Most live poker tournaments are Bruce Banner. Triton is Bruce Banner after the gamma rays ate into his marrow. THE high stakes tournament series on the planet rose to another level with a 12-event series at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Budva, Montenegro.
The initial plan to hold ten events was bold, two more were added at the request of players whose only medicine for boredom seems to be a seat at a table surrounded by beasts determined to hunt them down and eat every last chip.
Those 12-events attracted 691-entrants (403 unique, 288 re-entries), $41,564,198 in prize money, and 12 people left with more than seven-figures in gross profit.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and the primary stories from the most ambitious and most exceptional Triton Poker Series in the tour’s short history.
There were many stars at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Montenegro, but none burned brighter than Bryn Kenney. The New Yorker arrived on the Adriatic Coast irritated that the buy-ins were too low for a man of his stature. He’s not complaining anymore.
Kenney won two events, and what a pair to win taking down an HK$500,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed competition for $1.4m, and the HK$1m No-Limit Hold’em Main Event for $2.7m. All told, Kenney earned more money, gross, than anyone else throughout the series, with $4,145,235 ending up in his coffers before leaving early to play some online poker.
It was another superb series for Mikita Badziakouski who was one of three previous Triton champions who added more titles to the resume. The Belarusian made money three times, and won an HK$750,000 Short-Deck event, for a combined haul of $2,912,467, taking him to the top of the Triton All-Time Money List with $11,778,001 in gross profit. Badziakouski has now won three Triton titles. John Juanda (2) and Daniel Cates (2) were the other repeat champions.
Triton’s co-founder, Paul Phua, had a sterling series cashing five times, earning $3,594,983. Phua holds the record for the most Triton ITM finishes (13), although he’s likely miffed that he’s still not got a blue baseball cap with the word ‘Triton Champion” stitched into the fabric.
One of the challenges for a tour like Triton is finding fresh blood given the stakes are so high, so it was refreshing to see new faces from the pro stables in Montenegro. Modern-day online legend Linus “LlinusLove” Loeliger competed in the No-Limit Hold’em events and took part in a live-streamed cash game. The Global Poker Index (GPI) World #1, Alex Foxen, also made his debut, as did Jesus Cortes.
One of the most interesting appearances was from the UK pro, Max Silver, who arrived in Montenegro to compete in the Short-Deck events after playing them online and studying his arse off. Will more follow Silver’s lead? Triton will hope so.
It was also a fantastic series for the non-professionals. Leon Tsoukernik and Tony G both competed without much success, but the non-professionals from the East excelled with Quek Sheng, Hing Chow and Winfred Yu all winning titles.
Daniel Dvoress was another top, top performer in Montenegro, earning $2,717,155 in gross profit, tying with Phua at the top of the ITM finish list with five. And Danny Tang also made an impressive debut, leaving with $1,976,217 in gross profit after and an eighth in an HK$500,000 event and a second in the HK$1m event, two payscales he had never competed in before.
The next stop will be in London at the end of July where these lovely people will compete in a £1m buy-in event, the most expensive tournament in the history of the game.
Triton Montenegro Million Plus Winners (Overall)
1. Bryn Kenney – $4,145,235
2. Rui Cao – $3,611,031
3. Paul Phua – $3,594,983
4. Mikita Badziakouski – $2,912,467
5. Daniel Dvoress – $2,717,155
6. Arnaud Romain – $2,130,372
7. Danny Tang – $1,976,217
8. Sam Greenwood – $1,943,613
9. Peter Jetten – $1,865,303
10. Ben Lamb – $1,192,009
11. Kenneth Kee – $1,082,033
12. Ivan Leow – $1,060,282
Triton Montenegro ITM Finishes
1. Paul Phua/Daniel Dvoress – 5
2. Peter Jetten – 4
3. Rui Cao/Mikita Badziakouski/Sam Greenwood/Isaac Haxton/Jason Koon – 3
Triton Top Ten Earners
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
6. Peter Jetten – $6,605,911
7. Richard Yong – $$6,033,631
8. Wai Leong Chan – $5,946,225
9. Fedor Holz – $5,617,727
10. John Juanda – $5,334,133