Elio Fox takes down the Bellagio Cup VII

Elio FoxThe World Series of Poker (WSOP)’s main event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino may have been dominating the headlines of late as the November Nine was reached on Tuesday night, but American pro Elio Fox has lifted the top prize of $669,692 in the $10,000 Bellagio Cup VII in Las Vegas.

The 224-player field at The Bellagio Casino and Resort was packed full of big name pros who exited the WSOP main event early as they created a prize pool of nearly $2.3 million for this World Poker Tour (WPT) event.

Just eight players made it through to Day 4 of the event, but more than a few well-known faces cashed the previous day before exiting, including players such as Brandon Cantu (ninth for $34,357), David Williams (11th for $25,768), Nick Schulman (13th for $21,473), Tom Marchese (15th for $21,473), Nenad Medic (17th for $17,178), Vitaly Lunkin (18th for $17,178), Lee Markholt (19th for $15,031), Michael McDonald (20th for $15,031), Justin Young (21st for $15,031), Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier (23rd for $15,031), David Benyamine (25th for $15,031) and Isaac Haxton (26th for $15,031).

But it was Californian Fox who outlasted the 223 other competitors – including the likes of European Poker Tour (EPT) regular cash winner William Thorson, Las Vegas-based pro Ted Forrest and New Yorker Bryn Kenney at the final table – before seeing off fellow American Hafiz Khan in their heads-up battle.

Day 4 started well for Fox as he eliminated American Jim Hess in eighth place for $48,314 when his pocket aces held up against jacks.

Pocket jacks seemed to be a tough starting hand to win with as yet another American, Daniel Colman, found out when he was eliminated by Thorson’s Q-9 in seventh for $69,787.

Kenney was the chip leader when down to six-handed play, but lost almost his entire stack when bluffing three times against Fox with nothing more than a straight draw. Unsurprisingly, Kenney was hitting the rail in sixth place for $91,260 not too long after when his pocket jacks were busted.

Forrest then moved all-in with A-Q to again be faced by pocket jacks, with Khan this time holding the seemingly jinxed jacks. However, they held up on this occasion as Forrest exited in fifth place for $112,733.

Minneapolis native Brandon Meyers soon joined Forrest at the rail in fourth place for $150,311 – to then be followed by Thorson in third for $288,350 when his A-Q failed to defeat Fox’s 3-3.

With heads-up play for the title on the line now, it took Fox – who held A-9 – just 20 hands to see off Khan’s J-10 as ace high was good enough for the victory, $669,692 and entry to next year’s WPT Championship.

Final table placings and payouts from the $10,000 WPT Bellagio Cup:

1. Elio Fox (USA) – $669,692 (£414,776/€473,121)

2. Hafiz Khan (USA) – $379,460 (£235,014/€268,065)

3. William Thorson (USA) – $288,350 (£178,567/€203,724)

4. Brandon Meyers (USA) – $150,311 (£93,084/€106,212)

5. Ted Forrest (USA) – $112,733 (£69,821/€79,659)

6. Bryn Kenney (USA) – $91,260 (£56,522/€64,496)

7. Daniel Colman (USA) – $69,787 (£43,236/€49,320)

8. James Hess (USA) – $48,314 (£29,933/€34,156)

9. Brandon Cantu (USA) – $34,357 (£21,287/€24,290)