Triton Poker Million Captures Attention with Unique Event

Triton Poker Million Captures Attention with Unique Event

There was a lot at stake. The Triton Million tournament was not so much a new concept but a new spin on the high-roller tournaments that have become commonplace among high-stakes poker players. And the London event wanted to make a big splash.

It did.

What is Triton?

The Triton Poker Series offers high-stakes poker tournaments at various locations around the globe, such as South Korea, Montenegro, Russia, the Philippines, and China. Buy-ins tend to range from $100K to $1 million, so the players with the means to compete are usually limited to a select few in the poker community, mixed with occasional business people who enjoy a spicy poker game.

The latest iteration of the series was held in the Grand Ballroom of the London Hilton in the Mayfair District of London.

With PartyPoker LIVE as one of the primary sponsors, the series offered several events that continue through August 8, but the schedule started on July 31 with this full lineup.

Event 1:  £25K NLHE 6-Max Turbo (July 31)

Event 2:  £1.05M NLHE Triton Million for Charity (August 1-3)

Event 3:  £50K NLHE (August 2-3)

Event 4:  £100K NLHE Main Event (August 4-5)

Event 5:  £25K Short Deck NLHE Ante Only (August 5-6)

Event 6:  £100K Short Deck NLHE Main Event (August 6-8)

Event 7:  £50K Short Deck NLHE Ante Only (August 7-8)

Most of those events have become somewhat commonplace in poker, with super high-roller events playing out regularly in Las Vegas, as parts of larger series like the WSOP, and now as the core of the Triton tour stops.

But it was the Triton Million that garnered much attention in the past few days, as the buy-in was eye-catching and there were a few unique caveats to make the tournament different from most others.

Triton Million Details

The Triton Million was an invitation-only tournament. There were 23 recreational players invited, and each was welcomed to bring one professional poker player into the action.

Invited players had to deposit £50K to secure their seats pending the acceptance of that player to the tournament. When accepted, that player could invite a pro, who also had to deposit £50K to secure his or her seat. All registrations of £1.05 million had to be completed before the start of the tournament.

The first six levels of the tournament put the recreational players at separate tables form the poker pros, after which a redraw mixed the players. However, no recreational player was seated at the same table as the specific pro they invited until the final table.

Players were required to take their seats at the very beginning of the tournament, keeping many from arriving late as is typical in many tournaments.

Other rules for the tournament included a dress code that prohibited hoodies, scarves or hats, anything that covered a part of the player’s face or head. Sunglasses and hats that didn’t cover any part of the player’s face was permitted as the only exception.

And, for the first time, all nine players at the final table were required to wear a formal suit.

As for the buy-in, the tournament was rake-free, and the £50K at the top of each buy-in was set aside for a group of charities:

–REG (Raising for Effective Giving)

–Caring for Children Foundation of Hong Kong

–Healthy Hong Kong

–Credit One World Charity Foundation of Hong Kong

–Caritas of Macau

–Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society of Malaysia

–One Drop of Canada

–Malaysian Red Crescent

–We Care of Taiwan

–Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis of UK

List of Participating Players

The invited players and their invited pros were listed as follows:

–Paul Phua and Tom Dwan

–Richard Yong and Dan Cates

–Stanley Choi and David Peters

–Wai Kin Yong and Rui Cao

–Bobby Baldwin and Jason Koon

–Cary Katz and Bryn Kenney

–Liang Yu and Mikita Badziakouski

–Ivan Leow and Timofey Kuznetsov

–Rob Yong and Sam Trickett

–Alfred DeCarolis and Stephen Chidwick

–Chin Wei Lim and Wai Leong Chan

–Chow Hing Yuang and Christoph Vogelsang

–Pat Madden and Nick Petrangelo

–Talal Shakerchi and Igor Kurganov

–Sosia Jiang and Sam Greenwood

–Qiang Wang and Elton Tsang

–Zang Shu Nu and Tan Xuan

–Antanas Guoga and Fedor Holz

–Leon Tsoukernik and Martin Kabrhel

–Orpen Kisacikoglu and Matthias Eibinger

–Ferdinand Putra and Justin Bonomo

–Andrew Pantling and Andrew Robl

–Bill Perkins and Dan Smith

–Rick Salomon and Vivek Rajkumar

–Winfred Yu and Danny Tang

–Ben Wu and Michael Soyza

–Haralabos Voulgaris and Timothy Adams

Finding the Final Table

On August 1, the 54 individual players took their seats, but as the first day played on, a total of 18 were eliminated. That left 36 holding chips and still competing for the prize pool of £54 million. Only the top 11 finishers would be paid, though, with £19 million set aside for the winner.

Bill Perkins led the Day 1 chip counts with 3.56 million chips, followed by Tim Adams with 3,095,000 chips and Dan Smith with 2.81 million. Aaron Zang was in sixth place overall.

By the dinner break on Day 2, only 16 players remained, and Vivek Rajkumar was the far-and-away chip leader, followed by Zang. As the money bubble later approached, Nick Petrangelo and Christoph Vogelsang exited the field.

On the money bubble, Perkins doubled through Igor Kurganov, leaving the latter short. Rajkumar then busted Kurganov in 12th place.

Winfred Yu was the first player to cash for £1.1 million, followed by Chin Wei Lim in 10th place and Wai Leong Chan in ninth for £1.2 million.

Day 2 ended with the final eight players led by Rajkumar holding 18 million chips, followed in a distant second by Stephen Chidwick with 9.79 million. Zang was sixth out of the eight players, and Perkins was on the shortest stack.

A Final Table of Millions

It didn’t take long for Perkins to double through Rajkumar, and he did two more times a few rounds later. Zang also doubled through Rajkumar, and Adams did it through Chidwick. But when Adams tried it with Rajkumar, the latter won the hand and ousted Adams in eighth place.

Chidwick doubled through Rajkumar and then eliminated DeCarolis in seventh place. Smith doubled through Rajkumar and jumped into the chip lead. Perkins doubled through Rajkumar yet again, and Zang doubled through Smith. Kenney (the only final tablist to not wear a suit) busted Perkins in sixth place and then doubled through Zang to put the latter on the shortest stack. Kenney then eliminated Rajkumar in fifth place.

Zang doubled through Kenney on the 100th hand of the final table, then he did it again three hands later to take the chip lead. Kenney retook the lead, though, and Smith doubled through Zang. Kenney then took the lead again by ousting Chidwick in fourth place. Kenney then busted Smith in third place.

Heads-up play lasted only a few hands, and it ended when Zang put 8-5 of diamonds to the test against the all-in call of Kenney with A-6 of spades on an 8-4-3 flop with two spades. An ace hit the turn, but the river was a king, and Zang won.

Final results, including a payout deal between the first and second place finishers:

1st place:  Aaron Zang (China) – £13,779,491

2nd place:  Bryn Kenney (USA) – £16,890,509

3rd place:  Dan Smith (USA) – £7,200,000

4th place:  Stephen Chidwick (UK) – £4,410,000

5th place:  Vivek Rajkumar (India) – £3,000,000

6th place:  Bill Perkins (USA) – £2,200,000

7th place:  Alfred DeCarolis (USA) – £1,720,000

8th place:  Timothy Adams (Canada) – £1,400,000


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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