One of the world's most successful players, who started playing a GTO approach years before it became mainstream.
The tenacious gaze, the glasses, the face of an honors student at a technical school - if such a player sits down at your table, it's clear that a professional has arrived. And in Ike's case, his looks aren't deceiving - he's an intellectual by birth, a graduate of a prestigious university who's been passionate about chess and Magic: The Gathering since childhood. At 19 he was already playing high limit games on PokerStars.
Ike won a package at the PCA in 2007 where he made it to heads-up. While he failed to win, history was made by his gutsy bluff with 32s that is still rewatched regularly today. Haxton's fame was sweeping after that, and soon followed a contract with PokerStars. Ike racked up Supernova Elite status four times and twice beat Victor Blom in duels that the entire poker world watched with bated breath. He represented Pokerstars until 2016, ending his contract in a protest against the loyalty programme reform.
In the early 2010s, even the top players dared not play with Haxton in heads-up games, not only in Hold'em but also in his secondary game of PLO. Live there was no such problem: Ike has since travelled the world playing high roller tournaments. Ike has nearly $30m in prize money in live tournaments and is the most untitled of the world's stars - no WSOP bracelets, no EPT trophies. But he does have a bottomless bankroll, millions in cryptocurrencies and an impeccable reputation.
Intuition can lift you to a certain level, but without a good fundamental knowledge of the game you will hit a ceiling. Feeling that your opponent 3-betting too often is worth little if you don't know what the optimal fold rate to a 3-bet should be.
When everyone played badly, intuitive players who were able to "out-think" their opponents, to be one level higher in their own thinking, had a big advantage. But now they are up against people who are not trying to play levelling games, but are looking for optimal lines. Against them, the old methods do not work.
In essence, the bosses are well-known people in the community who prove by example that the site is playable and encourage others to follow them. If suddenly, for some reason, I stop believing that but continue to receive money, I would become a liar. And I am not. That, for me, is a moral responsibility - not to lie to people.