Champion Igor Yaroshevskyy!

The final moments of the $40,000 Bounty Quattro Event at Triton Montenegro became a battle of east and west. At one end of the table, Ukraine’s Igor Yaroshevskyy was flanked by Viacheslav Buldygin, Shyngis Satubayev and Ramin Hajiyev, representing Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, respectively.

At the other end, Jason Koon and Ben Tollerene were among the Americans who had come to rail their friend and countryman Isaac Haxton. Yaroshevskyy and Haxton were watching the dealer decide one final coin-flip for the title: pockets sevens versus ace-king.

The neat moment encapsulated the international flavour of the Triton Series and underlined the respect and admiration all these elite players have for one another. When the board ran dry, guaranteeing a first Triton title for Yaroshevskyy, he was the first to console with Haxton, and Koon too crossed the table to celebrate with the new champion and friends.

Viacheslav Buldygin, Ramin Hahjiyev and Shyngis Satubayev sweat the final hand with Igor Yaroshevskyy

This was a terrific result for Yaroshevskyy, which paid $1,052,000 from the regular prize pool and another $120,000 in bounty payments. Having started the final table with the second shortest stack, Yaroshevskyy only actually knocked out one opponent, but it was that man Haxton and it was the knockout that secured the title. It also allowed Yaroshevskyy to cash in his own bounty token.

“It’s amazing,” Yaroshevskyy said, adding that poker players have a clear aim when they start playing. “It’s these big titles!”

He continued: “I’m feeling great.”

For Haxton, it was yet another near miss. He has a staggering 39 cashes on the Triton Series and earnings of $12 million. But that title continues to elude him, and he left the stage at the end of this tournament to hotfoot it into the neighbouring tournament room to play the $50K NLHE. Haxton will always be a threat in any game and it’s statistically ridiculous that he hasn’t yet won here.

Isaac Haxton’s long wait for a Triton trophy continues

But no matter. He took $716,000 — and in Yaroshevskyy he fell to another worthy opponent. The Ukrainian has been to at least one final table at each of the four stops he has visited on the Triton Series. This victory was well deserved.

“I am so excited,” the new champion said. “It’s an amazing feeling. Today is my day. Thank you guys!”

Igor Yaroshevskyy begins his celebrations


After the thrills and spills of the Mystery Bounty yesterday, this tournament was slightly more conventional: of the $50,000 buy-in, $15,000 went into the bounty prize pool, with bounties introduced when 25 percent of the field remained. Each of 32 bounties was worth $60,000, so there was plenty of incentive to secure knockouts.

Twenty-eight players came back to play Day 2, with those bounties already in play, but in comparison with many other tournaments this week, the stacks were still deep. We had the pleasure of sitting around and watching some of the cream rise to the top.

Cash-game crusher Santhosh Suvarna found himself on the wrong end of a bubble collision here, getting his money in with AhTc and being called by Paulius Vaitiekunas and his Qd5d.

Vaitiekunas himself has been the bubble boy once this week, but this time he came from behind to burst it. A queen on the flop sealed Santhosh’s fate.

Santhosh Suvarna lands the wrong side of the bubble

Vaitiekunas had enough chips now to make his way to the final table, but others including Jason Koon, Chris Brewer, Michael Soyza and Mike Watson fell short this time. Bulgaria’s Dimitar Danchev emerged as the controlling force during this period of play — knocking out Watson along with Brian Kim in a huge three-way coup — and taking a sizeable chip lead to the eight-handed final table.

They stacked up as follows:

Dimitar Danchev – 6,840,000 (114 BBs)
Adrian Mateos – 4,260,000 (71 BBs)
Shyngis Satubayev – 3,370,000 (56 BBs)
Isaac Haxton – 2,930,000 (49 BBs)
Punnat Punsri – 2,895,000 (48 BBs)
Paulius Vaitiekunas – 1,920,000 (32 BBs)
Igor Yaroshevskyy – 1,885,000 (31 BBs)
Patrik Antonius – 1,100,000 (18 BBs)

Triton Montenegro Event 6 final table players (clockwise from back left): Igor Yaroshevskyy, Shyngis Satubayev, Patrik Antonius, Dimitar Danchev, Paulius Vaitiekunas, Punnat Punsri, Adrian Mateos, Isaac Haxton

It was still comparatively deep with plenty of play guaranteed, but unfortunately for Patrik Antonius, he couldn’t be part of it. The short stack coming into the final did not win a hand when it mattered most and departed at the hands of Isaac Haxton.

With AdTc in his hand, and a board of 6dTdKh9sAs on the board, Antonius called Haxton’s river shove.

Haxton’s JsQd had now filled a straight to beat Antonius’ two pair, and that was that for the Finn. Eighth place paid $136,000.

Another final for Patrik Antonius, but second title still elusive

After the bubble heroics, Vaitiekunas had found a tidy double up nine-handed to secure his place at the final, and then held firm during the late stages as the field thinned to its last seven. However, the first meaningful pot he played at the final was his last.

Vaitiekunas found a poor time to three-bet shove after an Adrian Mateos open, finding himself flipping with KdTc against Mateos’ pocket eights. The eights held, felting Vaitiekunas and sending him to the payouts desk where $183,800 awaited him. He also added $120,000 from two bounties.

