Isaac Haxton’s First Bracelet in a Life of High Stakes Poker

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Isaac Haxton

Isaac Haxton lastly gained his first WSOP bracelet, beating a file area within the $25,000 No-Restrict Maintain’em Excessive Curler occasion. [Image:]

Fading hearts on the river

In 2014, the acclaimed American poet and translator Brooks Haxton penned a fantastically poetic memoir entitled Fading Hearts on the River: A Life in Excessive-Stakes Poker or How My Son Cheats Dying, Wins Hundreds of thousands, & Marries His School Sweetheart. In it, he conjures the acquainted picture of a mother or father dwelling vicariously by means of his son’s thrilling life. He additionally captures a extra particular, unusual picture: watching his boy play for extra money in a single hand of poker than he has earned for all his prose and poetry books mixed.

that relationship between individuals and video games, how we’re drawn to them like transitional objects

Danger looms within the e-book like a portentous shadow, each the uncontrollable form that comes from the skin and the type that we welcome into our lives. When an early well being scare is juxtaposed subsequent to a lifetime of playing, the stakes are clear, however so, too, is that relationship between individuals and video games, how we’re drawn to them like transitional objects, consolation blankets that present the phantasm of management in a world which is chaotic.

Flitting between completely different occasions in his son’s life and spinning out language that’s each luxurious and evocative, Haxton’s e-book is a poignant rumination on the character of probability. It is usually a biography of a life unfinished, the adventures of a person whose journey within the bizarre world {of professional} poker are removed from over.

The brand new college had arrived

The 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Journey was Isaac Haxton’s first main dwell event and he went deep. He was already a big winner on-line, however this was a a lot greater stage. Along with his lengthy hair blowing within the wind on the outside ultimate desk, he seemed like a younger rockstar, only a contact of swagger. When he ultimately acquired heads-up in opposition to Ryan Daut, one other younger gun and product of the web poker revolution, it was a pronouncement of types. The brand new college had arrived.

Haxton completed second for $862,000, a place he would discover himself in lots of extra occasions over his poker profession. In 2009, he completed runner-up to Vitaly Lunkin within the World Sequence of Poker fortieth anniversary $40,000 occasion. In 2014, he was bridesmaid as soon as once more within the Aussie Hundreds of thousands AUD$250,000. Later that very same yr, he was second within the Aria $100K Tremendous Excessive Curler. Poker may be humorous that method. By the top of 2017, Haxton had accrued over $15m in dwell winnings, however for those who requested any of the elite gamers who amongst them had run the worst, they might have all stated it was him.

Dwell and on-line, money video games and tournaments, Haxton dominated and in 2018, he acquired that marquee victory and a deserved feather in his cap when he gained the $300K Aria Tremendous Excessive Curler for $3.7m. He has since added an additional $19m in dwell event winnings to his tally, placing himself thirteenth on poker’s all-time dwell cash listing.

Passionate defender of poker gamers’ rights

Whereas establishing himself as one the best poker gamers of the trendy period, Haxton has all the time been an outspoken voice within the poker neighborhood. In 2016, he stop PokerStars within the midst of the Supernova Elite scandal, fairly rightly citing unethical habits by the web web site.

It was a really principled place throughout a troubling time for poker and Haxton by no means let up. In 2018, Alex Dreyfus tweeted about all the great PokerStars was doing for the neighborhood to which Haxton replied:

“Nah, good for the business could be for them to die like different manufacturers that misplaced observe of the road between their clients cash and theirs.”

Haxton has all the time proven a willingness to all the time use his platform to talk reality to energy

On an entire host of points down the years, Haxton has all the time proven a willingness to all the time use his platform to talk reality to energy. When he signed as a partypoker ambassador in 2018, poker writer Paul Seaton echoed that sentiment, saying: “For a very long time, Haxton has been recognized to be a righteous and passionate defender of poker participant’s rights.”

One of the best with no bracelet no extra

Regardless of all his success, one factor has been lacking from Haxton’s illustrious resumé. One of many poker media’s favourite perennial actions is to make an inventory of “the perfect with no bracelet.” It’s all a bit foolish in a recreation with a lot variance, however there was a lot ado when Jason Koon acquired that exact monkey off his again final yr. Given his standing in poker, one couldn’t assist however put Haxton on the prime of that listing. That’s, till yesterday.

A mind-blowing 301 entries made their method into the prizepool of Occasion #16: $25,000 Excessive Curler No-Restrict Maintain’em, a file for a buy-in that enormous on the WSOP. Fittingly, the event finally boiled all the way down to Haxton and one other Ryan – Ryan O’Donnell – to battle it out for the $1,698,215 first prize. When the mud settled, Haxton was victorious, his third win within the final 9 weeks and sixth this yr.

“One in every of my largest accomplishments”

In his post-tournament interview, a grateful Haxton spoke concerning the satisfaction of posting a win in an even bigger event:

“I’ve completed second and third many occasions for my largest cashes, so it’s good to lastly win. A 3 hundred-player area for a $25k, yeah I assume it’s gotta be up there with one in every of my largest accomplishments.”

This one is a cherry on the highest of an unbelievable profession.”

Haxton’s shut pal and fellow poker professional Steve O’Dwyer couldn’t have been extra thrilled.

“I stayed up till 9am Dublin time to observe the Day 2 protection dwell yesterday and till 7am this morning to observe him win,” O’Dwyer stated on Friday. “It was nice to see and had me reminiscing on how lengthy our group of buddies have been doing this and the way far we’ve all come. I used to be on the rail for Ike’s first ever WSOP ultimate desk in a $1k NLHE rebuy in 2007 and his 2nd place end within the first ever WSOP excessive curler occasion, the $40k NLHE anniversary occasion in 2009. Regardless of being regarded as one in every of, if not the easiest participant on the planet, he’s run pretty unhealthy within the late levels of dwell tournaments all through his profession so it’s been superior to see him put collectively this superb string of victories within the first half of this yr. This one is a cherry on the highest of an unbelievable profession.”

A shifting goal, the story of Brooks Haxton’s son remains to be not completed, however this momentous event is actually worthy of its personal chapter.


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