Nine dreadnoughts of a different race, creed and colour have surged confidently to the final table of the Triton Million: A Helping Hand For Charity leaving behind a contrail of inspired moves, lucky cards, and broken hearts.
Butterflies are stoking a dragon’s roar.
The dreams of eight players will go up in smoke, stuck in the orbit of someone else’s perpetual paradise, and only one will emerge through this furious fight handing over the digits that will be pressed during the wiring of £19m.
It’s time to make history.
Thirty-six players began Day 2 of the richest buy-in event in the history of the game. Bill Perkins, Timothy Adams, and Dan Smith started the day in the top three positions, and they all made the final table.
Of the two hemispheres, those who call the west ‘home’ featured more prominently. Aaron Zang led the charge for the east, taking the chip lead midway through the day after winning a 6m pot, set-over-set against Danny Tang. Zang, a cash game player from Shanghai, sailed to the final table on that jetsam and is the only Asian-based player left in the field.
Vivek Rajkumar comes from Asian stock, but the land of the Stars and Stripes is his home, and the high stakes cash game star, left everyone with stars as he strode triumphantly through the field to take his seat at the top table with more than double the chips of his nearest competitor.
Stephen Chidwick is Rajkumar’s closest rival.
Chidwick’s appearance at the final table is no accident. In many ways, you can call it a formality, such is the consistency of the man, and he was the bookie’s number one pick before the tournament began. If Chidwick wins, and the other finishing positions go his way, he could replace Justin Bonomo at the top of the All-Time Money List.
Two more finalists can overtake Bonomo at the top of that illustrious Hendon Mob list. Dan Smith and Bryn Kenney can both take that number one spot should they find the right spots, and cards, to take this one down.
The Triton Poker Super High Roller Main Event winner, Jeju, Timothy Adams, takes a pew at the final table after the added cushion of eliminating Wai Leong Chan in ninth place. Adams is another player more than capable of winning this thing should momentum choose him.
Joining Adams is Alfred DeCarolis and Bill Perkins.
DeCarolis is the Poker Gods version of Perseus after getting it in pocket tens versus the pocket tens of Stanley Choi, only to hit runner-runner flush. The former real estate developer will be hoping to continue building a path to the £19m first prize.
Then you have Perkins, who in many ways has been the star of the show. The hedge fund manager began the day with the chip lead, before finding himself all-in on the £1.1m money bubble with his tournament life on the line.
Fortunately, Perkins was facing Igor Kurganov, as an overwhelming favourite with jacks versus tens. Perkins’ hand held, and Rajkumar would take Kurganov’s shrapnel a few hands later. For a fleeting moment, it was a sad moment for charity, as Kurganov had planned to donate 10% of his winnings to Raising for Effective Giving (REG), only for Perkins to step in and pledge 10% of his winnings to Kurganov’s charity.
They don’t call this event ‘A Helping Hand for Charity’ for nothing.
The final table begins at 1 pm, where these nine players will make history.
Final Table Seat Draw
Seat 1: Timothy Adams – 5.735m
Seat 2: Bryn Kenney – 5.54m
Seat 3: Alfred DeCarolis – 5.455m
Seat 4: Vivek Rajkumar – 18m
Seat 5: Bill Perkins – 2m
Seat 7: Stephen Chidwick – 9.79m
Seat 8: Dan Smith – 2.35m
Seat 9: Aaron Zang – 5.06m