The Triton Series’ first ever trip to Spain started with a bang at the Gran Via Casino, Madrid, today. The first event of a 13-day festival played through its opening day, attracting 90 entries (including 34 re-entries), and building a prize pool of €1.8 million.
Here’s something to remember if those numbers seem enormous: this is the smallest event of the 13 we have planned for the coming two weeks.
With 13 players due to be paid, and room at the end of the day only for the final nine, it meant this opening session compressed just about everything into its 20 levels: the early re-entry frenzy, the tightening up after registration was closed, then the bubble and then the race to the final.
When we got through it all, here’s how they line up for tomorrow’s conclusion:
Michael Addamo, Australia – 4,695,000
Paul Phua, Malaysia – 3,250,000
Tommy Kim, South Korea – 2,210,000
Michael Soyza, Malaysia – 1,790,000
Wayne Heung, Hong Kong – 1,650,000
Rob Young, UK – 1,545,000
Danny Tang, Hong Kong – 1,485,000
Fernando Garcia, Spain – 700,000
Morten Klein, Norway – 345,000
What better name to find at the top of the counts than that of Michael Addamo, arguably the hottest player at the moment in the world of high stakes poker. Addamo has been on a tear through 2021-22 and showed all his ample skills in this one — not least on the very last hand of the day, where he put Paul Phua to the test, won the pot, and leapfrogged Phua to take the chip lead.
Phua would only find out later that he had been outmuscled by the same hand. Both players had ace-king, but Addamo was bolder on an ace-high, three-heart, paired board. Neither had a heart in their hand, but Addamo was prepared to bet big, persuading Phua to let his top pair go.
But hats off too for Phua — a man at the very heart of Triton Poker. Phua has played at every stop and has a record 16 cashes. He is still yet to win one of these tournaments, however, and you can watch his latest attempt tomorrow on the live stream tomorrow. He’s a canny operator, but that’s a very tough final table.
The most unfortunate player today was Wu Ye Wei, who burst the bubble at around 11.45pm local time. Sitting with a short stack in the big blind, he thought he had flopped gin with his and a board of . But Ni Liangce had for the made flush and Wei was out.
That elimination took place on the feature table, and hot on the heels of Phachara Wongwichit’s bustout from the outer table, which negated the need for hand for hand play.
It’ll be scant consolation for Wei, who departed so very close to his first Triton cash in his fourth tournament on the tour. Everyone else was guaranteed €36,000, and that was the amount earned by Liangce himself, who busted to Phua in 13th not long after, and Jeremy Ausmus, who went out next.
Andriy Lyubovetskiy and Cristobal Hidalgo followed soon after, earning €38,700 apiece, and taking us down to that final.
The other headline news of the day was the sheer popularity of this event among newcomers to the Triton family. Seventeen players made their debut on this prestigious series in this tournament: Aleksandrs Ponakovs, Ausmus, Kevin Paque, Luuk Gieles, Klein, Wayne Heung, Brian Kamphorst, Cristobal Hidalgo, Garcia, Juan Pablo Corral, Kannapong Thanarattra, Liangce, Wongwichit, Sirzat Hissoou, Witsarut Ketnarin, Tossapat Chunharas and Yaman Nakdali.
We have heard about the mixed fortunes of Ausmus, Liangce and Wongwichit already, and you’ll note that Klein and Garcia are through to the final on their first attempt. We hope all the others will stick around for the remainder of the action, which only grows more exciting from here.
You can see below what they’re playing for when the tournament resumes at 1pm local time and plays to a winner. Event #2 will also get going at 2pm. That’s a 7-handed NLHE affair, with a buy-in of €30,000.
Join us tomorrow!
Triton Madrid – Event 1 – €20,000 NLHE 8-Handed
Date: May 13-14, 2022
Entries: 90 (inc. 34 re-entries)
Prize pool: €1,800,000
1 – €478,000
2 – €332,000
3 – €219,500
4 – €172,000
5 – €138,500
6 – €108,000
7 – €85,600
8 – €66,600
9 – €50,400
10 – Andriy Lyubovetskiy, Ukraine – €38,700
11 – Cristobal Hidalgo, Spain – €38,700
12 – Jeremy Ausmus, USA – €36,000
13 – Ni Liangce, China – €36,000
Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive