Carrel and Koon stranded as late-night marathon can’t decide £50K

The Grand Ballroom at the London Hilton, Park Lane, was hopping tonight. That was inevitable as the biggest buy-in poker tournament of all time awarded the biggest ever first prize.

But it’s a measure of just how high they play on the Triton Super High Roller series that shortly after the Aaron Zang/Bryn Kenney party moved to more traditional nightclub surroundings, tournament organisers prepared to hand over another prize of more than £1.3 million to another champion, in front of a silent and deserted room. Yes, enormous tournaments are so routine on the Triton Super High Roller series that even a seven-figure first prize can pass by silently in the dead of night.

Or that was the plan. But in fact, a second event of the week had to pause in the dead of night, with UK gaming regulations demanding a halt to proceedings at 4am. That left Jason Koon and Charlie Carrel, pictured above, still with chips and still with the task of splitting around £2 million between them.

The plan is now to play this one out tomorrow, at the same time at the £25K turbo finishes and the £100K Main Event gets started. Koon has the marginal advantage with 12.15 million to Carrel’s 9.6 million.


As the £1 million event was still playing its early final table stages, registration closed on the £50K with 109 entries (including 43 re-entries) building a prize pool of £5.123 million. They burst the bubble when Sergio Aido lost his last six blinds to Talal Shakerchi, but Shakerchi himself was knocked out in a torrent of post-bubble eliminations.

Sergio Aido becomes the £50K bubble boy

All of Benjamin Pollak, Christoph Vogelsang, Jesus Cortes, Sam Greewood, Mikael Thuritz and Ike Haxton were similarly swept away before the final table (receiving between £87,000 and £133,000 for their troubles). Canada’s Daniel Dvoress joined them on the rail before seven-handed play decamped to the feature table at the conclusion of this week’s flagship event.

Play began on feature table seven-handed (clockwise from left): Charlie Carrel, Jason Koon, Linus Loeliger, Kahle Burns, Matthias Eibinger, Robert Flink, Jun Wah Yap

Malaysia’s Jun Wah Yap was enjoying his first cash from several attempts on the Triton series, but ended up on the rail in seventh after losing his last 13 big blinds to Linus Loeliger. Off he went, with £238,000.

The race began as to whether this tournament could get finished tonight at all. Gambling regulations in the UK meant that we had to be done by 4am, and it pushed past 2am with still six players left. The short-stacked Matthias Eibinger doubled up twice, with AsQs better than Kahle Burns’ Ah9h and then with As8s over Robert Flink’s Ac7c.

Matthias Eibinger at the double

It left Flink in shoving mode, and he was less fortunate. Flink, who led overnight, lost with AcTs to Charlie Carrel’s Ad8c when an eight flopped. Flink won £302,100. “See you tomorrow,” Jason Koon said, even though tomorrow was already today.

Robert Flink, unlucky and busts

Carrel might have knocked out Burns on the next hand, but Burns survived his all-in push with pocket queens against Carrel’s AdJd. Burns continued to push with his relative short stack, getting no callers, before a possibly tournament-defining hand played out.

Charlie Carrel won heaps from Loeliger

The only “haves” at a table of mostly “have nots” were Carrel and Loeliger, and the two of them went to war. Loeliger open-shoved under the gun, with KsTd but with a stack big enough to withstand any issues from his left. Carrel was the only opponent who could hurt, and he called all in, for close to 5 million. (The big blind was 160,000.) Carrel’s JhJd ended up staying good to double him up and relegate Loeliger back into the pack.

With all the shoving, something had to give, and it was Eibinger who went out in fifth. Burns jammed his small blind with 2.45 million, and Eibinger, with a smaller stack, called in the big blind. Eibinger’s KhTd was ahead of Burns’s Qs9d, but the Qc river changed that. Eibinger won £386,000.

Koon, the Triton Ambassador from the United States, had been sitting tight while the chips changed hands around him. He looked weary, and he was also bemoaning his bad luck earlier when neither of his sweats at the Triton Million final table was able to seal the deal.

Late nigh rush for weary Jason Koon

But Koon suddenly sprang to life in three quickfire hands. He doubled through Carrel with AsQc over Ad8d and then took heaps of Burns’s stack, before finishing off the Australian with AcKc staying good against Burns’s Ks9s. Burns, who needs to play the final table of the delayed £25K turbo tomorrow, was free to get some sleep at about 3.30am. He took £481,500 for fourth.

Kahle Burns out in fourth

At this stage, it was clear that the clock was going to be the real winner tonight. There was no hope of a conclusion. But Loeliger, who also has a seat at tomorrow’s £25K final table, still had time to hit the rail.

This was a brutal one, which played through the streets, and put a board of Ah7sTcTs6h out there. Carrel made a big bet, big enough to force Loeliger to make a decision for his tournament, and Loeliger called with 6s7c. “Sorry man,” Carrel said and turned over 9c8c.

Linus Loeliger’s departure ends the night

Loeliger took £594,000 and the two remaining players immediately decided to bag, booking themselves a return at 2pm tomorrow. Carrel’s 9.6 million is slightly behind Koon’s 12.15 million, but there’s still plenty of play. See you tomorrow/today!

Triton London Event #3 – No Limit Hold’em
Dates: August 3-4, 2019
Buy-in: £50,000
Entries: 109 (inc. 43 re-entries)
Prize pool: £5.123 million

1 £1,321,000
2 £907,000
3 – Linus Loeliger, Switzerland, £594,000
4 – Kahle Burns, Australia, £481,500
5 – Matthias Eibinger, Austria, £386,000
6 – Robert Flink, Sweden, £302,100
7 – Jun Wah Yap, Malaysia, £238,000
8 – Dvoress Daniel, Canada, £182,000
9 – Isaac Haxton, United States, £133,000
10 – Talal Shakerchi, UK, £107,500
11 – Mikael Thuritz, Sweden, £107,500
12 – Sam Greenwood, £94,700
13 – Jesus Cortes, Spain, £94,700
14 – Christoph Vogelsang, Germany, £87,000
15 – Ben Pollak, France, £87,000


Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

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Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive