As a nipper, I loved Games Day. It was an opportunity to skip boooring lessons, and a chance to elevate playground status by bringing in some state of the art game or gadgetry.
It wasn’t all circles and oblongs, though.
There was the odd triangle thrown in for good measure.
I grew up on a council estate called Poet’s Corner (our poet was Shelley). We didn’t have a pot to piss in, so Games Day was tough. I had to take the only game I had, one that I had made – WWF Wrestling.
I had taken a pack of Trivial Pursuit cards, covered them with blank scrap paper, and created players, attributes, and moves. The cards included characteristics such as Skill, Strength and Unique Finisher. The moves were things like Clothesline, Bodyslam, and Figure-Fore Leglock.
I based the rules on Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy series.
I thought the other kids would cast me to the wind.
The opposite happened.
They loved it.
And do you know what they loved about it?
We had a WWF Champion and an Intercontinental Champion, and the only way you got a shot at the title, was to be the top contender, and you became the top contender by accruing points through my leaderboard system.
I never told anyone my secret.
It was like KFC without killing 850 million chickens per year.
During the Triton Poker Series in Jeju, South Korea, I sat down with the British #2 All-Time Money Earner, Stephen Chidwick, to talk about poker and life. At the time, Chidwick was the Global Poker Index (GPI) World #1, and I learned that the man from Deal had always wanted to reach that apex, and had a new goal in his crosshairs.
Chidwick wanted to take the longest streak record from Fedor Holz.
Remember when Holz was picking up more cheques than a broiler chicken farmer picks up eggs? During that insane multi-million dollar run, the German racked up a record 30 consecutive weeks as the GPI World #1. That was the record Chidwick wanted, and Alex Foxen has just turned Chidwick’s dream into mashed potatoes and gravy.
Five weeks shy of achieving his goal, the man with the ice-like stare has removed Chidwick from the head of both the GPI World Rankings and the 2018 GPI Player of the Year (POY) Rankings.
The New York native has racked up $3,935,519 in 2018 live tournament earnings – not a lot in the world that Chidwick eats his pork chops – but the GPI isn’t interested in money earned, it’s chasing after consistency, and Foxen has buckets of that beneath his ribs.
Foxen has made 13 final tables in 2018, including appearances in all the world majors: The PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT), World Poker Tour (WPT), partypoker MILLIONS Main Event and The World Series of Poker (WSOP), and he has won four events.
In March, Foxen topped a field of 68-entrants to win the HKD 400,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller at the Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) in Macau for $963,880. He beat 50-entrants in a $25,000 High Roller at the WPT LA Poker Classic for $424,625, defeating 422-entrants to win a $2,650 side event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open (SHRPO) for $208,452, and booked a controversial win by beating 178 entrants, including his girlfriend Kristen Bicknell, heads-up, to take the $239,000 first prize in a $5k event at the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) at the Venetian. Last week, he finished runner-up to Ioannis Angelou-Konstas in the £5,300 No-Limit Hold’em MILLIONS UK Main Event earning $947,916 from a field of 1,015 entrants.
All of which means Cupid is happy as we have the first-ever boyfriend/girlfriend combination at the top of the GPI World Rankings, with Kristen Bicknell currently dominating the female rankings, as well as sitting #16 in the GPI World Rankings, and #15 in the GPI POY Rankings.
One wonders how long it will be before partypoker sign Foxen, and make the most of this fantastic marketing opportunity.
Foxen has earned $6,165,247 in live tournament earnings.
He is the 19th player to rule the poker world since the GPI’s inception.
And I reckon he applies a pretty mean Bear Hug.
The Top #10 GPI Rankings
- Alex Foxen – 3,980.45
- Stephen Chidwick – 3,781.56
- Justin Bonomo – 3,628.40
- David Peters – 3,587.77
- Adrian Mateos – 3,551.66
- Jake Schindler – 3,408.53
- Joe McKeehen – 3,327.51
- Steve O’Dwyer – 3,301.96
- Ben Pollak – 3,287.99
- Jason Koon – 3,203.72
The Top #10 GPI POY Rankings
- Alex Foxen – 3,710.76
- Stephen Chidwick – 3,691.67
- Justin Bonomo – 3,660.28
- Jake Schindler – 3,625.15
- David Peters – 3,561.52
- Adrian Mateos – 3,364.20
- Shaun Deeb – 3,230.72
- Jason Koon – 3,191.17
- Ben Yu – 3,191.07
- Chris Soyza – 3,147.81
Previous GPI POY Winners
2017 – Adrian Mateos
2016 – David Peters
2015 – Byron Kaverman