Asked before he set foot on the Triton Series for the first time, back in his home city of London this summer, Gavin Andreanoff said that his poker ambition was “to win a Triton poker tournament!”
Flash forward a few months and that’s “Achievement Unlocked”.
Andreanoff may not be a very familiar name in tournament poker, but he’s been playing professionally for 16 years, mainly PLO cash games live and online, and here he showed just what he can do in the tournament format as well.
Andreanoff took down the $30K PLO Bounty tournament in Monte Carlo, picking up the $387,000 first prize, plus another $160,000 in bounties for knocking out four opponents en route. The last of those was Quan Zhou, the Chinese PLO expert, who also made a final table in the hold’em Main Event this week.
“Basically getting good cards in the right spots,” Andreanoff, 35, said when asked what was the secret to his success. He went on to detail three key pots where his decision-making was remarkably straightforward and earned him all the chips.
With bounties in play, and stacks rapidly shallowing, Andreanoff admitted that it was quite the roller coaster. “In that format, with the ante, it can go either way,” he said. “It was all over the place.”
He added: “It’s sick. It’s super hard. You obviously want the bounties but you want to get yourself in the spot to get in the top places too.”
Andreanoff managed both, and finished with a $547,000 haul.
That’s going to please his family, particularly his uncle, who Andreanoff says claims half of all his poker winnings, remembering a family Christmas game where he supposedly “taught him all he knows”. One assumes Christmas will be lavish this year.
The first day of competition in this tournament was as lively as you would expect and it ended with a final table of eight players already assembled. Bounties kicked in when 19 players remained, so a hefty chunk of the prize pool had already been awarded.
All that mattered today was who took the very biggest bucks.
All the PLO experts seemed to have made it deep — Dylan Weisman and Laszlo Bujtas barely played a hand of hold’em at this festival — while Danny Tang and Dan Dvoress carried over their good form from the earlier two-card phase.
The mercurial Tom Dwan, however, was sitting at the very top. He too had flown into Monte Carlo simply for the PLO events and was standing tall as the man to catch.
Tom Dwan – 130 BBs
Dan Dvoress – 87 BBs
Danny Tang – 76 BBs
Quan Zhou – 70 BBs
Gavin Andreanoff – 46 BBs
Laszlo Bujtas – 37 BBs
Dylan Weisman – 25 BBs
Iakov Onuchin – 23 BBs
There were fireworks right from the off, with a huge three-way pre-flop all-in shaking up the leader board immediately. Dwan opened with and Tang called on the button, sitting with .
If Tang was setting a trap with the aces, it worked perfectly because Weisman three bet from the small blind, holding .
Dwan four-bet, essentially asking the others if they wanted to play for stacks, and both opponents said that they did. Tang shoved, Weisman under called all-in and Dwan called the extra.
The flop hit both the smaller stacks: . Weisman tripled with his flush, Tang won the side pot with his straight and Dwan tumbled down the counts.
Unfortunately for Weisman, it proved to be a false dawn. Not lot afterwards, he ran kings into the aces of Bujtas — it was five-bet all-in pre-flop — and saw the rest go in the Hungarian’s direction too when beat .
Weisman hit the rail in eighth, for $54,000. That will certainly be reinvested in the $50K PLO starting later today.
As is always the case with Omaha tournaments, players were seeing enormous swings. Dvoress lost a huge pot, doubling up Andreanoff, in a hand where Zhou was also considering calling both of their shoves with the potential to knock them both out.
As it was, all the chip went in on a flop of and, after Zhou folded, Dvoress showed to Andreanoff’s .
The turn and river improved both of their hands, but Andreanoff’s flush scored a triple up, leaving Dvoress on fumes.
Dwan, who embraces the volatility of poker more than most, landed on the wrong side of a severe buffeting in this one. After the skirmish with Tang earlier, he managed to build his stack back, but lost a ton back to Zhou. He then doubled up Dvoress before becoming the second player out from the final, completing a journey from leader to the rail, when he lost another big pot to Andreanoff.
Dwan called Andreanoff’s pre-flop bet with and had top pair after the flop. Andreanoff bet, Dwan shoved and Andreanoff called.
Andreanoff was already ahead of Dwan with his and ended with a flush after the turn and river. Dwan was done, taking $69,500.
With the two Americans now out of the way, the Europeans turned on themselves. Bujtas and Iakov Onuchin got involved in a pre-flop battle that ended with Bujtas four-bet jamming and Onuchin calling.
Onuchin was the effective stack but he had the advantage with against Bujtas’ .
With the full board eventually reading , Bujtas had a straight and Onuchin was out. He won $87,000 for sixth.
Dvoress had done incredibly well to bounce back from a near tournament-ending pot earlier, but his event eventually unravelled in fifth. Shortly after doubling through Zhou with aces, Dvoress found himself defeated for the last time by the same opponent.
They bet on every street through a board of , with Zhou shoving the river and Dvoress calling all in for his final five big blinds.
Dvoress had a flush draw on the flop and two pair by the end, but Zhou had a straight. Dvoress was free to head to the $50K PLO event with $112,400 in his pocket.
Bujtas, known as “omaha4rollz” online, was again fulfilling his role as one of the world’s leading four-card players. But even he was powerless to halt Zhou’s charge at this stage.
Zhou and Bujtas played an enormous pot, with the Chinese player’s ending up with a full house, which beat Bujtas’ .
That cost Bujtas almost all of his stack, but Tang ended up with his bounty. Bujtas got his remaining shrapnel in with a pair of sevens, single-suited, and Tang’s pair of eights remained better. Bujtas took $139,000 for fourth.
Tang has enjoyed an incredible week on the Triton Series, extending what has been a tremendous year. And here he was at a final table of a PLO event as well, having bossed it in NLHE.
Tang’s tournament ended in a third-place finish, however, as he was the latest player to be swept away by Zhou. In a three-bet pre-flop pot, Tang shoved the flop looking at on the board and holding .
Zhou called for what was only a couple more blinds and his ended up hitting two more spades for a flush. Tang grimaced, got up and left, taking $178,000 and $120,000 in bounties.
Zhou therefore squared off against Andreanoff, with a 70-20 BB advantage. It was barely 5pm local time and the final table had flown by.
Both players during the heads-up phase showed a willingness to get their chips in. There was the lesser-seen chopped pot at one point, then Zhou wore Andreanoff down to about 15 big blinds. But Andreanoff doubled back to level with making a straight on a board of . Zhou had two pair.
There was only 50 big blinds between them. And then, as the level went up, there was only 40 big blinds between them.
And then, all of a sudden, it was done.
Zhou had and raised pre-flop. Andreanoff had and called. It took them to the flop of .
Andreanoff check-called Zhou’s continuation bet.
The turn was the and the check-call pattern repeated, which then took them to the river. Andreanoff checked again and Zhou moved all in. Andreanoff now had a flush and made the call. He was good; Zhou’s straight was now beaten.
With that, Gavin Andreanoff comes out of the shadows to secure a first major title of his career.
Event #11 – $30,000 PLO Bounty
Dates:November 2-3, 2023
Entries: 74 (inc. 23 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,220,000 (inc. $760,000 in bounty pool)
1 – Gavin Andreanoff, UK – $387,000 (+ $160,000 in bounties)
2 – Quan Zhou, China – $269,000 (+ $120,000 in bounties)
3 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – $178,000 (+ $120,000 in bounties)
4 – Laszlo Bujtas, Hungary – $139,000 (+ $160,000 in bounties)
5 – Dan Dvoress, Canada – $112,400 (+ $40,000 in bounties)
6 – Iakov Onuchin, Russia – $87,000
7 – Tom Dwan, USA – $69,500 (+ $120,000 in bounties)
8 – Dylan Weisman, USA – $54,000 (+ $40,000 in bounties)
9 – Fahredin Mustafov, Bulgaria – $41,500
10 – Li Tong, New Zealand – $31,300
11 – Dimitar Danchev, Bulgaria – $31,300
12 – Armin Ghojehvand, UK – $30,000
13 – Imad Derwich, France – $30,000
Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive