Tom Dwan came to Triton Madrid this week with one of the most awesome reputations in the world of poker, but without ever having won a live multi-table tournament. Now, as the curtains come down on this spectacular festival, Dwan is a two-time Triton Series winner, having added victory in the final €30K Short Deck Turbo to his success in the €25K PLO.
He won this event at the exact same time the €150K Short Deck was concluding — two tournaments ending simultaneously with two brilliant Americans, and two Triton Ambassadors, taking the spoils. Koon won his €1.7 million over on the feature table as Dwan was downing Elton Tsang for a €336,000 first prize.
“I wanted that one,” Dwan said. “You want to swap!?!” he bellowed over to Koon.
“Bro, a win’s a win,” Koon said. “You went from no Triton wins to two.”
Dwan shrugged, but he smiled too. He is indeed a two-time champion. And he may even soon get used to having winner’s photos taken. He’s certainly a natural poker talent, but that part of his game still needs work.
There were two coolers in the heads up stage, which ruined Tsang’s chances. Both Dwan and Tsang hit full houses on a run-out, when Tsang had and Dwan had .
And then the next time they were all in, Dwan had and Tsang when the board was .
That was what sent Tsang looking for his €233,000 prize and gave Dwan his second taste of success.
FINAL TABLE ACTION
The last-gasp nature of this tournament meant more than just a final chance to score a victory, of course. It was a last chance for a cash — and the last chance for a bubble.
When the field condensed to seven players, one from the money, the two Triton co-founders Richard Yong and Paul Phua were sitting next to one another with micro-stacks. “No bubble!” bellowed Phua, as Chris Brewer noted how crucial the last table redraw might be, positioning one of them away from the button.
Seven-handed chip counts
Tom Dwan – 3,402,000 (227 antes)
Elton Tsang – 2,358,000 (157 antes)
Danny Tang – 1,690,000 (113 antes)
Ivan Leow – 1,252,000 (83 antes)
Chris Brewer – 750,000 (50 antes)
Richard Yong – 257,000 (17 antes)
Paul Phua – 156,000 (10 antes)
Unfortunately for Phua, “no bubble” was the exact opposite of what happened. He was the bubble boy again, for the second time on this trip to Madrid. Phua got his last crumbs into a pot against Elton Tsang, and Tsang’s hit two pair.
Phua’s “Bubble!” was part anguish, part chuckle. He won his first Triton title here in Madrid, so will still remember this trip fondly.
By this point, Yong had doubled through Brewer. And then he pretty much doubled again after he three-bet pushed over Ivan Leow’s open and Leow folded. That meant it was Brewer who was next to depart, picking up €69,500 after losing in a three-way pot against Dwan and Elton Tsang.
Yong’s escape act couldn’t turn into a sun-run. Dwan knocked him out soon after Brewer, when aces stayed good against Yong’s . It put Dwan further clear at the top of the counts, with four players left.
The quartet opted to skip dinner in favour of a four-way bento box delivery, and they played through two or three levels before the next elimination. It ended up being Danny Tang’s turn to take the fall — another victim of Dwan. This time, Dwan made the nut flush with his on a . Tang did not have the , so had to go looking for a €114K payout instead. That was his fifth cash of the series.
Ivan Leow is always one of the most dynamic players at any table, and he was happily hammering his chips into the pot with great regularity. But he could never really get his head truly above water in this one, and Tsang turned a straight with his and got the last of Leow’s money in on the river. Leow, twice a champion on the Triton Series, won €148,500 for third this time. It was his first cash of a difficult trip to Madrid.
That left Tsang and Dwan heads-up, two of the very best from their respective continents. They have done battle against each other many times before, in the nosebleed cash games across the world.
They’d never been heads-up in a tournament, however, and certainly never in such strange circumstances, where there was another tournament going through its final stages on an adjacent table.
But these two great players ended up at the liberty of the deck. Everyone would have played those two pivotal pots the same. It just so happens that this time, it went to Dwan. And now durrrr is a two-timer. Time to get used to it.
Triton Madrid – Event 14
€30,000 Short Deck Ante Only Turbo
Date: May 25, 2022
Entries: 33 (inc. 9 re-entries)
Prize pool: €990,000
1 – Tom Dwan, USA – €336,000
2 – Elton Tsang, Hong Kong – €233,000
3 – Ivan Leow, Malaysia – €148,500
4 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – €114,000
5 – Richard Yong, Malaysia – €89,000
6 – Chris Brewer, USA – €69,500
Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive