Isaac Haxton emerged as the triumphant champion in Event #16 of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the $25,000 High Roller tournament, securing his first WSOP gold bracelet and a remarkable first-place prize of $1,698,215. Haxton’s path to victory involved outlasting a formidable field of 301 participants, culminating in a heads-up showdown against Ryan O’Donnell.
The WSOP witnessed a record-breaking turnout for this high buy-in event, and Haxton expressed his deep appreciation for claiming the top spot. Reflecting on his accomplishment, he remarked, “I’ve often settled for second or third place in my biggest cashes, so it’s truly gratifying to finally emerge as the winner. A field of three hundred players in a $25k tournament—it’s undeniably one of my most significant achievements.”
The year 2023 has been a complete reversal of fortunes for Haxton, who has already secured an impressive tally of six victories, accumulating over $7,000,000 in earnings. While previous years saw the rise of players like Fedor Holz and Justin Bonomo as dominant forces, Haxton’s exceptional performance this year places him on track to potentially achieve one of the most remarkable years in the history of poker.
During the post-match interview, Haxton was accompanied by his close friend Justin Bonomo, who asked about his future aspirations and whether he aimed to surpass the record for the most live-tournament wins. Haxton chuckled and replied, “Not really. I don’t pay much attention to those things. I simply love playing poker and making money from it.”
Following his recent victory, Haxton’s lifetime winnings reached an impressive $37,509,332, positioning him at 14th place on the all-time money list, as reported by The Hendon Mob.
Day 3 of the tournament witnessed thirteen players returning to the tables for the final showdown. The action began with a classic flip, where Taylor von Kriegenbergh’s ace-king clashed against Haxton’s pocket queens, resulting in Haxton’s queens holding up and Von Kriegenbergh exiting the competition. Simultaneously, Kristen Foxen’s short stack quickly diminished, leaving the field with just eleven players.
In the subsequent level, Jorge Consiglieri and Aleksejs Ponakovs consecutively bowed out, forming the unofficial final table. Haxton entered the final nine players with a commanding chip lead and primarily coasted along as the shorter stacks battled for positioning. Multiple double-ups occurred before Michael Jozoff’s elimination.
Over the next hour, numerous small pots were contested, with Joao Vieira accumulating few, if any, chips along the way. Brian Rast’s failed bluff attempt also left him short-stacked, eventually leading to a confrontation in the blinds between Rast and Vieira. Rast emerged victorious with a straight, ending Vieira’s tournament run in eighth place.
After a one-hour dinner break, the final table relocated to the Thunderdome, where Brian Rast encountered further misfortune. The five-time bracelet winner pushed his remaining eleven big blinds from the small blind, only to encounter a stronger hand held by Lewis Spencer in the big blind. Rast couldn’t improve his hand, and Spencer soared to the top of the leaderboard.
Throughout the final day, the chip lead changed hands multiple times among the remaining six players, including Frank Funaro, who boasted the largest and most boisterous rail. However, Funaro’s spirited support wasn’t sufficient to propel him to his first WSOP bracelet as he ultimately finished in fifth place, falling victim to Spencer’s pocket aces.
Though Lewis Spencer initially enjoyed a favorable trajectory, his fortunes