In the summer, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) held the $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop. Locksmiths, coffin makers and freight drivers talked about the ridiculousness of the situation over a heart-attack inducing fry up.
“A million bucks!” Exclaimed the Locksmith.
“Can you believe it!” Said the Coffin Maker.
“Who are these people?” Asked the freight driver.
Who would have thought the world of high stakes poker would have grown to such an absurd height. As people floated on inflatable turtles, holding strawberry daiquiris, shades protecting eyeballs from the glint of the Parker probe, people played poker for a million bucks.
Well, guess what?
It’s not as isolated an occurrence as the locksmiths, coffin makers and freight drivers may think.
Take Ivan Leow, as a shining example.
A few weeks ago, Leow competed in every event the Triton Poker Series, Jeju threw at him, making three final tables, and winning the HKD 500,000 (USD 64,000) Short-Deck, Ante-Only event for a clean one million bucks.
What an outstanding achievement.
Until you learn that Leow bubbled the HKD 2,000,000 (USD 255,000) buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em Main Event after firing four bullets. And, if you do the math, you rapidly learn that Leow paid a million bucks to play in that event.
In the high stakes universe, people like Leow pass one million buck pots around as frequently as a handshake and a hug at the death of a fashionable friend. The bug bites. You have to keep on playing.
“Where is the next game?”
The answer is Russia.
Triton Poker Joins Forces With partypoker
For the second time this year, Triton Poker joined forces with partypoker LIVE, to put on a stunning display of high stakes elbow bending. The first dalliance produced nothing more than heavy petting when partypoker sponsored the Russian live stream during the Triton Poker Series in Montenegro.
This time there were bras, knickers and underpants hanging off purple velvet lampshades.
partypoker LIVE moved into the Sochi Casino & Resort in Russia to launch another mission on their megalomaniacal MILLIONS marathon, and Triton Poker’s head was lying on their belly.
There would be two Triton branded events.
The first, an R 3,000,000 (USD 44,000) buy-in Triton High Roller 47 entrants, primarily colonised by German, Russian and Asian players, saw Aymon Hata win his first career title after beating the Russian star Vladimir Troyanovskiy, heads-up, to bank the R 48,000,000 (USD 755,384) first prize.
1. Aymon Hata – R 48,000,000 (USD 756,000)
2. Vladimir Troyanovskiy – R 31,860,000 (USD 501,795)
3. Konstantin Uspenskii – R 22,500,000 (USD 354,375)
4. Patrik Antonius – R 15,000,000 (USD 236,250)
5. Paul Phua – R 10,500,000 (USD 165,375)
6. Philipp Gruissem – R 17,500,000 (USD 118,125)
Imagine competing in a USD 44,000 tournament with unlimited re-entries and finishing seventh. Well, that’s what happened to Ivan Leow, a week shy of also bubbling that HKD 2m buy-in event in Jeju.
Lesser men would have ripped the Pirelli calendar off the office wall, and ran to the hills.
Not this man.
Ivan Leow Wins The Triton Poker Super High Roller in Russia
Day 1 of the R 6,000,000 (USD 87,000) buy-in event attracted 14 entrants. The former Triton Poker Series Montenegro Main Event winner, Manig Loeser, led the way.
Late registration and the unlimited re-entry stipulation saw the attendance swell to 29 entrants (20 unique, and 9 re-entries), and one man who took full advantage of both of these elements was Leow.
The Malaysian re-entered on Day 2 after failing to place a chip into a plastic bag at the end of the first day of action. Leow blazed through his early work, doubling through Phil Ivey 77>AQo, and sending Philipp Gruissem to the cash desk A9o>A7s.
However, by the time we reached the final two tables, Leow was sitting 9/16 with plenty of work to do.
As the money bubble approached, Leow must have been wondering if he was going to be blowing them for the third time in a matter of weeks, especially when Niall Farrell’s pocket treys cracked the Malaysian’s pocket nines, and Ivey gained revenge doubling through Leow A8s>AQs after finding more diamonds than a South African miner.
But here’s the thing with Leow.
He plays a lot of hands.
A lot of hands.
And, now and then, he turns up with the rockets.
Ivey picked up A6o.
Timothy Adams found AQo.
The money went in three-way, Leow’s AA held, Ivey and Adams were out, and he moved into the final table with the chip lead.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Ivan Leow – 1,934,000
2. Dietrich Fast – 1,516,000
3. Manig Loeser – 1,474,000
4. Niall Farrell – 643,000
5. Abraham Passet – 639,000
6. Wai Leong Chan – 584,000
7. Paul Phua – 285,000
8. Wai Kin Yong – 173,000
Leow expanded his lead, sending the Triton founder, Richard Yong, back to his suite when A4o beat Q9o. Then Leow eliminated his chief rival, Deitrich Fast on the bubble after the money went in on the turn with Leow holding KQcc, and Fast holding 9c9s on 8c3c2hQd.
The German extermination continued as Leow sent the Day 1 chip leader Manig Loeser packing in fourth when he went for it holding the middle pin and the flush draw only for Leow to be holding top pair and the nut flush draw.
Leow wasn’t done firing his weapons of mass destruction.
Wai Leong Chan was the next player to feel his wrath, this time under fortuitous circumstances when the pair got it in on the turn with Chan holding two pairs for the superior hand, only for Leow to river a stronger two pairs.
Chan’s elimination set up a heads-up encounter with Abraham Passet, but by this time Leow had built a significant stack on the dead bodies of Passet’s countrymen.
Leow had the higher ground.
Passet didn’t stand a chance.
The final hand saw the pair limp into a pot with Leow holding J5o, and Passet holding 62hh. The dealer burned and turned Jh4h4d; the couple got it in, and the two pair hand of Leow granted him the third win and second seven-figure score of his career – all five arriving in an outstanding 2018.
“Another million bucks, can you believe it!” said the Locksmith.
“I heard he bashed the Germans around like a kid playing with his toy soldiers!” Said the Coffin Maker.
“Who are these people?” Asked the freight driver.
1. Ivan Leow – R 72,000,000 (USD 1,134,000)
2. Abraham Passet – R 47,040,000 (USD 740,880)
3. Wai Leong Chan – R 30,000,000 (USD 472,500)
4. Manig Loeser – R 8,000,000 (USD 283,500)