SCOOP 2015: Reality bites for Alex "Bigfox86" Foxen (in a good way)
Sometimes SCOOP success will come when you least expect it. Just ask Alex Foxen.
"It's funny, Wednesday was definitely a down day in the schedule, and I almost took the day off. As I was registering I said to one of my friends that of course this will be the scoop that I win because it's one of the smallest 'High' tourneys of the series. Having that come true is pretty surreal."
But if you listen to a lot of what Alex "Bigfox86" Foxen says, much of his life is surreal, whether its poker, football, or, well, cupcakes.
But we'll get to that.
Poker though is Foxen's main preoccupation. Having taken up the game on the day he turned 18 (that's what countless repeats of Chris Moneymaker on ESPN will do to you), he played online in his native New York before Black Friday changed all that. Now London is his home, the place where this past week the 24-year-old earned a first SCOOP title.
It's the latest competitive goal that Bigfox86 ("I've always been a pretty big person") has set for himself. In what is still a relatively young career he has achieved a lot.
Foxen played football for Boston College between 2009-12, an experience that years later he credits with making him the kind of poker player he is today, disciplined and able to handle high pressure situations. Or as he put it: "After running out onto an opponent like Clemson or Florida State's field with 90,000 people in the stands who all want you to lose more than anything else, the pressure of a final table seems a little less imposing."
As far as poker goes, Foxen seems well equipped with the staples of the successful player, not least determination, combined with a desire to win that is never really satisfied with second place. Thankfully that frustration was absent in Event 12-H, a $700 NL Hold'em Ante Up , and a first prize worth $52,321. Foxen didn't miss his chance.
"Playing a SCOOP final table isn't something that comes very easily, so I was as focused as one can be. You spend hours studying and grinding for that opportunity so I had to make sure I made the most of it. It felt great to be able to keep pressure on the final nine very talented players and come out with the victory."
The boost to his bankroll will allow Foxen to play more, travel to tournaments more, and maintain the lifestyle he chose when he upped sticks and headed for to Europe. But it might also help with another passion, albeit that of his sister, who fuelled with the same family strain of ambition, quit her day job to set up a cupcake company.
So when not at the tables Foxen uses the Finance Degree earned in between staring back at the Clemson secondary to serve as Chief Financial Officer for Reality Bites Cupcakes.
"My sister Ashley is a talented artist who has brought her skills to the kitchen and makes cupcakes that appear to be a wide variety of foods (bagels, hamburgers, French fries) but have the sweet delicious taste of cupcakes."
I'm not sure if there is a multi-coloured, sweet tasting equivalent of the "quits day job to play in cut throat world of poker" story, but doing all that to make cupcakes for a living might just be it. Alex Foxen is making a success of both.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.