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First bracelet of the 2018 WSOP

1 June 2018

Elio Fox

Elio Fox (photo by WSOP)

Name: Elio Fox
Nationality: American
Birthplace: New York, NY
Current Residence: New York, NY
Age: 32
Profession: Poker poker player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 12
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 2
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 2
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st in 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event for $1,870,000
Total WSOP Earnings: $2,500,739

Elio Fox won the first bracelet on the 2018 World Series of Poker in the early hours of Thursday morning. The 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event champion took home his second bracelet in a brand-new event, the $10,000 no-limit hold’em super turbo bounty.

The event featured 20-minute levels, bounties worth $3,000 each and a structure that was scheduled to end in one-day.

The field ended up being much bigger than expected, with Fox defeating a field of 243 entries and earning $393,693 along with however many bounties he picked up along the way. The New York native won nearly $1.9 million for his first bracelet and is just happy to get a second one in the books after a long hiatus from the winner’s circle.

“I guess I’m really happy about this one because I haven’t won a live poker tournament in a really, really long time, so it feels good,” said Fox. “And I think the first one was just such a shock that I wasn’t really that excited about it in the moment, but I’m really happy about it now. It’s a great way to kick off a summer.”

With the seven-week series featuring almost exclusively multi-day tournaments, Fox was a fan of the new addition to the schedule since it allows players to have a chance to finish a tournament in a shorter amount of time.

“I really liked the structure,” said Fox. “I think it was a great mixture of pros and just recreational players. It was a big field and I think just doing turbos is great because I think it’s good for non-professional players because they can finish an event quickly.”

The Bard College graduate got his start playing online during his college years. His time spent grinding on the virtual felt familiarized him with the format, giving him a leg up on the field.

“I think the bounty turbo format appears a lot online,” said Fox. “So, I’ve definitely played it a lot, but I think it’s a great addition to the World Series of Poker schedule.”

In the time since his first win in Cannes, a lot has changed for the 32-year-old poker pro. With a recent engagement and lack of access to online poker in New York, he’s been spending less time at the tables.

“I’ve definitely been playing a lot less poker,” said Fox about the seven years in between bracelet wins. “Not having [online] poker in the U.S. is hard. I recently got engaged, so I’m spending a lot more time in the U.S. It’s hard to get in the reps and play a lot of hands because there just isn’t easy access to online poker. That sucks, but life is good.”

Since he can’t grind from the comfort of his New York home, Fox opts for a light travel schedule for live tournaments and then heads to Mexico a couple time a year for some of the bigger online tournament series.

For now, Fox is just happy that he’s pretty much guaranteed to have a profitable summer at the Rio.

“I’m just really excited about winning all the money,” said Fox. “And my summer can only go pretty well now. That’s pretty great. It makes me less anxious and happier.”

Cards for the event got in the air at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. With a super turbo structure and 20-minute levels, it wasn’t expected to go deep into the night, but with a larger than anticipated field, they didn’t reach the final 10 players until around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning. After redrawing for seats at the unofficial final table, Alex Foxen got all in preflop with pocket tens against Bryn Kenney’s pocket aces shortly after the redraw. He spiked a 10 on the turn to leave Kenney short.

Kenney was eliminated shortly after when his pocket nines ran into Volpe’s pocket kings. That left the table nine-handed, with everybody now being credited with making the final table.

The 2009 WSOP Main Event champion, Joe Cada, was the first player eliminated from what was considered the official final table. He shoved all in from the small blind with A,3 and ran into David Eldridge’s A,J. There was a jack on the flop and Cada was drawing dead on the turn.

Taylor Black was the next to fall. He busted in eighth place when he moved all in for his last 10 big blinds from the hijack with A,2 against Adler’s pocket tens. Black couldn’t hit an ace and hit the rail just 20 minutes after Cada.

Eldrige followed him right out the door after busting to Volpe. Eldrige got all in on the flop with top pair, but Volpe flopped top and bottom pair. Eldridge didn’t improve and took home $46,993 for his seventh-place finish.

After Foxen doubled through Kenney, he was trending upwards, but hit a speed bump when his pocket nines ran into Fox’s pocket jacks. He was left with less than a big blind and hit the rail just moments later in sixth place.

During five-handed play, Fox took control of the tournament. He won a massive pot when there was a three-way all in. Fox clashed with Danny Wong and Charles Johanin with ace-king against Wong’s ace-ten and Johanin’s pocket jacks.

Fox flopped the nut flush draw and spiked an ace on the turn to eliminate two players and give Fox nearly two-thirds of the chips in play with just two players standing between him and his second bracelet.

“It put me in a really good situation because when we were three-handed, I had more chips than Paul [Volpe],” said Fox about what seemed to be the turning point at the final table. “So, it just meant that I’m able to play a lot of pots and put pressure on him because of the way the payout structure is. He’s sort of forced to fold a lot because of the other short stack. So, it sort of just swung things in my favor in terms of being able to abuse the three-handed payout with me having more chips.”

Even though Fox thought Volpe was going to have to fold a lot of hands, Volpe found himself all in against Fox and in trouble. Fox disposed of Volpe in third place when his ace-jack bested Volpe’s ace-eight to give him an even larger chip lead against Adam Adler at the start of heads-up play.

Fox started heads-up play with about a 9-to-1 chip advantage, but Adler didn’t give up. He doubled up twice in the early stages of heads-up play and ended up taking a slight chip lead.

“I mean, heads-up with shallow stacks is something I’ve played a lot before, but not for a long time,” said Fox. “So, I felt a little rusty. Certainly, with such short stacks anything can happen. I didn’t feel extremely confident that I was going to win once he doubled up and I was extremely happy to do so.”

Fox regained the chip lead after getting two streets of value on the turn and river with two pair. Just a couple hands later, he won a flip with pocket deuces against ace-ten to seal the deal and leave with his second bracelet.

Final Table Results:

1st: Elio Fox - $393,693
2nd: Adam Adler - $243,323
3rd: Paul Volpe - $169,195
4th: Danny Wong - $119,659
5th: Charles Johanin - $86,096
6th: Alex Foxen - $63,042
7th: David Eldridge - $46,993
8th: Taylor Black - $35,671
9th: Joe Cada - $27,582

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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