Canada’s Dan Dvoress has a habit of leaving things late.
Back in Cyprus earlier this year, he won the first Triton title of his career in the series’ very last tournament, telling reporters he had no time to party because he had to dash off to catch a flight home.
Tonight in Monte Carlo, Dvoress put himself among the multiple champions with victory in the $50,000 buy-in PLO event — and it too came on the very last night of play on Triton’s first trip to the principality.
Not only did Dvoress need to beat a 72-entry field, he had to overcome the Monte Carlo sensation Danny Tang heads up. Tang had an enormous chip lead too, and would have become the first player to win titles in no limit hold’em, short deck and PLO had he closed it out.
But Dvoress had other ideas. He found a couple of double ups as the heads-up game got short stacked, and then ground Tang down until they got it all in with Dvoress holding trips and Tang’s overpair needing to hit.
It didn’t, and Tang’s festival ended with one win, one second, two third places and a sixth. But this one belonged to Dan Dvoress.
“It’s fun!” Dvoress told Ali Nejad during his winner’s interview when asked how he stays motivated. “I enjoy the process. Of course, it’s great to win money as well.”
Dvoress took $956,000 for this one, beating by a huge margin what he won for his short-deck title in Cyprus. But Dvoress’ mastery of all games has earned him more than $10 million on the Triton Series, from 11 final tables and 28 cashes.
“There are elements that transfer,” he said, describing how one player manages to excel at more than one variant. “Skills such as keeping it together under pressure.” He went on to pay tribute to his friends and fellow pros with whom he can share frustrations and celebrations. “Most of the time tournaments don’t go that well and it’s extremely important to get things off your chest,” he said.
Tonight, it’s about celebration, however. And Dvoress has already said he’ll be back for Triton’s next stop in Jeju.
So will Tang, no doubt, with $664,000 more in his coffers from this second-place finish.
After a comparatively steady opening day, the starting field of 70 entries had been reduced to 15 players. That left all the drama for Day 2: the bubble, which would appear when 14 were left (13 places paid), the subsequent push to the final, and then, of course, the crowning of a champion.
To deal with the first of those landmarks: our bubble boy this time was the Brazilian crusher Yuri Dzivielevski. He had been reduced to his last one-and-a-half big blinds, but must have watched in glee as Tom-Aksel Bedell was all-in and called on another table.
However, Bedell doubled up, which meant Dzivielevski had no choice but to watch the button pass gradually around the table and simply pray for good cards when the big blind next reached him.
Those prayers were not answered. When the time came he looked down as and ended up coming third in a three-way coup.
With Dzivielevski out the way, they ground on toward a final. It was remarkably slow going, but eventually Rajamurthy Kabeelan, Eelis Parssinen, Bedell and two of yesterday’s final table players, Dylan Weisman and Iakov Onuchin departed.
That left another of yesterday’s feature table players, Dan Dvoress, ahead of the pack and the remarklable Danny Tang at yet another final. The last eight lined up like this:
Dan Dvoress – 49 BBs
Chris Parker – 48 BBs
Nacho Barbero – 25 BBs
Dylan Linde – 16 BBs
Keith Lehr – 11 BBs
Mads Amot – 11 BBs
Danny Tang – 10 BBs
Shyngis Satubaev – 10 BBs
Shyngis Satubaev is the first player from Kazakhstan to play on the Triton Series and this was already his second cash. He would need something of a miracle to spin up his short stack at the final — and that miracle did not come.
He managed to double up on one of the first hands, getting the beautiful looking to make a flush and crack Chris Parker’s kings. But on the very next hand he ran queens into Dvoress’ aces and this time all his chips went to the Canadian.
Satubaev took $133,000 for eighth.
Dylan Linde had endured a difficult trip to Monte Carlo, with no cashes before this one. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of players that endure that kind of run. Variance in tournament poker is a terrible thing.)
While it’s doubtful whether this tournament could provide a complete trip-saver, it’s always good to make a final — but Linde’s tournament ended in seventh. This was another case of aces cracked. Nacho Barbero limped, Linde raised with and Barbero called.
The flop might have seemed innocuous at first glance, but there was danger lurking. It was . Linde moved in, at least blocking the nut flush draw and the bottom end of the straight. But Barbero called with and his flopped straight stayed good.
Linde won $171,000.
Mads Amot decided to come to Monte Carlo for his first Triton event this week and played just the PLO events. The $30K Bounty didn’t work out for the Norwegian, but here he was at this final justifying his trip.
He was another to curse the sight of Nacho Barbero, however, as Barbero flopped another straight with on a flop of .
Amot’s pocket queens were already defeated, but Barbero ended up with a boat after the turn and river.
Amot had to make do with $216,000 for sixth.
Keith Lehr is another player for whom the Triton Series is quickly becoming something of a home away from home. The American businessman accepted an invitation to play the $250K in London this year, and subsequently received and accepted another one to play the $200K here in Monte Carlo.
Neither of those invitational tournaments worked for him, but he cashed a PLO tournament in London and here he was again with his deepest run yet.
Lehr made it to fifth, but couldn’t make it any further. He ended up being knocked out with three aces in his hand — not quite such a good thing in Omaha as it might seem. His ended up as only a pair of aces after a run-out of . Meanwhile Chris Parker and Danny Tang both had a straight.
Lehr took $277,000 but seems likely to return to the Triton Series for more.
Parker, however, was the next man out. The British player was yet another Triton first timer here in Monte Carlo, and had played two events before this one. Those were whiffs, but he had made this one stick and he’d been chip leader for periods today.
But Dvoress was now the man to beat, and Parker couldn’t do so in a big pot that ended the latter’s tournament. Dvoress had and Parker .
All the money went in after a flop of , where Parker had top two and Dvoress had a set. It was a rough way to end for Parker, but his $344,000 payout was three times his previous tournament scores combined.
So it was that three Triton titans remained: Dvoress, Tang and Barbero. The latter led, but Tang doubled up to get back in contention, and that left Barbero most under threat.
Barbero had actually asked tournament officials to tinker with the schedule of the $25K Turbo taking place in the same room to potentially allow him time to register, should he be eliminated from the $50K. But by the time he was actually put at liberty, the turbo was on the bubble, with registration long closed.
Barbero’s elimination hand came in a four-bet pre-flop pot, with Barbero’s losing out to Dvoress’ .
Barbero this time had to settle for $439,000 — but at least didn’t lose heads-up yet again.
That left the two Dans heads up: Tang versus Dvoress, both of whom were at their second PLO final in as many days. Chip stacks were fairly even, but stacks were short. This could go either way still.
But those aces just kept on coming out. They landed in Tang’s hand — — and the double-paired aces was plenty good enough to call after Dvoress five-bet shoved with .
“Hold!” Tang shouted, and hold it did, giving Tang more than 60 big blinds to Dvoress’ seven.
“Da-nny Tang! Da-nny Tang!” chanted Kiat Lee and Punnat Punsri as they answered the bat signal to come to the tournament room to watch another Tang show. They immediately learned the news that their man had doubled, and took their seats in the stands to watch it all play out.
Dvoress doubled up fairly quickly with a flush. He then doubled once again with a full house. And all of a sudden the stacks were even.
The heads-up duel from this point was conducted in precisely the way you would expect from players as skilled as these. They kept pots small and tried to gently out-manouevre one another.
But Dvoress had the momentum and the prevailing wind blew the chips in his direction. When he had ground Tang down to a short stack, they got it in on a flop of . Tang had but Dvoress was ahead with .
The turn and river couldn’t come to Tang’s rescue. And the title belonged to Dvoress.
Event #12 – $50,000 PLO
Dates:November 3-4, 2023
Entries: 72 (inc. 29 re-entries)
Prize pool: $3,600,000
1 – Dan Dvoress, Canada – $956,000
2 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – $664,000
3 – Nacho Barbero, Argentina – $439,000
4 – Chris Parker, UK – $344,000
5 – Keith Lehr, USA – $277,000
6 – Mads Amot, Norway – $216,000
7 – Dylan Linde, USA – $171,000
8 – Shyngis Satubaev, Kazakhstan – $133,000
9 – Iakov Onuchin, Russia – $101,000
10 – Dylan Weisman, USA – $77,500
11 – Tom-Aksel Bedell, Norway – $77,500
12 – Eelis Parssinen, Finland – $72,000
13 – Rajamurthy Kabeelan, Malaysia – $72,000
Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive