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Thread: Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell were 3-handed at the MSPT final table. Did they collude/soft play?

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell were 3-handed at the MSPT final table. Did they collude/soft play?

    Awkward situation this week at the $5k MSPT Main Event.

    Red-hot Alex Foxen and his girlfriend, fellow pro Kristen Bicknell, were 3-handed against Aussie pro Kahle Burns.

    They attempted to get Burns to agree to a 3-way chop, most likely to avoid the bad optics the situation.

    Burns refused the chop, so it was played out.

    Then this hand happened:




    If you don't feel like watching the video, Foxen made it 115k on the button when the blinds were 25k/50k/25k, and it was 3-handed. Foxen had JJ. Bicknell had AA in the BB and three bet to 400k, which Foxen called.

    Foxen then flopped a set on an otherwise safe J54 board.

    Bicknell bet 200k on the flop, Foxen called. This was already a bit suspect in a pot which was almost a million.

    Then the turn brough a K, and Bicknell checked, then called a 375,000 bet by Foxen.

    The river was a 3 (no flush possible), and Bicknell check-folded to Foxen's 600k bet.

    Say what?!

    James Obst, who was watching, was not pleased.




    Here were their explanations:

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Foxen
    As soon as that hand was played I knew there would be an insane amount of criticism,” said Foxen. “I understand if it was someone I wasn’t entirely sure, I’m sure the same goes for Krissy, if she wasn’t entirely sure about the way I thought about this spot specifically you can’t fold the hand. But when she knows and I know exactly how the other one is thinking it’s a spot that’s weird. You put ICM on top of that and you have to fold everything but kings on that river.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kristen Bicknell
    Kahle was really short. Regardless of who it was, two chip leaders don’t want to get in a big battle when there’s a short stack. On the river I have aces, maybe he has ace-king but I block that hand. I don’t think he’s bluffing queens. Preflop I think he has nines, tens or better. I don’t think he bets the turn with those hands. I thought he probably had aces, ace-king, kings or jacks. I don’t really do well on the river against those hands. I thought he had zero bluffs.

    I call bullshit.

    While I don't think they necessarily planned to collude, I think both wanted to stay out of each other's way, and let the third guy bust, especially because he was short. Had they been strangers, perhaps they would have taken a more aggressive line. However, two people in a relationship (who may have swapped action) are much less likely to play hard against one another and possibly allow the 3rd guy to move up one pay spot.

    While I partially believe their explanation (namely, that both recognized that they each had big hands), I think once they realized this, they also both realized they should keep each other in the tournament.

    Here's a good Pokernews writeup of the situation: https://www.pokernews.com/news/2018/...h-ot-31174.htm

    What do you guys think?

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    Gold sah_24's Avatar
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    100% colluding and they should be punished ... there is fucking video for god's sake. God poker has nothing but scumbag liars in the community ...

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    Serial Blogger BeerAndPoker's Avatar
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    I'm very torn on this situation even after giving it some serious thought.

    First off the fact is what a weird spot for them to be in as a couple.

    With chip stacks one has 47bb and the other has 44bb so we have some serious icm implications here with Burns only having 15bbs. As everyone knows the jump of 2nd place money is normally significant over 3rd.

    Burns was offered a chop so it's good that the option was on the table but the problem is he was going to get the short end of the stick here given his chip stack. He could have this ego like a lot of players do when it comes to chops where they feel they are better then their opponents, which I'm not saying he does but it's entirely possible.

    The preflop play isn't out of the ordinary here.

    Her flop bet is a little weak but given the board texture in a 3 bet pot where he called she likely wants to size down to extract value here.

    The turn is small again on his part with more draws out there but nothing too crazy. These 25% to 40% range bets are very common in mtt poker.

    The river is where the controversy comes in. With the pot being 2 million and the effective stack is 1.3 million (his as she has 1.4 mil) a shove seems right here on a complete brick that shouldn't hit your opponents range but their are other options why you wouldn't shove it.

    From his sizing is he trying to get some guaranteed value leaving her with enough to pay it off and feel she can still compete? Foxen knows only the slowest played KK beats him since she don't have some wacky 65 hand given the preflop dynamic so he may think this is the best bet size to get him paid?

    If he shoves this river then people have very little of a case to argue soft play.

    If she calls what do people think?

    Since he bets the size he does maybe she sniffs out what he has even more ?

    You can play with someone a lot whether you are friends or only rivals and realize some lines they take are completely for value. In this hand it's very tough to just fold AA like she did because she only loses to KK or JJ so this is where people find it to be sketchy.

    If people throw out the fact they are a couple and consider it's two solid players then does his river bet size seem okay if he feels this is the most she will pay off and won't call a jam?

    It's not that bad if she only calls too because he has a stranglehold on first with then both around the same chip stack where he can pressure them more, however, the jumps likely don't matter to these three players who have money already. The glory of winning the tournament to these thee likely outweighs not wanting to bust in third place like it may for some amateurs having their biggest cash ever.

    I'm not one of these people who just jump to this OMG has to be collusion/soft play 100% of the time, especially after you take all factors into account.

    Obviously it could be and clearly they would rather battle it out heads up but it don't mean they aren't going to battle one another until then.

    If their were a bunch more hands that show potential soft play going on between the two love birds then it would be easier to make the call saying they were fully soft playing with 100% confidence but hard to do that given the dynamics solely based on this one hand.

    Kristin is a very nice and friendly person btw but anyone to completely think that no foul play was possible here because she is very nice would be wrong too.

    If anything to me Foxen play is way more suspect in the hand then Bicknell. He could be thinking no sexy sexy time for a while if I bust her out here lol

     
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      sah_24: This wasn't the only hand they softplayed ... they are cheaters

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeerAndPoker View Post
    I'm very torn on this situation even after giving it some serious thought.

    First off the fact is what a weird spot for them to be in as a couple.

    With chip stacks one has 47bb and the other has 44bb so we have some serious icm implications here with Burns only having 15bbs. As everyone knows the jump of 2nd place money is normally significant over 3rd.

    Burns was offered a chop so it's good that the option was on the table but the problem is he was going to get the short end of the stick here given his chip stack. He could have this ego like a lot of players do when it comes to chops where they feel they are better then their opponents, which I'm not saying he does but it's entirely possible.

    The preflop play isn't out of the ordinary here.

    Her flop bet is a little weak but given the board texture in a 3 bet pot where he called she likely wants to size down to extract value here.

    The turn is small again on his part with more draws out there but nothing too crazy. These 25% to 40% range bets are very common in mtt poker.

    The river is where the controversy comes in. With the pot being 2 million and the effective stack is 1.3 million (his as she has 1.4 mil) a shove seems right here on a complete brick that shouldn't hit your opponents range but their are other options why you wouldn't shove it.

    From his sizing is he trying to get some guaranteed value leaving her with enough to pay it off and feel she can still compete? Foxen knows only the slowest played KK beats him since she don't have some wacky 65 hand given the preflop dynamic so he may think this is the best bet size to get him paid?

    If he shoves this river then people have very little of a case to argue soft play.

    If she calls what do people think?

    Since he bets the size he does maybe she sniffs out what he has even more ?

    You can play with someone a lot whether you are friends or only rivals and realize some lines they take are completely for value. In this hand it's very tough to just fold AA like she did because she only loses to KK or JJ so this is where people find it to be sketchy.

    If people throw out the fact they are a couple and consider it's two solid players then does his river bet size seem okay if he feels this is the most she will pay off and won't call a jam?

    It's not that bad if she only calls too because he has a stranglehold on first with then both around the same chip stack where he can pressure them more, however, the jumps likely don't matter to these three players who have money already. The glory of winning the tournament to these thee likely outweighs not wanting to bust in third place like it may for some amateurs having their biggest cash ever.

    I'm not one of these people who just jump to this OMG has to be collusion/soft play 100% of the time, especially after you take all factors into account.

    Obviously it could be and clearly they would rather battle it out heads up but it don't mean they aren't going to battle one another until then.

    If their were a bunch more hands that show potential soft play going on between the two love birds then it would be easier to make the call saying they were fully soft playing with 100% confidence but hard to do that given the dynamics solely based on this one hand.

    Kristin is a very nice and friendly person btw but anyone to completely think that no foul play was possible here because she is very nice would be wrong too.

    If anything to me Foxen play is way more suspect in the hand then Bicknell. He could be thinking no sexy sexy time for a while if I bust her out here lol
    That is not the only hand that they were softplaying, he clearly was doing things different than normal. This is the definition of collusion and there is video proof ...

     
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      BeerAndPoker: Where are the other hands in question? Let's see more of them otherwise you are jumping to some collusions because you think everyone in the game is dirty when that isn't always the case.

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    Serial Blogger BeerAndPoker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post

    That is not the only hand that they were softplaying, he clearly was doing things different than normal. This is the definition of collusion and there is video proof ...
    I haven't watched the entire thing only this hand so that is solely what I'm talking about.

    Maybe I'll go dig through the rest of the 3 handed play to see but I'm surprised people haven't posted more hands where questionable play was involved.

     
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      sah_24: It's pretty obv you haven't watched the whole thing or read the thread on twitter in the OP ... bc you are cringe levels of wrong

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    Platinum duped_samaritan's Avatar
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    Would need more evidence than the AA hand to conclude anything unethical was going on.

    You can't just say "there were other hands, I saw them!"

    It's pretty reasonable to assume the AA hand was the worst since it was the only one posted, and I really don't think it was shady.

  7. #7
    while this is obviously a shit spot, seriously how often must this happen in tournament poker with what I'm guessing is the vast majority of players out there being pieced or swapped out...we don't even hear/know about spots like that...

    I'm sure this specific situation is going to be a topic on radio and not sure if you've ever covered this before druff, but what percentage of players at the WSOP (pros, not amateurs) are staked in some decent part (ie they only have a 20-30% or less piece of their own action)...

  8. #8
    It was collusion based on the video and what I have read. Obviously they are going to try to take out Burns.


    That being said Burns said no to a chop so he can fuck off. What did he expect??

  9. #9
    good laydown. I think she told the truth on her response. probly doesn't think her bf is sleazy enough to bluff her off

     
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      Username: bae, could be us.

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    Platinum duped_samaritan's Avatar
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    Full video https://www.twitch.tv/videos/274447585?t=06h48m40s

    skip to 6:48 to see when 3 handed starts (and they discuss chop)

  11. #11
    A case of classic "soft" collusion that you see in satellites where players almost have a understood non verbal agreement to not get in each other's way in big pots. This just looks super bad because in this case, we happen to have the two parties also fucking each other.

    You know what is interesting? I think the hand as played here, things are fine because AA is just one pair and Foxen's play is consistent with a set. But the hand analysis I wanna see to show if something really shady is going on? The "raise and take it" pots, the BvB play b/t these two, and also analyzing all the squeezes where two ppl where in a hand and the 3rd comes over the top.
    http://www.miraclecovers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzmoney View Post
    A case of classic "soft" collusion that you see in satellites where players almost have a understood non verbal agreement to not get in each other's way in big pots. This just looks super bad because in this case, we happen to have the two parties also fucking each other.

    You know what is interesting? I think the hand as played here, things are fine because AA is just one pair and Foxen's play is consistent with a set. But the hand analysis I wanna see to show if something really shady is going on? The "raise and take it" pots, the BvB play b/t these two, and also analyzing all the squeezes where two ppl where in a hand and the 3rd comes over the top.
    The a2 vs q6 shows they were doing more than "soft colluding", they were blatantly cheating ...

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzmoney View Post
    A case of classic "soft" collusion that you see in satellites where players almost have a understood non verbal agreement to not get in each other's way in big pots. This just looks super bad because in this case, we happen to have the two parties also fucking each other.

    You know what is interesting? I think the hand as played here, things are fine because AA is just one pair and Foxen's play is consistent with a set. But the hand analysis I wanna see to show if something really shady is going on? The "raise and take it" pots, the BvB play b/t these two, and also analyzing all the squeezes where two ppl where in a hand and the 3rd comes over the top.
    The a2 vs q6 shows they were doing more than "soft colluding", they were blatantly cheating ...
    Can you describe this hand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post

    The a2 vs q6 shows they were doing more than "soft colluding", they were blatantly cheating ...
    Can you describe this hand?
    Foxen opens her blind, she defends q6 and he doesn't even fire post allowing her to make a 6 on the turn and win the pot ... they are cheaters ...

     
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      Shizzmoney: Yeah that's bad

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    Can you describe this hand?
    Foxen opens her blind, she defends q6 and he doesn't even fire post allowing her to make a 6 on the turn and win the pot ... they are cheaters ...

    the guy checked the flop when he didn't have a hand so obviously cheating? LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by thesidedish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post

    Foxen opens her blind, she defends q6 and he doesn't even fire post allowing her to make a 6 on the turn and win the pot ... they are cheaters ...

    the guy checked the flop when he didn't have a hand so obviously cheating? LOL
    Just a hint, when you know nothing about mtt poker stfu ...

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