A turbo double for Matthias Eibinger

The NLHE portion of the Triton Super High Roller Series in Northern Cyprus is drawing to a close, with only the final day of the Main Event to play. After that, all of the 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s in the decks of cards of the world can take a holiday. It’s short deck only from hereon in.

But just before the emphasis shifts to hold’em’s more gambly cousin, there was the small matter of a quick $50K Turbo to play. It started late, at 8pm, because of an unscheduled interruption, but it blazed through the levels before reaching a conclusion at 3.40am.

The last man standing was Austria’s Matthias Eibinger, who has seen all of this before. Eibinger won his first Triton title in a turbo event here in Cyprus last time out, again on an outer table while bigger action was going on elsewhere. That one also ended at stupid o’clock, and featured some ridiculous short-stack bingo.

But Eibinger made his name playing high stakes hyper turbos online, so this is precisely his wheelhouse. Back-to-back pocket kings also helped at the death, but Eibinger just knows this game, regardless of the cards.

His victory, over Jonathan Jaffe, earned him $545,000 and rounded off his trip nicely. Eibinger doesn’t play short deck so is heading home now. It’s a nice way to finish a trip.


In addition to the delay caused by a problem with the venue air conditioning, the action in this one slowed right up as the bubble approached. Although there weren’t many blinds in play, and the rapidly escalating levels were eating them up rapidly, it still took more than an hour to go from eight to six.

But Ebony Kenney took the walk in eighth, losing with ace-king to pocket tens. The slight complication was that it was Phil Nagy with the tens — i.e., the man who had invited Kenney to play the Coin Rivet Invitational this week. That invitation had earned Kenney $1.7 million, so Nagy was well in credit. But nobody likes knocking out a friend.

“I guess it says something about the integrity of the game,” Nagy said. “It wasn’t a TV table, no one would have known if I’d thrown something away.”

Ebony Kenney bust two from the money

There was no hard feelings, and Kenney hopped on a call home while Nagy moved into the money. They took that step when Scott Ball’s pocket threes lost out to Mikita Badziakouski’s AcJc. Badziakouski had earlier been all-in for this tournament life but survived, and now knocked out Ball. It guaranteed everyone at least $110,000, but nothing for Ball.

Last six in the $50K Turbo (clockwise from top left): Mikita Badziakouski, Matthias Eibinger, Phil Nagy, Jonathan Jaffe, Alejks Ponakovs, Danny Tang

The average stack of the last six was only about 18 big blinds, and only two players had more. Jonathan Jaffe and Matthias Eibinger had been dominating from about two tables out.

One of the shorties was Danny Tang, who had observed just before the bubble that he was basically playing a starting stack, “It’s like I just regged,” he said. His next visit to the registration desk, however, was to pick up $110,000 for a sixth-place finish. Aleksejs Ponakovs’ jacks stayed strong against Tang’s JsKs.

That was as good as it got for Ponakovs, however, as the tournament became a total crapshoot. Only the chip-leading Jaffe and Eibinger had a double digit big-blind stack, so it was purely a case of either double up or go home. Ponakovs found AcTc, which was clearly good enough to get it in. Eibinger had AdQh and Ponakovs was soon out, taking $140,000.

Nagy busted next, and his elimination was pretty gross. Jaffe open-jammed with TcJh and Nagy called all in for his last handful of blinds with a dominating AhJd. A ten on the flop changed that, and finally released Nagy to go home. He said he was tired, and now had a cash of $185,000 to help him sleep.

The dam had definitely now burst and Badziakouski was next to be washed away. He had Ac3c when he got it in and might have hoped for a chop against Jaffe’s Ad5d. But Jaffe ended up with trip fives and that was that for Badziakouski. He banked $245,000.

Heads up between Jonathan Jaffe and Matthias Eibinger

Jaffe had a 46 to 18 big blind chip lead when they went heads-up, but Eibinger quickly doubled up to even them out. Eibinger found kings against Jaffe’s As2d and there was no outdraw. It happened again soon after, with kings again finding their way into Eibinger’s hands. Jaffe this time had KdTd, but again the kings stayed good.

Jaffe finished second for $375,000 while Eibinger picked up another $545,000 and became a repeat Triton champion!

Event 9 – $50,000 NLHE Turbo
Date: September 13, 2022
Entries: 32 (inc. 11 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,600,000

1 – Matthias Eibinger, Austria – $545,000
2 – Jonathan Jaffe, USA – $375,000
3 – Mikita Badziakouski, Belarus – $245,000
4 – Phil Nagy, USA – $185,000
5 – Aleksejs Ponakovs, Latvia – $140,000
6 – Danny Tang, UK – $110,000

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive