Champion Adrian Mateos!

With nearly $40 million in live tournament earnings, four World Series bracelets and victories across all events on the European Poker Tour, you might have assumed Adrian Mateos had at least one victory on the Triton Super High Roller Poker Series to his name.

But it’s only after tonight’s performance in Jeju that that assumption is true.

Mateos blitzed through the final day of the $30,000 buy-in Event 5 here in South Korea, surviving the inherent turbulence of a short-stacked final table to down David Peters heads up and win $1,175,000.

Mateos had 10 previous cashes on the Triton Series, including a $3.1 million score when he chopped the Main Event in Monte Carlo last year. But he ended up yielding that title to Matthias Eibinger.

The Spanish No 1 was not to be denied in this return to the top table, however, and finally got his hands on a Triton trophy at around 8.30pm local time. By that point, the rest of the 185-entry field had departed, and even Peters had now been vanquished.

Having been his country’s pioneer in so many poker pursuits, Mateos became the first Spaniard to lift a Triton Series trophy too.

“Thank you to everyone supporting me,” Mateos said in victory. “Especially the Spanish poker community.”

Many of them ran on stage to celebrate with him at the end.

“I feel amazing,” Mateos said. “I’ve had a really good day.” He referenced the Monte Carlo Main Event where he came so close but fell at the final hurdle, and added too that he had bubbled five or six times on the Triton Series. “But that’s part of the game.”

His father came to watch his final table in Monte Carlo, but was viewing from afar this time around. “They’re supporting me,” Mateos said. “My dad, my mum, all my family…We will have some celebration.”

For Peters, who took $790,000 for second, it represented a welcome return to the Trion Series after a near year-long absence. Peters had had a relatively barren time of it on his most recent visits to this tour, and he opted to skip the previous three stops.

David Peters returns with a top two finish

But he came back here in Jeju with renewed purpose, and showed incredible guile to survive for long periods with a micro-stack. He doubled it up at critical moments and managed to get heads-up with Mateos. But the Spaniard’s momentum was just too much.

They survived a final that also featured Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Mateos’ friend Joao Vieira. And Mateos said the presence of those other greats helped him bring his A-game.

“I wasn’t nervous, but super focused,” Mateos said. “It was a tough final table. I respect them a lot but I just try to beat them.”

And beat them he did.

Champion Adrian Mateos


With another huge field, it meant another long Day 1 — and a late night race to the bubble. Soft hand-for-hand took a while, but hard hand-for-hand was relatively quick. That’s because a cooler ended up ousting an unfortunate Aleks Boika in 32nd place.

Boika had 14 big blinds when he looked down at AhKd and raised. Yulian Bogdanov three-bet with pocket jacks and Boika called. The dealer put the flop of 4hKhTd on the table and, with top pair and backdoor possibilities, Boika committed the last of his chips.

Bogdanov called and was rewarded instantly with the Jh on the turn. Boika still had outs but the Ts river turned Bogdanov’s set into full house and turned Boika’s hopes to ruin.

Alex Boika, pictured during Event 1, hit the rail on the bubble of Event 5

The remaining field was now guaranteed a minimum $49,000 apiece — and a good sleep for the 24 players who made it to the end of the day.


The returning field was a who’s who of Triton — and, by extension, global poker — greats, topped by one of the game’s form talents Jesse Lonis. But Lonis followed previous overnight chip leaders here in Jeju by hitting the rail before the final table was set.

Lonis perished in 13th, shortly before Event 1 champion Fedor Holz. Even so, the final table still found room for Phil Ivey, David Peters, Adrian Mateos, Joao Vieira and Patrik Antonius, giving poker fans an absolute treat on the live stream.

The full final nine lined up as follows:

Patrik Antonius – 7,700,000 (39 BBs)
Seth Gottlieb – 6,000,000 (30 BBs)
Joao Vieira – 5,200,000 (26 BBs)
Ramin Hajiyev – 5,100,000 (24 BBs)
Yulian Bogdanov – 3,775,000 (19 BBs)
Adrian Mateos – 3,375,000 (17 BBs)
Lun Loon – 3,150,000 (16 BBs)
David Peters – 1,450,000 (7 BBs)
Phil Ivey – 1,275,000 (6 BBs)

Triton Jeju Event 5 final table players (clockwise from back left): Lun Loon, David Peters, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Seth Gottlieb, Ramin Hajiyev, Adrian Mateos, Joao Vieira, Yulian Bogdanov.

For Ivey and Peters, the mission was simple: find a spot to get the chips in and hope to double up. Ivey managed it quickly, taking Ac7h up against Antonius’ 8c7c and winning. Peters shoved a few times and picked up blinds and antes, which kept him afloat with rapidly shallowing stacks all round.

How shallow? Well, after a few orbits of final table play and no players knocked out, the average stack was 16 big blinds and the chip leader had 28. Those ICM handcuffs were locked around all nine pairs of wrists, as even Antonius, Mateos and Hajiyev, who were exchanging the chip lead, couldn’t really afford to put a foot wrong.

Eventually, the dam broke. And it was Ivey who took the long walk from the final table first. Ivey’s pocket tens lost a flip to Mateos’ AhJd and sent the US great out in ninth. He banked $119,000 for this one, but still seeks a sixth Triton title.

Phil Ivey keeps looking for No 6

Malaysian businessman Lun Loon soon followed in Ivey’s footsteps. Already at his second final table of the trip to Jeju, Loon continues to improve event by event and it’s easy to forget he’s only been playing this game for around three years.

This time, his run was halted by Yulian Bogdanov. With action folded to Loon in the small blind, he pushed his last six blinds in with 5s3s. Bogdanov found As9d in the big blind, snap-called and won.

Loon was out, earning $145,000 for eighth.

Lun Loon’s reputation continues to grow

Pretty much any pot now could mean the difference between elimination and a top half stack, and Gottlieb’s double through Hajiyev put the former back near the top and put the latter into the danger zone. Meanwhile David Peters dwindled to two big blinds but managed back-to-back double ups to stick around.

As if to underline the enormous volatility, the next player to hit the rail was the previously imperious Antonius. He too was undone was Mateos, who opened with AdKd and called when Antonius shoved with AhJc.

Antonius endured a rough trip to Triton Monte Carlo last year, but has bounced back with a final table appearance early in this festival. However, his $198,000 for seventh was probably less than he was hoping for when they got down to the final.

Patrik Antonius is back in the black in Jeju

Mateos now had close to 60 big blinds, which was the biggest stack anybody had seen for a good few hours. Bogdanov was his closest challenger; everyone else had fewer than 15.

The next set-up sent Hajiyev out. Bogdanov this time found the ace-king, specifically AdKc, and Hajiyev picked up pocket fives in the small blind. He pushed for eight big blinds and Bogdanov called. The king on the flop won him the race.

Hajiyev, the champion of the Invitational event in Cyprus last year, had to make do with sixth place in this tournament. It came with a $271,500 consolation prize.

Ramin Hajiyev returned for another Triton deep run

Peters had watched all this carnage from behind a tiny stack, but he managed to double it up again through Gottlieb and rise to the dizzy heights of third overall. Naturally, Mateos kept up the pressure on everyone else with continued pre-flop raises, knowing that if anyone wanted to tangle, they were risking the end of the line.

So it proved for Vieira, who had largely kept away from most of the danger until he could hold on no more. The Portuguese No 1 has started his trip to Jeju strongly, with cashes in three out of four tournaments played so far. But his first serious skirmish with Mateos proved to be his last, with Mateos pairing his jack with 8hJs and beating Vieira’s KhTc.

Vieira’s $358,000 for fifth was his biggest Triton cash to date.

Joao Vieira extends his lead at the top of the Portugal money list

Peters doubled up again. But then he lost an enormous pot to double up Gottlieb. This was gross in any circumstances — Gottlieb’s pocket kings outdrawing Peters’ pocket aces — but Peters must have felt that he was freerolling anyway, having nursed so few chips for so long.

He was soon back down to three big blinds and looking to rebuild again. And rebuild he did. He doubled through Bogdanov, Mateos and Mateos again, which left Bogdanov in trouble. But then Bogdanov doubled through Mateos twice and then Gottlieb and he was able to tread water some more.

Not so Gottlieb. It’s important to note here that none of the four remaining players ever really put a foot wrong, each of them finding the correct spots to get their chips in but learning that winning flips is very important. Gottlieb’s money went in with AcTh when he ran into Bogdanov’s aces, then with Ac4s when he saw Mateos’ Kd9d river a straight.

Had he have won the pot, Gottlieb would have been chip leader. As it was, he was out in fourth for $452,000. Having already finished runner up in another event, Gottlieb continues to amass plenty of Player of the Year points.

Seth Gottlieb with another top four finish

Mateos might have run away with it again, but Peters doubled with AdQs against the Spanish player’s As6s to put them neck-and-neck.

Mateos pulled away again, however, with the elimination of Bogdanov. For such a short-handed passage of play, there were numerous premium hands, and Mateos found another one — pocket queens — to finally end Bogdanov’s resistance.

Bogdanov had As2h and three-bet shoved. He couldn’t hit.

There seems to be a Bulgarian at every Triton final table these days, and it was Bogdanov’s turn to return in this event. A third place for $557,000 is a very good result.

Yulian Bogdanov: A sad way to end a fine tournament

The heads-up battle began with only 62 big blinds between the two of them. Mateos had 40; Peters had 22. After last night’s battle between comparative unknowns, tonight’s duel saw two of the world’s best known — 10th and 15th on global poker’s all time money list — squaring off.

Mateos won most of the small pots, with Peters forced to three-bet shove to keep himself alive. However, when Peters pushed for 13 big blinds holding Jd7d, Mateos did the math and made the call with QdTh.

It stayed good and Mateos finally got his name, and his country, on the Triton board.

Job done for Adrian Mateos

Event #5 – $30k – NLH 8-Handed
Dates: March 8-9, 2024
Entries: 185 (inc. 59 re-entries)
Prize pool: $5,550,000

1 – Adrian Mateos, Spain – $1,175,000
2 – David Peters, USA – $790,000
3 – Yulian Bogdanov, Bulgaria – $557,000
4 – Seth Gottlieb, USA – $452,000
5 – Joao Vieira, Portugal – $358,000
6 – Ramin Hajiyev, Azerbaijan – $271,500
7 – Patrik Antonius, Finland – $198,000
8 – Lun Loon, Malaysia – $145,000
9 – Phil Ivey, USA – $119,000
10 – Igor Yaroshevskyy, Ukraine – $101,000
11 – Vincent Huang, New Zealand – $101,000
12 – Fedor Holz, Germany – $90,500
13 – Jesse Lonis, USA – $90,500
14 – Samuel Ju, Germany – $82,000
15 – Brian Kim, USA – $82,000
16 – Weiran Pu, China – $73,500
17 – Brandon Wittmeyer, USA – $73,500
18 – Phil Nagy, USA – $65,500
19 – Dimitar Danchev, Bulgaria – $65,500
20 – David Yan, New Zealand – $65,500
21 – Sirzat Hissou, Germany – $60,000
22 – Tony Truong, China – $60,000
23 – Wang Yang, China – $60,000
24 – Michael Addamo, Australia – $54,500
25 – Kannapong Thanarattrakul, Thailand – $54,500
26 – Alex Theologis, Greece – $54,500
27 – Kiat Lee, Malaysia – $54,500
28 – Dylan Linde, USA – $49,000
29 – Changjie Zhang, Singapore – $49,000
30 – Mikita Badziakouski, Belarus – $49,000
31 – Roland Rokita, Austria – $49,000

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive