountains of Bellagio at night
Alex Foxen won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event and $1.7 million. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

WPT record field

Alex Foxen won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio over the weekend, the first WPT title of his poker career. For the victory, Foxen won nearly $1.7 million and a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

the field grew to 1,035, a record for a $10,000 event on the World Poker Tour

The Five Diamond is one of the few remaining $10,000 buy-in tournaments on the World Poker Tour. With unlimited re-entries permitted until the start of Level 12, the field grew to 1,035, a record for a $10,000 event on the World Poker Tour. The prize pool just eclipsed $10 million.

Flush with success early

Foxen entered the six-handed final table on Sunday second in chips with 9.750 million. Danny Park led with 11.100 million. The most important hand of the final table doesn’t often come early, but in this case, it may have.

On just the 29th hand, Foxen held Q♣-3♣ and, up against Park, hit top pair on a flop of J♣-6-Q♠. Park was the aggressor pre-flop and kept that up while Foxen obliged with a call. Park again bet the turn 8♣ and Foxen called once more. The 2♣ on the river gave Foxen the unlikely runner-runner flush and this time, when Park bet, Foxen put in a massive raise. After disposing of three time extension chips, Park finally called and saw the bad news, mucking his hand.

That hand elevated Foxen into the chip lead with 14.125 million chips. Park was still in solid shape, but saw his stack plummet to 8.025 million after having just been over 12 million.

Foxen never relinquished the lead.

Dominant finish

Going into heads-up play, Foxen held a significant chip edge over Toby Joyce, 29.500 million to 11.900 million. Joyce would likely need a double-up to get back into contention, but he never got it. Foxen pulled away further; it took only nine hands to sew up the tournament.

Joyce needed four time extensions to think it over before finally calling all-in for his last 4.500 million

On the final hand, Foxen limped pre-flop and Joyce checked to see a flop of J♣-5♠-3. Joyce checked, but when Foxen bet 400,000, Joyce check-raised to 1.100 million. Undeterred, Foxen re-raised to 2 million and Joyce slowed down, just calling. The turn was the K♣. Joyce checked, so Foxen put him to the test, moving all-in for many millions more chips than Joyce had in front of him. Joyce needed four time extensions to think it over before finally calling all-in for his last 4.500 million.

Joyce had J-9♣, good for second pair, but Foxen had A♣-J♠, giving him the same second pair but the top kicker. The river was of no use to either player, giving the pot to Foxen, along with his first WPT title.

Momentous for year and career

Alex Foxen had come close to winning the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic two years ago, finishing as the runner-up to Ryan Tosoc. That made this victory even more satisfying than it might have otherwise been.

“It’s surreal – it’s kind of hard to put into words,” he told WPT.com afterward. “It feels amazing. The last time I got to this spot I was a little bit disappointed in how I played heads-up. It’s just incredible to get the opportunity again and be fortunate enough to pull out the win.”

He added that this is the biggest win he has had so far in his career and that it feels “amazing” because of both the size and quality of the field.

With the win, Foxen also moved into the lead for the Global Poker Index Player of the Year. As there is just one week left in 2019, he likely has the honor wrapped up. Foxen won the GPI POY in 2018 and would become the first player ever to do it back-to-back.