Event 12: Alex Foxen Goes from Short Stack to Big 4 Champion

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Hollywood, Florida
$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)

Entries: 395
Prize Pool: $1,000,000
August 13-15, 2017

The $2,650 Big 4 Freeze-out drew a talented field of players all vying for the $1 million guaranteed prize pool. After three long days, Alex Foxen won the title along with $204,600 despite some late trouble. Foxen was down to less than two big blinds with 20 players remaining, but he never gave up. He ran his stack back up, made the final table, and took over from there.

“I lost a big hand and I actually think I made a pretty big mistake,” he recalled. “I was down to 12,000 (blinds at 10,000/20,000) but I was back to 550,000 after one orbit.”

Foxen didn’t stop there. He finished Day 2 with a ticket to the final table, returned with the third biggest stack, and turned that into a six-figure payday.

The $2,650 buy-in tournament drew 395 players to the freeze-out tournament and only 69 of them were around when Day 1 came to a close. The starting Day 2 leader was Seminole Hard Rock regular Nigel Murray but he did not factor in the latter parts of the tournament. The field made into the money early in Day 2 with 52 players earning a piece of the seven-digit prize pool.

Jason Koon grabbed the lead late in Day 2 as the reigning Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Champion made a big run towards his second major SHRPO title. Several players took the lead as the night grew late and it was Jack Duong locking up the biggest final table stack as Day 2 came to a close.

The final table gathered on Day 3 in the Hard Rock Live Arena to play down to a winner in front of the Poker Night in America live-stream camera with more than $200,000 set aside for the winner.

Local favorite Jacquelyn Scott, the 2015 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion, was an early exit from the final table and she was followed by Tom Thomas not far behind. Darryl Ronconi went out next in a huge three-way all-in pot that sent him out and put Charles Gomez into the lead.

Local favorite Jacquelyn Scott, the 2015 World Series of Poker Ladies Champion, was an early exit from the final table and she was followed by Tom Thomas not far behind. Darryl Ronconi went out next in a huge three-way all-in pot that sent him out and put Charles Gomez into the lead.

That hand also put Duong on the short stack and he went out in fifth place followed by former SHRP winner Paul Balzano. That left newcomer Gomez up against Koon and Foxen, two of the most experienced players to start the final table, but he held his own.

Those three players took turns exchanging the lead and it was Koon who was first to fall. He went out to Foxen when his big slick could not hold against Foxen’s ace-queen. Foxen took a big lead into heads-up play and it ended quickly when Gomez ran into Foxen’s turned flush.

Gomez earned $143,340 for his runner-up finish, adding to his $8,000 in career results coming into the day, and he fought a tough battle. Foxen continued a hot run of results that includes three World Series of Poker final tables this summer.

“I feel like I’m playing the best I ever have,” Foxen said. “And I hope to keep it going.”

“I’ve been putting a lot of work into the game for a long time and that’s made a big difference in my game.” Foxen continued.

The Big 4 Freeze-out drew a field of great players and produced some great action. The entire final table was a great representation of the quality of play we expect during the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open.

Congratulations to Alex Rosen for the win and thanks to our players for a great event.

Final table results:

1st: Alex Foxen – $204,600
2nd: Charles Gomez – $143,340
3rd: Jason Koon – $92,150
4th: Paul Balzano – $61,550
5th: Jack Duong – $47,350
6th: Faraz Jaka – $39,250
7th: Darryl Ronconi – $32,950
8th: Tom Thomas – $26,700
9th: Jacquelyn Scott – $20,460

Complete $2,650 Big 4 Freeze-Out Results

Event 12: Alex Foxen Defeats Charles Gomez for the Title

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante

Alex Foxen opened to 150,000 from the button and Charles Gomez called to see the qhtc8c flop. Gomez checked, Foxen bet 180,000 and Gomez called.

Another check from Gomez after the 2c turn and Foxen bet 420,000. After a few minutes to think it out, Gomez called again to see the 7c river. Gomez changed gears and moved all in for 1,280,000.

Foxen quickly called and flipped over the nut flush ac3c to best the pair of tens jdts of Gomez. The heads up match was over the quickly and Foxen celebrated with his rail.

Tournament recap to come shortly.

1st: Alex Foxen – $204,600
2nd: Charles Gomez – $143,340

Event 12: Foxen Moves Further Out Front

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 28: 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 395

Alex Foxen

Since the last break, Alex Foxen has been the more aggressive and extended his lead.

The latest addition came when Charles Gomez opened to 150,000 from the button and Foxen called to see the qh8d4c flop. Foxen checked, Gomez bet 110,000 and Foxen called. Another check from Foxen after the 7c turn that turned into a check/raise from 225,000 to 655,000.

Foxen thought a good while before that raise but Gomez didn’t wait very long before he mucked.

Seat 4: Alex Foxen – 5,750,000 (96 bb)
Seat 6: Charles Gomez – 2,150,000 (36 bb)

Event 12: Jason Koon Eliminated in 3rd Place ($92,150)

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 27: 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 395

Alex Foxen opened to 125,000 from the button and Jason Koon raised to 400,000 from the big blind. Foxen put Koon all in, effectively betting 1,650,000 and Koon called.

Koon: ackh
Foxen: adqd

The 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open champion was ahead for the big double and hit the kctd5s flop. Foxen had a Broadway gutshot that filled on the jd turn. Koon was left with three chop outs to stay alive but the tc river sent him out in third place.

Alex Foxen – 5,500,000 (110 bb)
Jason Koon – Eliminated in 3rd place ($92,150)

Jason Koon (left) versus Alex Foxen (right)
Jason Koon (left) and Alex Foxen (right)

Events 12: Foxen Back On Top

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 27: 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 395

Alex Foxen

There have been a few swings since the last break with few hands making it to a river, nevermind a showdown. Alex Foxen is back on top when he raised to 165,000 from the big blind after Jason Koon limped the small.

Koon check/called a 165,000 bet after the 9d5s4s flop then released after a 380,000 bet from Foxen after the 2d turn.

The stacks are still deep and they are in no hurry to build massive pots at this point.

Seat 2: Jason Koon – 2,200,000 (44 bb)
Seat 4: Alex Foxen – 3,400,000 (68 bb)
Seat 6: Charles Gomez – 2,300,000 (46 bb)

Event 12: Foxen Dips; Koon Leads

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 27: 25,000/50,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 395

There were few major hands over the last 30 minutes but Alex Foxen slipped a bit to Charles Gomez while Jason Koon moved into the lead by maintaining his stack. All three stacks are deep and this could take a while.

Seat 2: Jason Koon – 3,150,000 (63 bb)
Seat 4: Alex Foxen – 2,540,000 (51 bb)
Seat 6: Charles Gomez – 2,200,000 (44 bb)

Event 12: Alex Foxen Doubles Through Jason Koon

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 26: 20,000/40,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 395

Jason Koon began heads up play by pushing around the other two players. Asking how much they’re playing then putting them all in. One time he didn’t he was heads up with Alex Foxen to the 8s6s4d flop.

Koon checked, Foxen bet 110,000 and Koon called to the qd turn. Koon checked again, Foxen bet 230,000 and Koon put him all in. Foxen quickly called with flopped set 8c8h and Koon was drawing dead to the 2h river with qcjs.

Seat 2: Jason Koon – 3,800,000 (95 bb)
Seat 4: Alex Foxen – 2,400,000 (60 bb)
Seat 6: Charles Gomez – 1,700,000 (43 bb)

Event 12: Paul Balzano Eliminated in 4th Place ($61,550)

$2,650 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
$1,000,000 Guaranteed | Payouts | Live Stream
Level 26: 20,000/40,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 3 of 395

Jason Koon and Paul Balzano were heads up to the asqd5h flop with Koon on the button. Balzano bet 110,000 and Koon called. Balzano checked the qs turn, Koon bet 255,000 and Balzano moved all in for ~1,000,000.

Koon quickly called with trip queens qcjh and Balzano’s ac7c was in trouble.

“You did it to me again Jason,” Balzano commented. Each made the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship that ended with Koon on top.

Balzano had two aces in the deck to keep him around but he was gone after the 3s river.

Jason Koon – 4,300,000 (108 bb)
Paul Balzano – Eliminated in 4th place ($61,550)