The axiom that Paul Phua is an architect is beyond doubt. Consider what Phua and his partner, Richard Yong, have created at Triton. The brand has become synonymous with high stakes poker, globally, and this week, he created the crown jewels – the Triton Million.
So it will irk, Phua, that he has been unable to build a sturdy enough bridge allowing him to reach a Triton title. He’s created 14 of them, and all of them have failed him, sending him tumbling to the depths of despair.
Will this one be his strongest yet?
Phua has roared into the chip lead at the final table of Event #5: £100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, at the Triton Million London, like a Sopratic scream.
There was a moment when Phua felt in his bones that he would be the bubble boy. But Phua knows how to dig deep and outlast adversity. He did so and will start the final table with a small chip lead over Ben Heath and Wai Kin Yong.
Wai Kin Yong is the son of Richard Yong, Triton’s other co-founder, so it’s a family affair of sorts. Wai Kin does know how to reach the summit of these things, taking down two Triton titles, previously, and he would be over the moon to win this one given he came into the Triton Million with zero preparation or tuition.
Wai Kin isn’t the only two-time Triton Champion left in the field. Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates scrambled into the final in ninth place after losing THE pot that gave Phua the chip lead when he flopped trips with AJ only to stare in disbelief as Phua’s boat came crashing into his sturdy frame.
Cates told us that the Poker Gods had deserted him during the Triton Million event (although he used stronger words than ‘deserted’), and he’ll be hoping for a little more Perseus love this time around.
Michael Soyza is the other Triton champion in the field. Soyza led this event on numerous occasions during Day 2 and was responsible for sending everyone into the money after his A7 jam on the button got lucky when it beat the AK of Siow Choon to guarantee everyone a £192,000 ITM finish.
Like Phua, Wai Leong Chan is another Triton regular who knows his way to the final table but hasn’t found the dictator in him needed to take home the title. Chan’s appearance at the final of the Main Event is his second of the series after finishing ninth in the Triton Million, and that makes it 12 ITM finishes, and zero titles.
Luc Greenwood came close to claiming his first Triton title when finishing runner-up to Linus Loeliger in Event #1: £25,000 No-Limit Hold’em, and now it’s the turn of his brother Sam to bring home the bacon. Sam starts in seventh place. Ben Heath, won the £50,000 No-Limit Hold’em event during the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and has the chips to hurt people.
However, if you want to pick a favourite, then you can’t shift too far from the orbit of Stephen Chidwick. The UK’s All-Time Money earner finished fourth in the Triton Million for £4.4m, and also picked up his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the summer. Chidwick begins with a smidgen under 3m chips.
Here are all the flashy details.
We’ll see you at 1 pm to see if Triton’s chief architect, Paul Phua, needs to start building a trophy cabinet.
- Paul Phua – 5.875m
- Ben Heath – 5.81m
- Wai Kin Yong – 5.03m
- Michael Soyza – 3.87m
- Michael Zhang – 3.74m
- Stephen Chidwick – 2.955m
- Sam Greenwood – 2.385m
- Wai Leong Chan – 1.65m
- Daniel Cates – 1.2m
- Matthias Eibinger – £250,400
- Liang Xu – £250,400
- Isaac Haxton – £220,000
- Xuan Tan – £220,000
- Sosia Jiang – £201,600
- Justin Bonomo – £201,600
- Timothy Adams – £192,000
- Wiktor Malinowski – £192,000