Isaac Haxton is at his second final table of Poker Masters today in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Haxton placed sixth in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Event 1 and is in a position to gain on current leader points leader Brandon Adams pending a strong finish.
The casual hoodie and t-shirt worn by Haxton can be replaced by a Purple Jacket if the details of variance break his way this week. Thing is, the variance has not been on Haxton’s side for the better part of the last few years. Some would suggest Haxton is one of the most unlucky players in recent history.
Haxton politely disagrees with this sentiment but holds the capitalist sensibility to be remiss over the lost money that comes with not finishing first a few times.
“I’ve never been big on title-chasing but then again, that’s easy to say as somebody who has done pretty poorly from a title-chasing perspective over my career,” Haxton said with a half-smile. “It would be fun to win the Purple Jacket, sure.”
The contemporaries of Haxton’s generation hold titles that lap his $19 million resume that currently ranks 19th on the all-time money list.
Justin Bonomo is the king of 2018. Jason Koon owns a PCA $100,000 Super High Roller win and SHRPO Championship. Bryn Kenney’s bracelet win in 2014 is one more than what is in Haxton’s collection.
By sheer fortune, Haxton owns only four direct wins with one of them coming in a PCA event where he was one of four entrants.
Haxton focuses on making money but missed chances to strike have cost him since he became one of the first regulars in the High Roller circuit.
“Well, obviously it’s nice to cash a few tournaments. I actually cashed a bunch of tournaments this year but no huge scores. I think I’ve got eight, 12 or 14 final tables with an average finish of about fifth. So, I’ve been getting close a lot and it’d be fun to win one or two.”
Haxton took ninth in Super High Roller Bowl China and then fourth a few months later in the $50,000 High Roller event at the WSOP. Mixed in were three final table results in the U.S. Poker Open.
Today is a primary chance to take down a major title and help Haxton’s Poker Masters odds. Haxton is the consummate professional and plans to remain balanced emotionally and with short-term expectations as the chase for the Purple Jacket turns toward next week.
Lose six-figures or win seven, Haxton is always going to be in the registration line for the next event. Haxton is one of only seven players to never cash Super High Roller Bowl across all four editions. He is also 0-2 in appearances in the Big One for One Drop.
The tough toll in high buy-in events is balanced by Haxton’s career as one of the most prolific online cash game players of all-time.
“I’m just planning on showing up and playing each tournament regardless. I’m not going to start gambling early to run up a stack or treat rebuys because they’re free because I’m threatening to win the most points. I’m still playing the tournaments for dollar EV even if I’m in the running for the title.”
When summing up the irony of winning Poker Masters without potentially earning a title during the series, Haxton laughed at the thought.
“That would kind of fit, wouldn’t it?”