The Triton Poker Series in Jeju was such an unmitigated success that the players decided to add a last minute event to the schedule. Flights were cancelled. Hotel rooms found. And 23-entrants created a prize pool of HKD 34,780,000 (USD 4,430,604) underlining the undeniable fact that Richard Yong and Paul Phua have put together the most banging high stakes poker series in the world.
The second of day of Event #8: HKD 1m (USD 127,000) No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck began with a final table of seven players, and the first one to lose a seat was one of the most successful players in the tour’s history, Mikita Badziakouski.
The Belarusian came into Jeju after winning back-to-back HKD 2m (USD 250,000) Triton Poker Series Main Events in Montenegro and Jeju, but this was a sour trip for the partypoker ambassador, cashing only once with a seventh-place finish in Event #2: HKD 500,000 (USD 64,000) No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck.
Badziakouski bowed out in seventh place after getting unlucky in a hand against Timofey Kuznetsov. The pair got it in on a flop of Td9h7s with Badziakouski holding Th8s, for top pair and Kuznetsov chasing with KdQc. The dealer burned and turned the Qh and Kc to give Kuznetsov two pairs, and the chip lead. Badziakouski was out.
Jason Koon described Tan Xuan as one of the best Short-Deck players in the business when he beat him, heads-up for the HKD 1m No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck title in Montenegro, and the Chinese star made another deep run in this one eventually falling to Wai Kin Yong just shy of the big bucks. The pair got it in pre-flop with Yong’s pocket kings crushing the KhTh of Xuan, and despite turning a gutshot, Xuan hit the rail in sixth.
Paul Phua was enjoying his poker after cashing in three events, banking more than $2.6m in the process, and he took a step closer to a fourth ITM finish when he removed the dangerous Ivan Leow from the equation. It was a case of tough luck for Leow who was a massive favourite to double-up when he got it in with kings versus Phua’s queens, only for the best non-professional in the business to hit his two outer on the turn.
We reached the bubble after the two-time Triton Poker Series event winner, Wai Kin Yong, ran Tc9d into the two black jacks of Robert Flink. Yong flopped an open ender on Kd7s6s and had even more outs when the Th hit the turn, but the Kc wasn’t one of them to send Yong Junior to the rail two places shy of the money.
It was during the bubble that Timofey Kuznetsov took over the contest. Firstly. Trueteller eliminated Paul Phua on the button when kings faced off against queens, all-in, pre-flop, and this time Phua couldn’t find the luck needed to survive.
Then the Russian star eliminated Furkat Rakhimov in fourth place AKcc>KhTs; he took out Choon Tong Siow when pocket queens dodged the world to beat AdTh, and then he overcame the live tournament rookie Flink, heads-up, to take all the beans when JdJc beat AKhh thanks to a lowly looking 8s8c8h7s7d board.
Kuznetsov is a cash game superhero, but this win ranks as only his fourth live tournament ITM finish and just his second win, after taking down a $50,000 event at ARIA back in 2016. His most significant score to date came in 2015 when he finished fourth in the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl for $2,150,000.
Here are the ITM finishes
- Timofey Kuznetsov – $1,859,940
- Robert Flink – $1,240,809
- Tong SiowChoon – $797,481
- Furkat Rakhimov – $532,503
That’s a wrap for the Triton Poker Series in Jeju. The next time this particular show gets on the road will be May 4 – 16 when the team returns to the Maestral Casino and Resort in Montenegro.