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Top poker pro breaks through for first WSOP bracelet

Updated June 9, 2023 - 2:29 pm

Isaac Haxton finally has a World Series of Poker bracelet.

Long considered one of the best players never to win a WSOP tournament, Haxton ended the drought late Thursday by capturing the $25,000 buy-in High Roller No-limit Hold’em Eight-Handed event at Horseshoe Las Vegas.

Haxton outlasted a field of 301 entries, a record for a $25,000 buy-in event at the WSOP, and defeated Ryan O’Donnell heads-up to claim the first prize worth almost $1.7 million.

“I’ve finished second and third many times for my biggest cashes, so it’s nice to finally win,” Haxton told WSOP.com. “A 300-player field for a $25K, yeah I guess it’s got to be up there with one of my biggest accomplishments.”

Haxton’s resume includes victories at the European Poker Tour, U.S. Poker Open, Poker Masters and most notably the Super High Roller Bowl in 2018 for $3.6 million. But he traditionally plays a limited schedule at the WSOP, and Thursday marked his eighth career WSOP final table and his first cash in a live WSOP event since 2018.

Haxton took a 3-to-1 chip advantage early in heads-up play and clinched the victory when he spiked a jack on the river for a higher pair to eliminate O’Donnell.

With the win, Haxton bumped his career WSOP earnings to more than $4.6 million. Overall, he has career live tournament earnings of more than $37.5 million, which is 12th on the all-time money list, according to The Hendon Mob poker database.

This year alone, Haxton has won six events with a buy-in of more than $25,000 and earned more than $7.6 million in prize money.

O’Donnell, an online poker pro from Great Britain, earned more than $1 million for second place. Darren Elias finished third ($725,790).

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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