Paulius Vaitiekunas burst the bubble on the right side this time

Mateos was at his second final table of the week, well stacked and looking in the zone. However, also for the second time, he found himself in a great spot to knock out a dangerous opponent, sitting with a dominating hand, only for it to go wrong.

Much as Brian Kim had come from behind to oust Mateos from the GG Million$ final table, Punnat Punsri became a nemesis at this one.

Mateos had AsKc and got it all in pre-flop against Punsri’s AdQs but a queen on the river doubled Punsri and left Mateos in real trouble. He couldn’t recover and lost the remainder of his chips to Punsri soon after.

Mateos was sixth again, for $245,000.

Tough beat and then elimination for Adrian Mateos, left

Shyngis Satubayev is very often Kazakhstan’s sole representative at the Triton tables, but he continues to put on a show to make his country proud. Here he was again in the deep stages, recording his seventh Triton cash, and at his second final table.

But Kazakhstan will need to wait more for its first champion as Satubayev became Punsri’s next victim. Satubayev was short and shoved the button with As4s. Punsri gave him a spin with Tc4d in the big blind.

Punsri couldn’t miss at this point and sent Satubayev packing when a ten appeared on the flop. Satubayev won $313,000 for fifth.

Shyngis Satubaev continues to fly the Kakakh flag on the Triton Series

Despite being the wrecking ball that took this tournament so quickly to its final table, things slowed considerably for Danchev once the field consolidated on the TV stage. He won a few pots with pre-flop aggression, but otherwise mostly sat on the sidelines as Punsri, in particular, seized control.

Danchev had dwindled to 10 big blinds when he found AdJh in the big blind and saw Punsri rip it in from the small blind ahead of him. It was plenty good for a call, but not plenty good for a win. Punsri’s Ks3d ended up hitting a full house, and that sent Danchev out in fourth for $390,000.

Dimitar Danchev couldn’t convert a chip lead into the win

Punsri was seemingly unstoppable. He began three-handed play with 18 million in chips, 60 big blinds, with his two opponents boasting only 7 million between them. If Punsri’s steamroller carried on rolling as it had, there was seemingly nothing anyone could do to stop him.

It did not, however, continued rolling as it had. Instead, it suddenly started hitting every obstacle in the road. Yaroshevskyy hit a flush to double. Haxton hit trip tens. Haxton hit a pair of tens to beat Punsri’s AhJh, and then Haxton found nines, called one more Punsri shove, and flopped a set.

Punsri was behind with Ac4h at the start of the hand, but was drawing dead by the turn. He got up to shake hands of his opponents and headed out the door. This time, Punsri took $473,000 for third — plus $300,000 for five bounties.

Punnat Punsri’s roller coaster comes to an end

And so we were down to two. Both Igor Yaroshevskyy and especially Isaac Haxton have been deep in the money numerous times on the Triton Series, but neither yet had a title. One of them would end that hoodoo, and they were delicately poised, 32 blinds to 31, as they entered heads up play.

Over the previous four nights of this series so far, the heads up battles have often been drawn out, with stacks shallowing to just a handful of blinds. Not this one. When both players got big hands for the first time, 7h7c for Yaroshevskyy and AcKs for Haxton, all the money went in.

Yaroshevskyy had the slight chip advantage and his hand held through a blank flop. That ended it in Yaroshevskyy’s favour and Ukraine can celebrate its latest champion.

Igor Yaroshevskyy clasps his lucky Triton card protector


Event 6 – $50,000 – Bounty Quattro
Dates: May 16-17, 2024
Entries: 126 (inc. 54 re-entries)
Prize pool: $6,300,000 (inc. $1,920,000 in bounty pool)

1 – Igor Yaroshevskyy, Ukraine – $1,172,000 (inc. $120K in bounties)
2 – Isaac Haxton, USA – $896,000 (inc. $180K in bounties)
3 – Punnat Punsri, Thailand – $773,000 (inc. $300K in bounties)
4 – Dimitar Danchev, Bulgaria – $690,000 (inc. $300K in bounties)
5 – Shyngis Satubayev, Kazakhstan – $463,000 (inc. $150K in bounties)
6 – Adrian Mateos, Spain – $495,000 (inc. $240K in bounties)
7 – Paulius Vaitiekunas, Lithuania – $303,800 (inc. $120K in bounties)
8 – Patrik Antonius, Finland – $136,000

9 – Henrik Hecklen, Denmark – $105,000
10 – Artur Martirosian, Russia – $147,500 (inc. $60K in bounties)
11 – Michael Watson, Canada – $147,500 (inc. $60K in bounties)
12 – Brian Kim, USA – $196,600 (inc. $120K in bounties)
13 – Michael Soyza, Malaysia – $196,600 (inc. $120K in bounties)
14 – Yaman Nakdali, Spain – $70,000
15 – Ramin Hajiyev, Azerbaijan – $100,000 (inc. $30,000 in bounties)
16 – Brandon Wittmeyer, USA – $63,500
17 – Jason Koon, USA – $183,500 (inc. $120K in bounties)
18 – Jules Dickerson, UK – $57,000
19 – Chris Brewer, USA – $57,000
20 – Frederic Delval, France – $57,000

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive