Couple Alex Foxen & Kristen Bicknell Finish One-Two in MSPT Venetian
Over the weekend, the MSPT Venetian hosted its $5,000 tournament, which marked the steepest buy-in in tour history as well as the first time they utilized the big blind ante. With 178 entrants taking to the felt there was a slight overlay, meaning the $1,000,000 GTD constituted the prize pool.
After a lengthy final table, real-life couple Alex Foxen and two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Kristen Bicknell finished and champion and runner-up respectively, albeit after striking a deal. Each locked up $200,000 and by rule left 10 percent ($39,000) and the title to play for.
Bicknell: "We talk poker all the time and that makes it a little difficult in hands because we kind of know what each other is thinking."
“It was a lot of fun, certainly some interesting spots at the table,” Foxen told PokerNews. “There were a lot of roller-coaster hands, a lot of all ins once we got shorthanded. Passing chips back and forth, a lot of shoves. I was ultimately on the right side of a bunch of all ins.”
Bicknell added: “In a way it was really fun but then there were some spots that felt really frustrating because I want him to do well but I want to do well. We both want to win and both want each other to win but that’s not possible so it was a little hard. We talk poker all the time and that makes it a little difficult in hands because we kind of know what each other is thinking. I was a fun experience overall.”
It marked the second time in four months the couple was at a final table together. Back in March, Foxen finished seventh in the partypoker MILLIONS Barcelona €25K Super High Roller while Bicknell busted one spot earlier.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Alex Foxen||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||$239,000*|
|2||Kristen Bicknell||Ontario, Canada||$200,000*|
|3||Kahle Burns||Teasdale, Australia||$120,000|
|4||Phong “Turbo” Nguyen||Los Angeles, CA||$85,000|
|5||Blake Whittington||Chattanooga, TN||$65,000|
|6||Joey Weissman||Syosset, NY||$51,000|
|7||Pavel Plesuv||Prague, Czech Republic||$51,000|
|8||Conor Beresford||York, Canada||$30,000|
|9||Jake Schindler||Bryn Mawr, PA||$24,000|
|10||David Malka||Los Angeles, CA||$19,000|
*Denotes heads-up deal
Among the 18 players to get paid but not make it to the final table were Dylan Linde (11th - $19,000), Josias Santos (14th - $16,000) and recent WSOP bracelet winner Elio Fox (17th - $14,000).
One of the biggest hands at the final table happened in Level 21 (6,000/12,000/10,000) on a board reading . Kahle Burns checked from the small blind and Jake Schindler bet 137,000 from the big. Burns responded by check-raising all in and Schindler tanked for a long time before calling off with a queen-high flush. Unfortunately for him, Burns held the one hand that beat him – an ace-high flush!
Another wild hand took place in Level 23 (10,000/20,000/15,000) when Foxen raised to 45,000 from the button holding eight-four of hearts. Joey Weissman called out of the big blind with the eight-five of diamonds and the two got it in on a flop. Weissman was ahead with two pair but the six of hearts on the river gave Foxen a straight flush.
Three-handed play was a four-hour affair between Bicknell, Foxen and Burns, who was left with crumbs after his ace-eight offsuit failed to hold against Foxen’s king-seven suited when two sevens flopped. Bicknell finished him off in the next hand. It was at that point Bicknell and Foxen, who were even in chips, struck a deal that left $39K and the title on the table.
In the first hand of heads-up play, both players flopped top pair of nines and Foxen doubled due to his superior kicker. Bicknell busted one hand later.
The MSPT will host two more events at The Venetian this summer. A $1,600 buy-in, $3 million GTD is currently underway while a $3,500 buy-in, $3.5 million GTD will run June 25-30.
Photo courtesy of MSPT
Editor's Note: Chad Holloway serves as Media Director for the MSPT.