Champion Nick Petrangelo!

There are a handful of players on the Triton Series who for some reason can’t quite get over the line. They’re spectacular talents, who might easily have five or more titles, but for the villainous variance.

Nick Petrangelo has been near to the top of that list for quite a while, with 14 cashes and five final table appearances. And finally tonight, the 37-year-old American can call himself a Triton champion after taking down the $50K NLHE Turbo at Triton Montenegro.

“This one doesn’t count,” the laconic Petrangelo joked as the winner’s cheque moved into view and the trophy edge nearer his hands. He admitted soon after that that was a joke, but said, “Obviously I want to in one of the Mains or the Invitational or the $200Ks.”

He continued: “Obviously this is great and I’m happy. I’d like to win one of the big ones before I’m done.”

Nonetheless, this was a thrilling tournament with tons of top players taking their place in the first one-day event of the stop. Petrangelo held the chip lead for long periods as the turbo nature meant players came and went quickly, and the blinds became the most dominant factor.

“It’s a different skill set,” Petrangelo said, noting that the nature of the game means more all-in pre-flop confrontations. But Petrangelo’s timing was excellent, and he was there to get his hands of some silverware at last, beating the UK’s Lewis Spencer heads-up.

Has the dam now broken for Petrangelo? It would surprise nobody if this was the first of many. They all count, Nick.

Nick Petrangelo belatedly joins the gallery of Triton stars


Played against the slow structure of the Main Event taking place in the neighbouring room, the turbos are always especially frantic affairs. None of the players would deny that they would prefer to be still engaged in the bigger buy-in event next door, but they tend to relax into these ones despite the $50K buy-in.

The eight levels of registration brought 53 entries, including 15 re-entries, and put more than $2.6 million in the prize pool. That meant a $775,000 first prize, proof that there’s no such thing as a small event on the Triton Series.

After a few hands of hand-for-hand play across two tables, Nick Petrangelo and Lewis Spencer got involved in a major pot. Spencer opened under the gun, Petrangelo called on the button and it went check-bet-call on both the flop of Ad2h5c and the turn of Jc.

They both checked the river 8c and Spencer’s AsKc beat Petrangelo’s AhQh. It was a pot that could have been much bigger.

It possibly had an impact on what happened next, however. Petrangelo — steaming? — raised again, this time from the cutoff, and Artur Martirosian jammed for 16 big blinds. That was far from the shortest stack in the room. The blinds got out the way but Petrangelo called and tabled his pocket eights.

Martirosian was looking at a flip for his tournament. His KcTc needed to hit.

Bubbling hurts: Artur Martirosyan is knocked out in 10th

It did not. Martirosian was bounced in 10th setting the final and locking up a minimum $77,000 payday for everyone else. Petrangelo now assumed the lead as they settled down with the following stacks:

Nick Petrangelo – 2,705,000 (54 BBs)
Isaac Haxton – 2,135,000 (43 BBs)
Lewis Spencer – 1,890,000 (38 BBs)
Maher Nouira – 1,070,000 (21 BBs)
Steve O’Dwyer – 920,000 (18 BBs)
David Yan – 630,000 (13 BBs)
Dylan Linde – 475,000 (10 BBs)
Leon Sturm – 405,000 (8 BBs)
Dan Dvoress – 385,000 (8 BBs)

Triton Montenegro Event 10 final table players (clockwise from back left): Leon Sturm, Nick Petrangelo, Steve O’Dwyer, Maher Nouira, Lewis Spencer, Dan Dvoress, Dylan Linde, Isaac Haxton, David Yan.

The turbo format means action right from the off regardless of the cards, but when short-stacked Leon Sturm picked up aces immediately at the final, he found a willing customer in Isaac Haxton, who found pocket kings. The biggest pre-flop collision poker offers gave Sturm an immediate double.

That hand was bad new for Dan Dvoress for two reasons. Firstly it made him the shortest stack at the table. Secondly, it gave Sturm the chips to call his shove a few hands later, knocking Dvoress out.

To be honest, the money was going in here regardless. Dvoress open jammed with AdKd. Sturm reshoved with pocket tens. The dealer offered nothing for the all-in player and Dvoress was out in ninth. He took that $77,000 min cash.

Dan Dvoress first out from the final

Dylan Linde doubled through Haxton. Then David Yan doubled through Sturm. Both had tiny stacks, but no one really had enough chips to survive too much buffeting.

Steve O’Dwyer was now the short stack and he found pocket queens. Spencer gave him a spin with AdTs and it looked good for O’Dwyer until the ace on the river ended his participation. O’Dwyer moved silently to the exit looking for $101,000.

Steve O’Dwyer packs his bags and walks away

O’Dwyer’s elimination was pretty cruel, but Sturm’s, on the next hand, was even more against the odds. Sturm got his chips in with pocket jacks against Maher Nouira’s pocket sixes. The flop, all clubs, missed both of them, and with the Jc in his hand, Sturm was in a very strong position.

However the river was an offsuit six, spiking a set for Nouira and sending Sturm out in seventh for $130,000.

Bad news for Leon Sturm, out in seventh

With the blinds getting remorselessly higher, chips were moving around the table with abandon. Linde doubled through Yan when queens stayed best against nines. But then Yan doubled back through Spencer with a dominant ace. Both these were all-in pre-flop.

More than ever, you need the rub of the green to win a turbo, and Haxton seems cursed to run worse than most at Triton finals. Despite landing his 40th cash on this series, his long hunt for a win continues as his Ac6d fell to Petrangelo’s AdTd.

The money here went in pre-flop too, and Haxton’s last handful of blinds gave Petrangelo hope that his own trophy drought might end. Haxton’s sixth place was worth $164,000.

When will it end? Forty cashes, no titles for Isaac Haxton

At this stage, Yan seemed to be getting his chips in most frequently, which was securing him vital blinds when opponents folded. However, the now short-stacked Spencer called all in with pocket kings and beat Yan’s As5d. That bunched all five players up between 10 and 16 big blinds apiece.

Remarkably, they managed to play another two levels without an elimination, which sliced everyone’s stack down even further in comparison with the blinds. The average stack was now 11 big blinds.

Spencer now doubled through Nouira, with KcJc beating AdJs. There was a king on flop and river. And he hadn’t finished delivering the punishment on his Tunisian opponent. Spencer found aces in the small blind a moment later, jammed his bigger stack in, and got a call from Nouira’s Ad7c.

Nouira shook his head in disbelief, but was sent packing in fifth. He picked up $212,000 for that.

The roller coaster ride ends for Maher Nouira

Spencer now had around 50 percent of the chips in play, but it was still only 25 blinds. When Petrangelo doubled through him, with Ad6h beating 3s9s (Spencer had shoved blind-on-blind), Petrangelo was into the lead.

Yan doubled his two blinds through Linde. Petrangelo now did the shoving as chip leader. And then Petrangelo shoved into Yan’s big blind again and this time Petrangelo’s 7c5d hit a five to beat Yan’s Ks3s. Yan was out in fourth for $273,000.

David Yan’s up and down hits a low point

Everything was happening at quite a pace now, with Linde next to hit the rail. Petrangelo shoved with Jh9d this time and Linde was all in with pocket deuces. There was a nine and a jack on the flop and Petrangelo claimed another scalp.

Linde won $362,000 for third.

Third place for Dylan Linde

Petrangelo had 38 blinds to Spencer’s 15 as heads-up began. But the pace this was moving, it wouldn’t take long. One hand, to be precise.

Spencer limped with 8c5h. Petrangelo checked for the flop of Jh5c7c. Some more money went in here, but then Spencer shoved the Kc turn. Unfortunately for him, Petrangelo’s Qc3c was now huge. The tournament was his.

Close call for Lewis Spencer

Spencer’s deepest finish gave him a $556,000 second place prize, his biggest so far on the series. Petrangelo, though, was a worthy champion. He is overdue no more.

“You try to be objective about your play,” Petrangelo said, in answer to a question about how he deals with barren spells. “I’m doing nothing different. The preparation is the same every trip.” He added: “It doesn’t mean you’re playing better when you’re winning.”

But it certainly feels better, that much is sure.


Event 10 – $50,000 NLH Turbo
Dates: May 21, 2024
Entries: 53 (inc. 15 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,650,000

1 – Nick Petrangelo, USA – $775,000
2 – Lewis Spencer, UK – $556,000
3 – Dylan Linde, USA – $362,000
4 – David Yan, New Zealand – $273,000
5 – Maher Nouira, Tunisia – $212,000
6 – Isaac Haxton, USA – $164,000
7 – Leon Sturm, Germany – $130,000
8 – Steve O’Dwyer, Ireland – $101,000
9 – Dan Dvoress, Canada – $77,000

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive