Alex Foxen emerged victorious for a field of 70 entries in the 2022 U.S. Poker Open $15,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, earning $283,500 for the win. The score saw him surpass $21.2 million in career tournament earnings, placing him one spot away from the top 30 on poker’s all-time money list.
“I love it,” Foxen told PokerGO reporters when asked about facing off against the top competition that frequents PGT events. “That’s really what keeps me passionate about the game. I love having high-level competition. It’s what drew me to poker in the first place. I just feel really lucky to be able to play against the best all the time and do my best to try to beat them. It’s just a lot of fun. I wake up every day excited to play. It’s awesome.”
This was Foxen’s third cash of the USPO series, which has now seen seven of its 12 events determine a champion. Foxen currently sits in second place in the player of the series points race.
“It would mean a lot to me for sure,” said Foxen when asked about the prospect of winning that race. “This is definitely the highest level of tournament competition that exists and winning one of the overall trophies is something that I haven’t done yet. It’s definitely something I want to do. That Golden Eagle Trophy is pretty sweet, too.”
Foxen earned plenty of rankings points for this victory. In addition to the 284 USPO points he secured to bring his series total to 356 points, he also earned the same amount of PGT points for what was his 10th qualified cash of the year. He now sits seventh place in the PGT standings. Foxen was awarded 504 Card Player Player of the Year points for his win in this event. This was his second title and ninth POY-qualified final-table finish of the year. With 1,720 total points, he now sits in 10th place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
This event played out over the course of two days, with only six players making it to day 2. Play began with 2019 Card Player POY award winner Stephen Chidwick in the lead, while Foxen sat in the middle of the pack. Dan Smith slid to the bottom of the leaderboard during the first hour of action after starting the day in fourth chip position. Smith got the last of his chips in ahead, raising from the button with pocket kings and then calling a three-bet shove from Chidwick, who held Q-10 suited. Chidwick rivered queens up to take the pot and eliminate Smith in sixth place ($63,000). The 33-year-old poker pro now has more than $38.3 million in career tournament earnings, the seventh-most of any player in the world.
Bracelet winner Joseph Cheong was the next to fall. He battled his way into the lead during five-handed play, only to lose a chunk of his stack with pocket sevens facing the pocket eights of short stack Thomas Boivin in a preflop all-in confrontation. Cheong three-bet all-in for his last 1,000,000 over the top of a Foxen raise from the cutoff. Cheong’s A-9 was dominated by Foxen’s A-Q, which improved to queens and sixes to secure the pot. Cheong earned $84,000 as the fifth-place finisher. He now has nearly $16.5 million in career tournament earnings.
Despite finding the previously mentioned double-up, Boivin was ultimately the next player to be knocked out. The Belgian shoved with K-7 suited from the small blind and ran into the pocket jacks of Foxen in the big blind. Boivin flopped a flush draw and turned an open-ended straight draw, but whiffed on the river to finish fourth ($105,000).
Foxen won a pivotal all-in during three-handed play. Chino Rheem raised from the button and Foxen three-bet with pocket aces out of the small blind. Chidwick four-bet shoved from the big blind with pocket tens and Foxen called after Rheem bowed out. Chidwick was unable to come from behind and was left on fumes. He hung around on a short stack for a bit, but was eventually eliminated in third place ($136,500). The payday increased his lifetime earnings to more than $38.5 million, putting him in sixth place on the all-time money list.
With that, Foxen took nearly a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Rheem. In the final hand Rheem limped in from the button with 107 and Foxen raised with 88. Rheem called and the flop came down 854. Foxen bet roughly a quarter of the size of the pot and Rheem called. The 2 turn gave Rheem a flush draw to go with his gutshot straight draw. Foxen checked and Rheem bet about two-fifth of the size of the pot. Foxen check-raised with his set of eights and Rheem called. The 10 on the river gave Rheem top pair. Foxen moved all-in and Rheem called to send the pot and the title to Foxen. Rheem earned $210,000 as the runner-up finisher. The three-time World Poker Tour main event winner and 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion now has nearly $11.4 million in tournament scores to his name.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded to the top eight finishers:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credit: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.