Triton Poker Ambassador Tom Dwan has his first title on the series where he holds legendary status already — bludgeoning through the €25K PLO field in Madrid to win €290,000.
It was a clinical display from Dwan, 35, who led the field from the mid-point of Day 1 and never relinquished it through a quick-fire final table. They went from eight players, through the bubble, and all the way to a champion in two-and-a-half hours.
That was due to Dwan’s formidable talents as a pot limit Omaha player. He never gave any of his opponents any chance to settle, and enjoyed the run of the cards as well. He was able to blast past opponents including his fellow online nosebleed superstar Patrik Antonius, and then ran over Jeremy Ausmus heads-up.
“It was cool,” Dwan said. “Honestly, it was fun to play because I had a big stack, and with this kind of structure you get to get away with a lot…That’s the fun kind of poker, and then every time I got called, I just got there. So that was fun.”
Never has a high-stakes tournament win seemed so easy. Never has a winner seemed so comfortable. After six previous cashes on the Triton Series, Dwan’s picture will now also appear on the board of champions.
Ali Nejad described Dwan’s performance as like a “hot knife through butter” and asked Dwan how he managed it. “Most of it was run-good,” Dwan said, but added that he thought some people were playing too tight from about 12 players onward.
Dwan also said how content he was playing on the Triton Series. “There’s a warm vibe, a warmer atmosphere,” he said. “It’s pretty chill.”
An unflustered Dwan is a joy to watch, and repeats of this final will be worth looking at if you’re looking for an entirely pure run to a major title.
FINAL DAY ACTION
The day began with eight players, but the doom-filled knowledge that only six would be paid. It was therefore an exercise in attempting to look unflustered by the looming sight of a €60,000 bubble, particularly for Jeff Gross, Paul Phua and Tom-Aksel Bedell, whose smaller stacks put them most under threat.
DAY 2 STARTING STACKS
Tom Dwan, USA – 3,240,000
Jeremy Ausmus, USA – 1,980,000
Patrik Antonius, Finland – 1,795,000
Filip Lovric, Sweden – 960,000
Elton Tsang, Hong Kong – 660,000
Tom-Aksel Bedell, Norway – 595,000
Paul Phua, Malaysia – 550,000
Jeff Gross – 390,000
Gross had stepped out of the commentary booth to play this one, and was making his first appearance at the tables on the Triton Series. He certainly seemed to be enjoying himself, but he couldn’t cap it with a debut win. He became the first elimination of the day, losing with to Dwan’s , all-in pre-flop.
Dwan ended up pairing his five on a board that didn’t really connect with either of them, and Gross departed.
Nobody on the Triton Series loves poker more than Phua. He set the whole thing up, after all, because of his insatiable appetite for the game. We’ve talked before about his incredible short-stack play, but even he couldn’t navigate his way into the money in this tournament. He had only three big blinds and got them in with . Antonius called with and although those hands looked pretty similar, Antonius flopped a nine to expose their differences.
Phua chuckled his way off the tournament stage, and ambled through the tournament room stating, “Bubble boy!” to everybody, whether or not they asked. He’ll be back for the short-deck Main Event. No doubt about that.
Shortly before Phua’s elimination, Bedell had managed a double up through Dwan, which not only helped him through the bubble, it also pushed him at least one more spot up the ladder.
His cause was also helped by Elton Tsang becoming the next man out: Tsang pushed over Dwan’s open with . Dwan called with and the board of gave Dwan a straight.
Tsang’s kings were cracked and he picked up €60,000.
That was the first explosion in a rapid-fire period of play, which took us down to five, then four, then three and two players before the day was 90 minutes old.
Next out was Filip Lovric, who had the misfortune to find a big pocket pair in the small blind, when Ausmus had a bigger pair in the big blind. Dwan started this hand, opening to 210,000, and that was enough to prompt Lovric to jam for 465,000 with .
Ausmus looked down at the very pretty double-suited and also moved all-in, which persuaded Dwan out of it.
Lovric picked up a straight draw on the flop, but whiffed turn and river. His first appearance on the Triton Series earned him €76,500.
Fans of the online nosebleed cash games will have been licking their lips when first seeing this final table line-up as it gave the clear potential of an Antonius v Dwan heads-up duel. Those old adversaries have played thousands of hands against one another through the years, and the prospect of seeing a few more on the Triton live stream was very exciting.
The problem was, Dwan had hit this particularly purple patch of form in this tournament, and was managing to win pretty much every pot he entered, including a huge showdown with Antonius when there were still four of them at the table.
With Dwan in the big blind, and 770,000 in his stack, Antonius opened to 280,000 under the gun. Dwan called. The flop was and Dwan bet enough to put Antonius all-in. Antonius called.
Antonius had bottom two pair with his , and Dwan had a flush draw with his . The on the turn hit Dwan, and Antonius couldn’t fill up on the river.
Antonius was out in fourth for €97,500, missing out on that heads-up duel with Dwan.
With Dwan seemingly unimpeachable, it was now down to Ausmus and Bedell to determine which one would try to take down Dwan in the final confrontation. Bedell had seemed like a huge underdog at the start of the day, but was still sticking around.
However, he ended up becoming the next player crushed by the Dwan juggernaut, in another pot where the inferior pre-flop holding came good. Dwan raised with his and Bedell called with his . That left him only 150K behind, two big blinds, but he didn’t see reason to risk it all yet.
After the flop, Dwan bet all the draws and Bedell put the rest of his chips in. Turn and river came and , and Dwan’s straight was one pip bigger than Bedell’s.
Bedell won €127,000 for third, his second cash in only his third Triton event. “Nice playing with you,” Ausmus and Dwan both echoed, as they shook Bedell’s hand.
The heads-up battle was thus decided: two Americans would go at it. Dwan had a more than three-to-one advantage — it was 2.5 million to Ausmus, 7.7 million to Dwan — but there were enough blinds in play to make it interesting. They were still in the 40K/80K level.
Ausmus, making his debut on the Triton Series in Madrid, won a couple of early pots to narrow the gap slightly, but Dwan then won pretty much everything else. His tracking graph, on the Triton Poker Plus app was a near enough straight upward slope.
Ausmus had only about 10 big blinds when they played the final hand. Dwan raised to 300,000 with and Ausmus called with .
After the flop, Ausmus moved in with his bottom pair and diamond draw, but Dwan called with an overpair and a better draw (as well as a three) and the turn followed by the river were blanks.
Ausmus won €199,000, which was his second cash of his trip to Madrid, but Dwan was the deserving champ. It was all done and dusted by 2.30pm local time — just in time for the short-deck Main Event, a tournament Dwan also has his eye on.
“I like playing tournaments,” he said. “It’s nice not to be bummed out from not winning. Hopefully I’ll be up here again in a day or two.”
Triton Madrid – Event 11
€25,000 Pot Limit Omaha
Dates: May 22-23, 2022
Entries: 34 (inc. 9 re-entries)
Prize pool: €850,000
1 – Tom Dwan, USA – €290,000
2 – Jeremy Ausmus, USA – €199,000
3 – Tom-Aksel Bedell, Norway – €127,000
4 – Patrik Antonius, Finland – €97,500
5 – Filip Lovric, Sweden – €76,500
6 – Elton Tsang, Hong Kong – €60,000
Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive