Triton Million Poster

Triton Million: a Helping Hand for Charity is less than a month away. The cast continues to grow, and at last count, it totalled 28, the same number of entrants who competed in the 2016 €1m buy-in Monte Carlo One Drop Extravaganza – the richest poker tournament the world has ever seen. That record falls on August 1, because to compete in the Triton Million you have to stump up £1,050,000.

Triton Million’s unique and innovative format means that for the first time in history, there will be an equal division of recreational players versus professionals, but these recreational players aren’t scavengers. Some of them treat their hobby with as much respect as their business dealings.

In a one-off, freezeout event of this magnitude, anyone can win. The Poker Gods will have a part to play. Edges, no matter how small, mean everything, and the home-court advantage is one of those edges.

You may think that there’s no such thing as ‘home-court advantage’ in poker, but there is. Five players view any event created by Triton as a ‘home’ event, and as such, they have earned more money on this tour than anyone else.

Top 5 Triton Earners of All Time

  1. Mikita Badziakouski – $11,778,001
  2. Jason Koon – $10,884,804
  3. Bryn Kenney – $9,683,224
  4. Paul Phua – $7,783,159
  5. Rui Cao – $6,774,900

If anyone is going to win the Triton Million, you can’t look further than these five players.

Let’s analyse their results in more detail.

Mikita Badziakouski

Mikita Badziakouski
Mikita Badziakouski

Mikita Badziakouski has earned more money competing in Triton events than anyone. The Belarusian has finished in the money (ITM) nine times and won an incredible three titles (a record he holds with Jason Koon).

Badziakouski won the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event in Montenegro for $2,499,184. Then in Jeju, he won the HKD 2m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event for another $5,257,027 – making him the first player to win back-to-back Main Event No-Limit Hold’em titles. The Belarusian’s most recent Triton victory came in Montenegro in May when he won the HKD 750,000 Short-Deck No-Limit Hold’em for $1,694,397.

Only Justin Bonomo earned more live tournament dollars than Badziakouski in 2018 ($25.4m v $14.5m), and so far in 2019, Badziakouski has won $4.1m, including back-to-back $25,000 High Rollers at the ARIA at the beginning of July, so he goes into the event in fine form.

Jason Koon

Jason Koon
Jason Koon

Jason Koon has finished ITM on 11 occasions and has also won three titles (a record shared with Badziakouski). Koon made such a powerful impact on the Triton tour that the founders climbed into the crater to offer him a deal to become Triton’s first-ever ambassador, a handshake that Koon made.

It all began in 2018, when Koon banked the $3,579,836 first prize in the HKD 1m Short-Deck No-Limit Hold’em in Montenegro, before taking a starring role in the Jeju’s 2019 competition winning both the HKD 1m Short-Deck No-Limit Hold’em for $2,840,945, and the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Refresh for $973,306.

Koon earned $12.4m in 2018 (third behind Bonomo & Badziakouski), and so far this year has added another $5.6m to that tally.

Bryn Kenney

Bryn Kenney
Bryn Kenney

Bryn Kenney has finished ITM six times on the Triton Poker tour and has won two titles.

Kenney finished runner-up to Timothy Adams in March’s Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Jeju, earning $3,062,513. Undeterred, Kenney turned up in the next event in Montenegro and won the 79-entrant HKD 500,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max for $1,431,376, and the 75-entrant HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event for $2,713,859.

Kenney is one of two players (David Peters the other), who could take over Justin Bonomo at the top of the Global All-Time Money List if he wins the Triton Million London. Kenney has $34,925,380 in total live earnings (Bonomo has $45,014,707). Kenney comes into this event as one of the hottest players in the world, sitting #1 in the 2019 Earnings List with $9.2m.

Paul Phua

Paul Phua

Triton’s co-founder is the most consistent performer on tour with a record 13-cashes, but he’s still to win a title. It’s worth pointing out that all 13 of those ITM finishes ended with him sitting at the final table.

Professional poker players pride themselves on getting into those Top 3 spots, and Phua has done that on five occasions. What’s worth noting about Phua’s consistency is he’s currently in the middle of an incredible run of results.

It began in March with three final tables in Jeju, including finishing runner-up to Koon in the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck for $2,025,607, and ended with him making an incredible five final tables in Montenegro, including finishing runner-up to Rui Cao in the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck for $2,178,871.

What a moment it would be for Phua to win that first trophy.

Rui Cao

Rui Cao
Rui Cao

A cash game player by trade, Rui Cao, is one of the most feared competitors on the Triton Super High Roller Series and will be one of the favourites to win the Million event.

Cao has made money on six occasions in Triton events, and they’ve all been close shaves. In May 2018, Cao made the final table of two games, including finishing runner-up to Badziakouski in the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event for $1,683,711. Two months later, and Cao turned up in Jeju, finishing runner-up to Ivan Leow in the HKD 500,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck for $672,852.

In the last Triton Series event in Montenegro, Cao made three final tables, finally taking one down, winning the 98-entrant HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event for $3,351,130.

Triton London runs from July 31 to August 8 with the Triton Million: a Helping Hand for Charity playing the starring role August 1 to 3.

Who do you think is going to take this one down?

Here’s the full schedule of events.

Danny Tang

A horse stood in its stalls, air billowing from its nostrils like steam from a kettle; his tail swatting the flies hellbent on creating an itch, back hooves scraping the ground. Looking ahead, focused on nothing else, it leapt over the door, leaving his kin behind, landing in a field filled with some of the most magnificent creatures the horse had ever seen.

“Who are you?” Asked one of the high stakes thoroughbreds.

“I’m Danny Tang.”

Just like that, he was one of them.

Tang made the leap during the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Montenegro, making two final tables, finishing 8/79 in the HKD 500,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $179,719, and 2/75 in the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, for $1.7m, and he has no intention of going back.

World Series of Poker (WSOP) officials agreed to insert Event #90: $50,000 Final Fifty into the schedule at late notice after some prominent members of the high roller fraternity suggested the initial $50,000 event occurred too early in the series.

Ben Heath won that first $50,000 event, after ploughing through a field of 110-entrants, and the Final Fifty pulled in 13-more. Heath once again made a deep run, finishing 10th, and by the time the final seven prepared to take their seats for the ultimate face-off, Brandon Adams, the new $3,200 No-Limit Hold’em Online High Roller winner, had the chip lead. Tang remained in the middle of the pack, waiting to leap.

Starting Day Chip Counts

Seat 1: Brandon Adams – 11,970,000
Seat 2: Michael Addamo – 5,765,000
Seat 3: Danny Tang – 4,550,000
Seat 4: Keith Tilston – 1,500,000
Seat 5: Ali Imsirovic – 2,190,000
Seat 6: Sam Soverel – 3,600,000
Seat 7: Adrian Mateos – 7,375,000

The Action.

Ali Imsirovic Eliminated in 7th Place For $212,292.

Ali Imsirovic is one of the in-form players in the world, so the field would have had a fuzzy feeling to see the Bosnian go the way of the CD in seventh place.

With blinds at 125k/250k/250k, Imsirovic shoved every chip into the pot from the cutoff, and Brandon Adams called in the big blind. Imsirovic’s A8 was the better hand, but Q5 rivered two-pair to make that fact irrelevant.

Keith Tilston Eliminated in 6th Place For $275,874.

In the same level, Keith Tilston shoved from under the gun for 1.18m, and Adrian Mateos did likewise for 4.51m in the cutoff. Nobody else fancied a piece of the action, and Mateos and his pocket kings made Tilston’s Th8h look like a crappy old moped after the five-card dash.

Adrian Mateos Eliminated in 5th Place For $367,186.

The Winamax pro couldn’t turn Tilston’s chips into his fourth WSOP bracelet, after seeing his stack dwindle to the point where with blinds at 150k/300k/300k, he moved all-in for 2.85m from the small blind holding Jc8c. Adams looked down to see QdJc in the big blind, and it was good enough for the call. Neither hand improved, and that means, Adams’ hand was the stronger, and Mateos left in fifth.

Brandon Adams Eliminated in 4th Place.

By this time, Tang had created some distance between himself and the other three players, and he extended that lead further after removing Adams from the equation. With blinds at 250k/500k/500k, Tang opened the button with AhQd and then called when Adams moved all-in holding AcJc – no clubs, no jacks, no hope for Adams.

Danny Tang – 30.6m
Sam Soverel – 5.1m
Michael Addamo – 1.3m

Michael Addamo Eliminated in 3rd Place.

Tang took a 31.9m v 5.1m chip lead into heads-up after eliminating Michael Addamo in the third place. The pair got it in with Tang’s Kd9d dominating the Kh5d of the Australian, and it remained that way after the flop, turn and river.


Soverel doubled up once (AhTs>Qh3h), but the Poker Central High Roller of the Year wasn’t able to build any momentum. It was Tsang’s tournament. A defining moment in his career. And it ended with blinds at 300k/600k/600k, when Soverel moved all-in for 11.2m, and Tsang made the call.

Soverel was way behind with Ac3h facing AhJh, but he took a shock lead on the fourth street (TsTc5d3c). Tang would later tell PokerNews that he had been able to bolt out of the stables because he was ‘lucky’, and perhaps he had this river card in mind when he said that as the Ad landed right on cue to give Tang the same two-pair hand, but with a stronger kicker.

It’s the ninth time Tang has said “Cheese,” and with $6.3m in live tournament earnings, he’s closed the gap on Stanley Choi to $1.4m at the top of the Hong Kong All-Time Money List.

Final Table Results

  1. Danny Tang – $1,608,406
  2. Sam Soverel – $994,072
  3. Michael Addamo – $697,375
  4. Brandon Adams – $500,282
  5. Adrian Mateos – $367,186
  6. Keith Tilston – $275,874
  7. Ali Imsirovic – $212,292

A businessman preferring high stakes poker games to trips to the amusement park has taken down the $3,200 No-Limit Hold’em Online High Roller at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

After several high profile players complained of playing 18-hour sessions without making money in the 50th Anniversary bracelet events, 45-year-old, Brandon Adams, won a bracelet in less than 12 hours playing on

Brandon Adams

Adams conquered a field of 593-entrants to capture the $411,561 first prize, playing under the pseudonym ‘DrOctagon.’ Adams was like a minotaur at the final table, sticking the horn into the man with more Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles than anyone alive or dead, Calvin Anderson, and the two-time bracelet winner, Norbert Szécsi.

We can’t tell you if Adams’ online win was a fluke or if the entrepreneur is a hardcore online grinder in his spare time. We do know that the Wichita man has accrued close to $4m competing in some of the toughest live tournaments in the world, including finishing runner-up to Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen in the 2010 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship at the WSOP.

Other highlights in Adams’ hobby include a runner-up finish to James Chen in the 2017 AUD 25,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions for $447,363, a victory in a $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $819,000 in the 2017 Poker Masters, a win in a $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the 2018 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $370,000, and a success in a $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em during the 2018 Poker Masters for $400,000.

Brandon Adams Reacts Well to Court Case Kick in the Balls

In early June, Adams pleaded guilty to an illegal gambling misdemeanour in his home town of Wichita. Adams received three years probation, 200 hours of community service, and had to forfeit close to $1.1m as part of his plea deal. He could have received a year’s jail time.

The court heard how Adams concealed the transfer of betting information for an illegal poker game taking place in his neighbourhood, including hiding handwritten ledgers and electronic systems that showed the financial management of the illegal poker games. The beak decided that Adams’ actions kept the other participants in the game hidden in the shadows hence the slap on the wrist.

Adams, who owns a series of health clubs and car dealerships, told PokerNews after pleading guilty that he just wanted to get on with his life, and was eager to play some poker.

Final Table Results

  1. Brandon Adams – $411,561
  2. Nabil Abdien – $253,643
  3. Vladimir Alexandrov – $173,241
  4. Calvin Anderson – $120,422
  5. Mike Vanier – $85,449
  6. Norbert Szécsi – $61,653
  7. Lior Orel – $45,429
  8. Harsukhpaul Sangha – $34,071
luke schwartz wins wsop bracelet

Luke Schwartz is a hawk; a pigeon killer, but deep down, inside that fist-sized blob of matter that pumps 1.5 gallons of blood around his body, there is a romantic poker idealist.

There was a time when Schwartz would have discarded the bracelet like the dead skin of a snake, with the money pulling him in like the Millenium Falcon stuck in the Death Star’s tractor beam. To many, Schwartz was Darth Vadar, the ultimate bad guy; to others, he was Han Solo, a hero, albeit in the maverick sense of the word.

Today, he stands on top of the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw world, hallucinogen dizzy, after conquering a 100-player field to win his first-ever bracelet.

“It’s a nice thing to have as a poker player.” Said Schwartz.

The 35-year-old rarely steps foot into a live tournament arena. As a decade-plus cash game grinder, he knows the suicide rates are high if you make that move, a cautionary tale heeded as this is his first victory in an open event.

Johannes Becker, a man that Schwartz claimed is the ‘best 2-7 player in the world,’ led the final 32 players at the end of Day 1, with Schwartz third in chips. George Wolff led the last nine at the end of Day 2, with Schwartz, the only other player with more than a million in chips.

And it would be those three: Becker, Wolff and Schwartz that would contest the bracelet at the end of Day 3.

But before we get there, let’s take a look at the nutshell action on Day 3.

Nutshell Action: From Nine to One.

Mike Gorodinsky eliminated the short-stacked Daniel Ospina. Both players drew two cards, and Gorodinsky’s 8x6x5x4x3x smashed the Kx7x5x3x2x of the Colombian, leaving him a $24,604 prize for his ninth-place finish.

Mark Gregorich eliminated Brian Hastings in eighth place when his Jx7x4x3x2x beat Jx8x7x4x3x, and we lost the former WSOP Player of the Year when Schwartz sent Gorodinsky to the rail with Tx7x6x5x2x beating 9x8x4x3x3x.

Schwartz then shot into the lead faster than snot flying out of an unclamped mouth suffering from a cold, when he eliminated the bracelet winner, Calvin Anderson in sixth place – 8x6x5x4x2x beating Tx8x7x6x5x.

Gregorich took his second scalp of the final table when he sent Yueqi Zhu to the cash desk earlier than he would have liked. Gregorich stood pat on 9x8x5x3x2x, forcing Zhu to break Tx9x7x6x5x, and the resulting AxKx was not the two card combo he wanted.

Schwartz then took a commanding lead into three-handed action after eliminating Gregorich – 8x6x5x4x2x beating 9x7x6x4x3x.

Schwartz – 2,750,000
Becker – 1,650,000
Wolff – 1,650,000

Schwartz never lost the chip lead in the three-handed war, and would take a 4,585,000 v 1,415,000 chip advantage into a heads-up duel with Wolff after eliminating Becker 8x7x6x4x2x > 8x7x6x5x3x.

Becker would later tell PokerNews that it was “the most intense three-handed battle ever.”

A pigeon killer of the highest calibre, this would be Schwartz’s first Wolff pelt. Schwartz threw it over his shoulder after both players patted on the last draw and Schwartz took the bracelet with 8x7x6x4x2x bettering the worse eight of his opponent.

The win moves Schwartz to $1.7m in live tournaments, in only his fifth-ever cash at the WSOP, his best performance, finishing 4/108 in the 2012 $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship for $406,736, a tournament that he will be hoping falls under his spell like this one did.

Final Table

  1. Luke Schwartz – $273,336
  2. George Wolff – $167,936
  3. Johannes Becker – $116,236
  4. Mark Gregorich – $81,635
  5. Tueqi Zhu – $58,547
  6. Calvin Anderson – $42,898

In a recent poll run by CardPlayer 61 high-stakes poker players chose the best poker player in the world, and Stephen Chidwick picked up more than 3x the votes of his nearest rival.

Chidwick is the most successful live tournament player in England with more than $24.7m in earnings, but until a few days ago, each time he had spun his fishing reel over the rich waters of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) he had never caught anything other than a few old boots.

All of that changed when Chidwick won the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, beating 278-entrants, to capture the $1,618,417 and his first gold bracelet. Ironically, after trying so hard to win one for so long. Chidwick, a new father, arrived at the WSOP late, after a family trip to Paris, and took down the bracelet in his first event, not even his strongest, after late-regging on Day 2.

It’s a well-deserved victory after 52 WSOP cashes and 13 final tables, and it comes three months after winning $1,128,685 for finishing runner-up to Jason Koon in an HK$ 1m No-Limit Hold’em event at the Triton Super High Roller Series in Jeju. It’s his 17th live tournament win and his sixth seven-figure score since March 2018.

While Chidwick is a No-Limit Hold’em genius, he’s not exactly rolling the dice when he has four cards in his hands. Chidwick won the $25,000 PLO event at the US Poker Open in February, beating a much smaller field of 39-entrants to claim the $351,000 first prize. He made the final table of a 78-entrant AUD 5,000 PLO event in the 2016 Aussie Millions, finishing eighth. And, in 2014, he finished 10/1128 in a $1,000 PLO event at the WSOP.

Chidwick beat James Chen, heads-up, to claim the bracelet. It was Chen’s third final table, and the closest he had come to claim one. The final table also housed the 12th place-finisher in the $50,000, Matthew Gonzales, four-time bracelet winner, Robert Mizrachi, the recent $10,000 Short-Deck winner, Alex Epstein, and the legend Erik Seidel.

A pivotal moment in the final table came when Chidwick took out Alex Epstein in the fifth position. Until that hand, only Epstein had led, outside of Chidwick, during the Day 4 shenanigans.

With blinds at 150k/300k, Epstein raised to 1,050,000 from under the gun, and Chidwick was the only caller from the small blind. The Dealer dunked As5d3s onto the table like the dregs of the deck, and Chidwick check-called a 1,200,000 Epstein c-bet. The 4d produced a dizzying array of draws on the turn, and after Chidwick checked, Epstein moved all-in for a smidgen more than 4 million, and Chidwick called. Epstein was chasing a flush draw with KsQcTc2s, and Chidwick was ahead and held with AdQdTs9c.

After that hand, Chidwick never surrendered the chip lead despite Chen pushing him all the way.

Final Table Results

  1. Stephen Chidwick – $1,618,417
  2. James Chen – $1,000,253
  3. Matthew Gonzales – $699,364
  4. Robert Mizrachi – $497,112
  5. Alex Epstein – $359.320
  6. Erik Seidel – $264,186
  7. Wasim Korkis – $197,637
  8. Ka Kwan Lau – $150,483

Three other stars of the game that pressed most of the right keystrokes in this one included online legend Ben Tollerene (11th), three-time bracelet winner, Paul Volpe (15th), and the incredible Sean Winter (16th).

Raising a child is one of the most complex tasks you will encounter before you become the pig on the spit. A question guaranteed to induce insomnia in the mindful is whether to give your children oars. It starts there, then goes deeper – do you show them how to handle them, how to row, and what direction? Do you jump in, tell them to shift-over, and start rowing?

It all boils down to attitude.

How do you cultivate the right attitude, and what does right even mean? It changes depending on the art of culture and how it’s spray painted over your world.

Let’s start with Daniel Negreanu.

Kid Poker is the face of poker. When David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen considered who to choose to deliver a poker Masterclass Negreanu got the call. With more than $40m earned playing live tournaments, a place in the Poker Hall of Fame, Negreanu is mustard.

Negreanu is the most successful poker player the world has ever seen because he’s developed the right attitude. When it comes to the ingredients that make up a successful life, missing a ladle of ‘attitude’ is like making oxtail soup without the ox’s tail.

Most people focus on strategy, tactics and execution – as does Negreanu, but if the attitude that underpins these essential tools is missing, you have a body devoid of cartilage.

Before the weekend blew its nose, Negreanu lost to John Hennigan, heads-up, in Event #41: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. It would have been Negreanu’s seventh bracelet. Instead, it’s Hennigan’s sixth.

It’s Negreanu’s eighth cash of the series, and his second final table after coming sixth in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty at the start of the summer. More notably, it’s his sixth runner-up finish since winning PokerStars’ Shark Cage in 2015, and his eighth since locking up his second World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year badge with a victory in the €25,600 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE).

If you think that’s more heartache than a child feels watching Bambi for the first time, then consider that Negreanu has lost eight-times, heads-up, for a bracelet.

2017: lost to Abe Mosseri in the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo Championship
2014: lost to Daniel Colman in the $1m Big One for One Drop
2014: lost to Paul Volpe in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball
2013: lost to Eli Elezra in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
2009: lost to Barry Shulman in the 2009 WSOPE Main Event
2009: lost to John Parker in the $2,500 Limit Hold’em Six-Handed
2003: lost to Phil Hellmuth in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em
2002: lost to Mike Matusow in the $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo Split

To come so close to the elation of victory only to step aside, suck it up and applaud while the man who got luckier than you, or played better than you, picks up the most coveted prize in poker, so many times – for that not to break you, you’re going to need the right attitude.

Final Table Results

  1. John Hennigan – $245,451
  2. Daniel Negreanu – $151,700
  3. David “ODB” Baker – $104,416
  4. Mikhail Semin – $73,810
  5. David Singer – $53,621
  6. Chris Tryba – $40,066
  7. Frank Kassela – $30,817
  8. Frankie O’Dell – $24,419

Three other ghosts gliding through poker tables deep in this one were bracelet winners Michael Mizrachi (9th), Paul Volpe (11th), and Scott Seiver (12th).

Wins For Mizrachi, Mueller and Cheong

A few days before Michael ‘The Grinder” Mizrachi racked up his first cash at the series with a ninth-place finish in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, he had taken down his fifth bracelet in nine years making him the most successful bracelet winner of the decade. Mizrachi beat Robert Gray, heads-up, to win the $142,801 first prize in the 460-entrant Event #27: $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better.

Negreanu couldn’t finish for the Canadians, but Greg Mueller could, winning his third bracelet and his first in a decade, after taking down the 172-entrant Event #29: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Mueller won $425,347 after beating the classy Colombian, Daniel Ospina, heads-up. The race to the bracelet became so hot in this one that the WSOP needed the burns unit nearby with the likes of Dario Sammartino (3rd), Phil Galfond (8th), Anthony Zinno (10th), Brian Hastings (12th), and Jennifer Harman (16th) all coming within a cough drop of winning.

Joseph Cheong took the tag of ‘one of the best players never to win a bracelet’, stitched it into the fabric of a wheelchair, boarded a plane to Gatwick, took a coach to the white cliffs of Dover, and then let it trundle over the edge.

Cheong defeated 6,214-entrants to capture the $687,782 first prize and first bracelet of his career in Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em after beating David Ivers, heads-up.

The PokerNews crew sticking a microphone in his mush shortly after his win trying to vacuum Cheong’s emotion after finally crossing the finishing line were disappointed with the response.

“I have been playing poker for so long; it was just another day at work.”

Before breaking his duck, Cheong had lost three-times when heads-up for the bracelet as well as coming third in the WSOP Main Event in 2010, a performance that made him a star.

2014: lost to Steven Wolansky in the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball
2013: lost to Philipp Gruissem in an AUD 50,000 No-Limit High Roller at the WSOP-APAC
2012: lost to Aubin Cazals in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Mixed Max
2010: finished third in the 2010 WSOP Main Event

The former WSOPE Main Event Champion, Jack Sinclair, finished 27th in this one.

The Best of the Rest

Phil Hellmuth ran deep in Event #28 $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em finishing 16/2477, and Shaun Deeb finished 28th in the same event. Adrian Mateos finished 22nd, and Manig Loeser finished 27th in a 754-entrant, $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed. Shaun Deeb finished runner-up to Adam Friedman in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship. Friedman successfully defended his title in that one: Nick Schulman finished 6th, Jeff Lisandro was 10th, and Luke Schwartz finished 18th.

Andrew Lichtenberger finished 4/313 in the $3,000 No-Limit Shootout. Martin Zamani (9th), Justin Bonomo (10th), Dario Sammartino (11th), James Obst (13th), Rainer Kempe (16th), Byron Kaverman (23rd) and Kristen Bicknell (24th) also ran deep in that one.

Rainer Kempe finished 3/2403 in the $600 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha DeepStack Event with Calvin Anderson also finishing 11th in that one.

Loren Klein became only the third player to win four bracelets in four successive years when he topped the 218-entrant field in the $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event. Mike Sexton (7th), David Benyamine (11th), Jeff Lisandro (15th), Chris Ferguson (20th), Alex Foxen (22nd) and Cary Katz (27th) ran deep in that one.

The high stakes world is changing faster than a torpedo fired from a submarine. The fliers of 5-10 years ago, contained different faces, and last week, two of them won World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets.

Isaac Baron was the first player to win the CardPlayer Magazine Online Poker Player of the Year, winning $1m in 2007 under the alias “WestmenloAA”. Back then, he was an absolute beast, printing money while sipping on cups of coffee, keys to his Maserati lying next to his mouse. 

Baron wins WSOP bracelet

Baron went on to experience success in the live realm, with his two most significant scores coming in European Poker Tour (EPT) events, finishing 3/1031 in the 2014 $10,300 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event for $1,207,599, and 4/842 in the €10,600 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final in 2008 – yet he had never won a WSOP bracelet, until now. 

Baron took down a 1,832-entrant $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event for $407,739. It was his fourth live tournament win and took his all-time live tournament earnings to the $6.1m mark. 

If Baron is ‘old school’ then Cary Katz is the ‘new.’ Whereas the online and live poker rooms are responsible for creating the high rolling strata, people like Katz increased the depth. Katz created the ARIA High Rollers and then allowed the fans to see inside the box by creating Poker Central. Katz finished 6/917 in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, won by Brett Apter. 

Erik Seidel is one of the few people who attended the ‘old’ and ‘new’ schools, and the New Yorker finished 27th in the Shootout for his third cash of the series. Seidel has won eight WSOP bracelets, but you have to trot back to 2007 to remember his last one. 

Elezra wins WSOP bracelet

Eli Elezra is another face on one of those fliers, and last week he won a $1,500 Seven Card Stud bracelet, his fourth, and third in Stud. The Israeli defeated 285-entrants to capture the $93,766 first prize. Elezra beat Anthony Zinno, heads-up, and Scott Seiver finished eighth. 

There were near misses for Robert Mizrachi (3rd), David Benyamine (7th) and Shaun Deeb (9th) in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. Frankie O’Dell took that one down for his third Omaha bracelet win. 

Jean-Robert Bellande blew a big chip lead to finish fifth in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. The event pulled in 91-entrants, and the former WSOP Main Event winner, Jim Bechtel, won the bracelet. Darren Elias (3rd), Prahlad Friedman (4th), Paul Volpe (7th), Dan Shak (12th), and Michael Watson (13th) cashed in that one.

Chris Klodnicki finished third in the $1,500 8 Game Mix 6-Handed, and Toby Lewis showed he’s not a servant to No-Limit Hold’em by finishing 17th. Rami Boukai took the title. 

Martin Zamani (4th) and Phil Galfond (5th) came close to winning an online bracelet. Josh Pollock took down the 652-entrant $600 Online Pot-Limit Omaha title, and Martin Kozlov experienced a deep run in the live $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack event finishing 14th – Andre Donabedian won that one for $205,605.

A lot is going on in the world. Important stuff. Officials are closing down a care facility in Arizona after a patient found maggots wriggling around inside an open incision, and if you thought that was traumatic, then spare a thought for fans of the Big Mac in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight after seven restaurants were chosen to trial an extended breakfast menu until 11 am. 



People are doing nothing but playing poker 24/7 in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It’s not that they don’t care about the world at this time of the year, they don’t even realise they are in a world. 

Ladies, and gentlemen, here is an update on high roller progress in the 50th Anniversary World Series of Poker without a maggot or McMuffin in sight. 

Ben Heath Poker

WSOP officials are adding a 90th bracelet to the menu after feedback from the high roller fraternity that the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em event happened too early in the competition. The $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final Fifty bracelet event takes place 8 -10 July, with Seth Palansky, VP of Corporate Communications for the WSOP saying that ‘player feedback’ played a pivotal role in the decision. Palansky also bemoaned the decision not to hold a $25,000 buy-in event, calling the omission a “goof.”  

Ben Heath won the first $50,000 buy-in event, beating Andrew Lichtenberger, heads-up, for close to $1.5m, and has since cashed in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em and $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event leaving him positioned as the highest ranking high roller in the WSOP Player of the Year rankings (8th).

Another Ben, Yu, sits in #13th position a year after finishing runner-up to Shaun Deeb. Yu has cashed in seven events, making two final tables (finishing seventh in the $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed, and second in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship).

Another high roller having a sterling 2019 WSOP is Anthony Zinno. The bracelet winner has four cashes, including finishing runner-up to Eli Elezra in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud, and tenth in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship. 

Ali Imsirovic is #28 in the POY rankings after cashing in three tournaments, making the final table of two of them including finishing runner-up to Brian Green in a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Bounty event, and fourth in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.

The reigning WSOP POY Shaun Deeb is going to have to flick a rubber band or two if he’s going to defend his title. Deeb has cashed six times but only made one final table, finishing ninth in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championships.

Other high roller performances worthy of note include Michael Watson finishing seventh in a $1,500 Dealer’s Choice and 13/91 in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship, and Maria Ho finishing fifth in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. Ho came into the WSOP on the back of a fourth-place finish in the CAD 10,000 High Roller at partypoker MILLIONS North America, and third in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Ho is second in the Female GPI World Rankings and Player of the Year Rankings behind Kristen Bicknell.

Pauli Ayras finished eighth in that $5,000 event. Ayras recently won the €25,000 NLHE High Roller at the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) in Tallinn, April. 

Lastly, Chris Klodnicki finished fifth in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E, and third in the $1,500 8-Game Mix Six-Handed, and Jake Schindler, Kristen Bicknell and Mathias Eibinger all made it to the quarter-finals of the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship. It was Schindler’s only cash of the series but has made five final tables in ARIA High Rollers since May. It was Bicknell’s second cash since finishing third in the Merit Poker Classic Main Event, and it was Eibinger’s solitary cash despite making five final tables in ARIA High Rollers, including two wins. 

When Paul Phua stood on his Montenegrin stage, flanked by Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Champions, a flute punctuating the speech bubbles carrying his desire to make a difference in the world through a game he loves, those standing in the audience sensed something special was unfolding.

And it begins.

Triton Million Poster
Triton Million – A Helping Hand for Cahrity

On the 1 August, the world’s greatest poker players, and wealthiest poker-loving business people will meet in the Grand Ballroom of London’s Park Lane Hilton to compete in the richest live poker tournament in history.

What a dance it will be.

The buy-in will be £1,050,000, beating the previous highest record buy-in of €1,000,000 set in 2016 when Elton Tsang beat 28-entrants to win the €11,111,111 first prize in the Monte Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, and the Triton Million: A Helping Hand For Charity will serve the £50,000 entry fees on charitable platters.

The Triton organisers are learning and evolving.

There have been four previous seven-figure plus buy-in events (USD) in history.

2012: $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop – Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673)
2014: $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop – Dan Colman ($15,306,668)
2016: €1m buy-in One Drop Extravaganza – Elton Tsang ($12,248,912)
2018: $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop – Justin Bonomo ($10,000,000)

The 2012 & 2014 events were so pro-heavy, the organisers banned professionals in 2016 (the lowest attended event of them all). The pros returned in 2018, and once again the balance shifted too far towards their side of the seesaw.

Triton has the answer.

The Triton Million: A Helping Hand for Charity, is an invite-only competition, with all invites going to non-professional poker players. Each invitee is allowed to invite a guest who could be a professional poker player, ensuring an even split of pros versus non-pros.

The seating arrangements separate the two player types into different fields throughout Day 1 (pros v pros and non-pros v non-pros), with clean segregation until the end of Level 6, after which time the tournament team continues to arrange seats with an even flux of pros v non-pros. Then on Day 2, both sets of players merge, and we see if people can ride on the back of sharks.

In addition to the innovative seat structure, Triton has banned apparel that covers the neck or face, including scarves, turtleneck sweaters, hoods and sunglasses, and will insist that the final nine players wear a formal suit. The only exception will be for sunglasses at the TV tables due to lighting and hats that do not hide any part of the face at any time, such as a backwards baseball cap.

Players have to take their seat ‘on time,’ and a committee decides the definition of a Recreational Player/Business Person or Guest Player/Professional. Invitation holders can deposit £50,000 to reserve their seat, and once a Guest Player/Professional is inked they too can do likewise. After making the deposit, players must complete registration payments to reach the total buy-in amount of £1,050,000 before the start of the Festival.

Pro players wishing to compete are advised to contact Triton so they can add their names to a list for registered business people. The £50,000 deposit is non-refundable, and Triton will donate it to Charity in case of a no-show.

So far, Triton has confirmed the following people competing in the event.

Paul Phua & Tom Dwan
Stanley Choi & David Peters
Wai Kin Yong & Rui Cao
Richard Yong
Bobby Baldwin
Ivan Leow
Rick Salomon
Rob Yong
Liang Yu
Sun Yaqi
Eddie Ting

Rick Salomon has finished in the money in the previous three Big One for One Drop events.

Here is a link to the structure –

A Helping Hand For Charity

The £50,000 entry fees will benefit the following three charities:

Caring For Children Foundation

A Hong-Kong based charity providing funds and programs for children rehabilitation projects, including foster care programs, educational programs, and help with disaster relief.

Raising for Effective Giving (REG)

The poker player run meta-charity that uses evidence and rationality to ensure the most significant impact with their philanthropy.

Healthy Hong Kong

A Hong-Kong based charity that provides funds and relief for the grassroots and elderly in Hong Kong.

The entire Triton Poker London Super High Roller Series runs 31 July – 8 August and contains seven events.

Jake Schindler
Jake Schindler

When high rolling tournament players bore of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) madness, they shed their skin in the comfiest high roller chairs in the world – the ARIA poker room.

Like most casinos on the Las Vegas Strip at this time of year, the ARIA is taking full advantage of the invasion of poker players brought to bear by the World Series of Poker (WSOP) by creating the ARIA Summer High Rollers.

Running from 23 May to 16 July, the best in the business will pull each other’s hair, and attempt to slap each other across the face with handbags from ten paces, and we have the early results.

A few people are worthy of further mention, and we’ll begin with Jake Schindler. The ARIA All-Time Money Earner is closing in on Cary Katz’s ARIA ITM record after climbing the ladder into the money of five tournaments to Katz’s 1. The only slight on his performance was the lack of a trophy.

Matthias Eibinger has two trophies. The Austrian cashed in four events including winning $10,000 and a $25,000 buy-in events. The Spaniard Juan Dominguez also won two $10,000 games.

Manig Loeser continued the impressive run of form that saw him win the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event in Monte Carlo with three cashes, and Ali Imsirovic continues to deal with high stakes poker fields like a farmer deals with a turkey neck after also cashing in three events.

Barry Hutter and Michael Addamo cashed twice, including a victory in a $10,000 for the Australian, his first ARIA win. Byron Kaverman won his first tournament since winning back-to-back $25k events in this series, three-years ago, and Sam Soverel looked as cool as a hippie drinking lemon balm tea despite the grief he got for his suggested angle-shooting in the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em bracelet event by winning a $25,0000, his second of the year.

Here are the results in full:

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Matthias Eibinger – $101,004
  2. Justin Bonomo – $76,596
  3. Ajay Chabra – $38,400
  4. Barry Hutter – $24,000

$25,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Matthias Eibinger – $157,500
  2. Ali Imsirovic – $67,500

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Byron Kaverman – $97,242
  2. Jake Schindler – $94,158
  3. Dominik Nitsche – $46,400
  4. Nicholas Schulte – $29,000
  5. David Saffron – $23,200

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Zachary Clark – $128,000
  2. Jake Schindler – $83,200
  3. Dominik Nitsche – $51,200
  4. Ali Imsirovic – $32,000
  5. Matthias Eibinger – $25,600

$25,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Sam Soverel – $235,880
  2. David Peters – $189,620
  3. Jake Schindler – $92,000
  4. Cary Katz – $575,00

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Michael Addamo – $136,000
  2. Manig Loeser – $88,400
  3. Rainer Kempe – $54,400
  4. Sam Higgs – $34,000
  5. Barry Hutter – $27,200

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Juan Dominguez – $153,000
  2. Matthias Eibinger – $99,000
    3, Michael Addamo – $67,500
  3. Unknown – $45,000
  4. Patrick Leonard – $36,000
  5. Ali Imsirovic – $27,000
  6. Laurynas Levinskas – $22,500

$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em


ITM Finishes

  1. Juan Dominguez – $126,682
  2. Ben Yu – $125,318
  3. Jake Schindler – $67,500
  4. Manig Loeser – $45,000
  5. Ali Imsirovic – $36,000
  6. Sergi Reixach – $27,000
  7. Pauli Ayras – $22,500

ARIA Money List

  1. Jake Schindler – $12,904,817
  2. Brian Rast – $12,196,295
  3. Justin Bonomo – $10,830,093
  4. David Peters – $10,477,078
  5. Cary Katz – $8,546,742
  6. Christoph Vogelsang – $8,465,616
  7. Rainer Kempe – $8,043,775
  8. Fedor Holz – $7,480,374
  9. Isaac Haxton – $7,024,170
  10. Tom Marchese – $7,018,127


  1. Cary Katz – 59
  2. Jake Schindler – 57
  3. David Peters – 34
  4. Sam Soverel – 33
  5. Tom Marchese – 29
  6. Stephen Chidwick – 29
  7. Justin Bonomo – 25
  8. Bryn Kenney – 25
  9. Sean Winter – 24
  10. Jason Koon – 22