Champion Stephen Chidwick!

There’s no one on the Triton Super High Roller Poker Series who gives as much to these tournaments as Stephen Chidwick. He plays every single game, right from the moment registration opens, and by common consensus he is among the most feared and fearsome players at any table.

The fact that Chidwick wasn’t yet on the multiple champions page was one of those freaks of this volatile game: he had Triton earnings of close to $20 million from 36 cashes.

Chidwick put that right tonight. He probably sat at the Triton tables for longer than anyone during this trip, firing bullets, bubbling twice and making three final tables. And it was only fitting that he was the last player sitting at a table too, posing as champion of the $20K Short Deck Turbo, the final event of an exhausting stop.

Chidwick, however, is tireless and somehow remains deeply focused during the incredible hours he puts into both play and studying. And he was clearly gratified when it paid off tonight, landing him a $265,000 score.

“It feels amazing,” Chidwick said. “I look around all the time when I’m playing at the banners for the two-time champions and I didn’t have one…It feels great to get the win.”

He added: “Coming close a lot of times, you get your hopes up and you get them dashed. But that’s the nature of tournament poker.”

Chidwick defeated Tan Xuan heads-up, denying the Chinese player a third career title and a second in consecutive days. “He’s an incredible player,” Chidwick said. “He’s impossible to put him on a hand. I knew I had my work cut out.”

But if there’s anyone who can cope with whatever is thrown at him, it’s Chidwick. And his face will now be glaring from banners around the Triton tournament room, something he admitted will give him great pleasure.

Stephen Chidwick shakes hands with Tan Xuan, beaten heads-up


The field of 42 entries (including 17 re-entries) was enough to put $840,000 in the prize pool and offer $265K to the winner. There are a lot of players in Jeju for whom even winning this tournament would not make much of a difference to their bottom line, but a win is a win and there’s still plenty of prestige.

As ever, the great and good were among those washed away shortly after registration closed, getting us nearer to the money. It would kick in when seven were left.

Jun Wah Yap only played the short deck events here in Jeju, so his exposure wasn’t quite so big as some of his peers. But after two whiffs, he will have hoped to leave the best until last. And he very nearly did.

However, after about an orbit of hand-for-hand play, Yap got his last 70 antes in with AdKh. He was leading Tan Xuan’s Qs9d, but the board of AcTsJh7s8c straightened Jap out.

Jun Wah Yap was the last man out before the money kicked in

That was the bubble burst and Xuan into a big chip lead. It was also final table time.


Tan Xuan – 3,665,000 (183 antes)
Isaac Haxton – 2,660,000 (133 antes)
Dan Dvoress – 1,525,000 (76 antes)
Stephen Chidwick – 1,335,000 (67 antes)
Phil Ivey – 1,225,000 (67 antes)
Zhou Quan – 1,145,000 (57 antes)
Seth Davies 1,045,000 (52 antes)

Triton Jeju Event 19 final table players (clockwise from back left): Tan Xuan, Zhou Quan, Dan Dvoress, Isaac Haxton, Seth Davies, Phil Ivey, Stephen Chidwick

Seth Davies had already been at two Short Deck final tables this week, and here he was at a third, albeit with a short stack. But he sat and watched Tan Xuan win a decent early pot from Phil Ivey, which meant that when Davies and Ivey went to war pre-flop, it was Ivey under threat.

Davies had AhQh and Ivey Ad9d. There was nothing on the board to rescue Ivey, and out he went in seventh for $44,000.

Phil Ivey leaves Jeju without another win, but plenty of deep runs

Davies might have hoped that would kickstart a run to a first title, but he hadn’t accounted for Xuan. Davies picked up AdJd and moved all in. Xuan had AsQs and made the call. He saw three spades to finish this.

Davies won $54,500 for sixth.

Three short deck finals for Seth Davies

Xuan had an enormous stack now: 258 antes, when his closest challenger had only 99. All the others were left to scrap among themselves.

And it was quite a scrap. Zhou Quan won a flip against Dan Dvoress with pocket queens beating AcKs. That left Dvoress at the bottom of the counts, but he doubled back through Quan to get back even.

Chidwick was the shortest, but he shoved three times at different stages of three hands, picked up no callers, and chipped up. But then when others did similar, Chidwick was back down again.

The most significant pot of this period went to Quan. He took aces up against Xuan’s jacks and won, pushing him up to within only eight antes of Xuan.

They took a break and the antes went up and things grew ever more hectic. Chidwick found a double with pocket queens staying best against Quan’s Jd7c. That put Chidwick neck and neck with Xuan.

Haxton was still battling, but this final table followed the pattern of being cruel to North Americans. Two of the continents finest were already on the rail, and Haxton and then Dan Dvoress were soon to join them.

Dan Dvoress says goodbye to Isaac Haxton…

Haxton’s last chips went to Chidwick. Chidwick shoved with 9sTs and Haxton called with AsJh. This one also ended in a straight. The KsJc8sQdAc board gave Chidwick the winner.

Haxton banked $71,500 but still looks for a maiden title.

Dvoress already has two wins, both from the past 12 months. But with only 15 antes left, he fell victim in this one to Xuan, with AsQh perishing to Xuan’s JdTc. Dvoress snatched a last-gasp $92,000.

…before busting himself soon after

Chidwick therefore took on the two Chinese players, both of whom already had a title from this trip to Jeju. Xuan was in front, with 87 antes, Chidwick had 74 and Quan had 49. It was still anyone’s game.

Quan couldn’t win anything during this crucial phase, and he was the next man out. He shipped with KsQs and couldn’t beat Chidwick’s AsQc.

Quan looked crestfallen, but this has been a good trip for him. Although he bricked the hold’em events, he’s been excellent in the second half of the festival, landing a first title in PLO and then making two short deck finals. This one ended with a third-place finish and $122,000.

Zhou Quan leaves the Triton Jeju stage for the last time

That left Chidwick and Xuan for the final shootout of the week, with only two antes between them. Xuan had 80, Chidwick 78.

Only very small pots moved in either direction until there was just one big one to end it all. Chidwick called, Xuan raised his button, and Chidwick shoved over the top. Xuan made the call and was ahead with AhKs. But Chidwick’s AdTh flopped a ten, then picked up a diamond draw for good measure.

Tan Xuan: A great week in Jeju

Xuan’s fans called for a king, but it never came. Chidwick stood up, smiled broadly from beneath his vintage-movie-villain’s moustache and finally got his hands on a second Triton trophy.

Xuan took $191,000. Chidwick landed $265,000, and the champion paid tribute to his family, who accompany him to all these stops and keep him sane.

“My family gives me incredible support,” Chidwick said. “If I have a bad day, good day, they’re there to give me a hug, cheer me up or celebrate with me. It makes a big different to my mood and motivation.”

Tonight, it’s celebration. All round.

And with that, this exceptional Triton Series stop in Jeju was done. See you all in Montenegro!

A two-time champion at last

Event #19 – $20K – Short Deck
Dates: March 21, 2024
Entries: 42 (inc. 17 re-entries)
Prize pool: $840,000

1 – Stephen Chidwick, UK – $265,000
2 – Tan Xuan, China – $191,000
3 – Zhou Quan, China – $122,000
4 – Dan Dvoress, Canada – $92,000
5 – Isaac Haxton, USA – $71,500
6 – Seth Davies, USA – $54,500
7 – Phil Ivey, USA – $44,000

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive