Brilliant Bonomo wins Triton short-deck, then hints at retirement

Justin Bonomo started this month as the No 1 money earner in world poker, the result of a stellar 2018 in which he won more than $25 million and leapt to the top of the all-time money list. He will go into the second week of the month in second place, having yielded his top spot to the all-conquering Bryn Kenney–but Bonomo tonight had one last laugh.

The brilliant New Jersey native, long a tournament poker crusher, added his second title on the Triton Super High Roller Series tonight, beating Malaysia’s Wai Kin Yong heads up and winning £2.67 million. It still leaves him short of Kenney, but it was yet another superlative tournament display from Bonomo, not least because of the man he beat at the end.

Two days ago, Yong won the full deck main event, and was on for a remarkable double. But Bonomo was able to deny Yong the title, not long after Yong’s father had fallen slightly short in his bid to win another event going on tonight.

“There was part of me that was rooting for you and your dad to win at the same time,” Bonomo told Yong. “That would have been super cool.”

Could have been very different for Justin Bonomo, who doubled heads up

But the ruthless streak that has earned Bonomo so many plaudits and trophies kicked in, and he left Yong with £1.835 million for second.

Bonomo previously won on the Triton series in Jeju in March, but hinted that he might not be doing all this for much longer. “My 2018 was incredible, so I’m kind of easing my way into retirement,” Bonomo said. “My plan is to play less poker, Bryn’s plan is to play a lot of poker, so as far as I’m concerned I’ll probably never get number one again. It’s not really a goal of mine, and I’m totally fine with that.”

He added: “I’m not going to completely retire, but I’m playing a lot less. Because of 2018 I’ve nothing but pride to look back on. I’ve nothing left to prove to anyone.”

Bonomo also said that behind the placid exterior, and the two titles, he finds the volatility of short deck to be a strain on his calm temperament.

“I like it when I win, but honestly I don’t like crazy all ins,” Bonomo said. “I don’t like getting it all in with 55 percent but you have to in this game. Some people enjoy the all ins. I find them extremely stressful. Obviously when you win tournaments it’s great, but other than the fact that I’m winning these tournaments, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite game.”

The tournament only ended tonight about after a series of double ups between the two last players, which followed a tortuous five-hour three-handed session.

“The hardest part was three handed,” Bonomo said. “There was a very big pay jump from third to second and we were all aware of that. The big stack, whoever it was, just tried to put on the pressure. There were a lot of very tough bets made on the turn, especially by Wai Kin.”

Beaten heads up, Wai Kin Yong

The final hand came about at around 12.10am, when Yong got his stack in with Ac8c and Bonomo called with KcJd. The dealer left it to the river on a board of 7s8sQhTdJc to seal Yong’s fate and wrap it up for Bonomo.

Short deck main event final table players (l-r): Ming Zhong Liu, Justin Bonomo, Liang Xu, Rui Cao, Paul Phua, Wai Kin Yong, Isaac Haxton

The final table started at around 1pm with plenty of play still guaranteed.

Ming Zhong Liu became the first player out from, pushing all in for 1.76 million from the hijack with 9c8c and seeing Justin Bonomo re-shove to isolate from the cutoff with AcKh. In short deck, this set-up is as good as a flip, but Bonomo’s 54 percent equity vaulted to 89 percent on the 6sKc6d flop. The Jc and 8s completed the board, and Liu took £482,200 for seventh.

Tough break for Ming Zhong Liu

The only player with a shorter stack than Liu at the beginning of the day was Isaac Haxton, but the American high stakes regular had done good work in gradually building his stack. But that climb only made the crumble even more dramatic: Haxton perished in a huge three-way all-in that sent Yong flying even higher into the clouds.

Haxton committed his 2.85 million stack with AsAc from under the gun and Yong, with a stack three times as big, re-raise shoved to isolate. He had KcKs. Rui Cao, the Montenegro short deck champion, then looked down at JdTd and in short deck that’s probably a call. Sure enough, he committed his stack of close to 3 million, but needed to outdraw both bigger pairs.

Tea? Oh, OK. Isaac Haxton busts

Everything has been running impossibly smoothly for Yong over the past few days, and the flop of Qd6sKh was dreamy. He faded all the outs through the Tc turn and 6c river, and won a monster. His stack grew to 16 million, which was about half the chips in play four-handed.

Haxton, meanwhile, was confirmed as the sixth-placed finisher and won £611,900. Cao picked up £783,000.

Rui Cao was unable to pull off a short-deck main event double

Talk now began in earnest not only of a back-to-back victory for Yong, but also that he could end up going heads-up against Phua for the second day in a row. Phua was short stacked, but had come back from more perilous positions in previous tournaments.

However, lighting did not strike twice. Phua pushed for his last 1.105 million with KsQc and Yong made an easy call with his AsQs. Yong again flopped beautifully, with the KhJsTc board making Broadway. The 7s turn and 9s river turned it into a flush.

Paul Phua: Out for good from Triton London

Phua went out in fourth, cashing for £974,500, his third in-the-money result of the week. When you add his most recent score to the £2.07 million from the other main event, and the £49,500 from the six-handed turbo, it’s been another pretty good week.

Phua left to dream of what might have been

Yong, Bonomo and Liang Xu then settled down for what proved to be a long session of three-handed play. Xu was the shortest, but doubled up through Bonomo with AhKd against AcQh when he got his 6.16 million stack in pre-flop. The best hand held up. Then Yong proved that his game isn’t only about hitting big hands: he pulled off a terrific fold to ensure he didn’t give more chips to Bonomo.

In this one, Yong flopped trips with QsTs on a KsQcQd board, but he correctly folded to Bonomo’s aggression on the river — after the 8d turn and 7d river completed the board. By that point, Bonomo had Kd6d for the flush.

The stacks were deep and the players were reluctant to get them on in unnecessarily. The trio played small ball for upwards of five hours (there were one or two double ups and split pots) before two big hands between Yong and Liang. Liang won the first, doubling up with QhKd to Yong’s QsTc. But then Yong doubled back shorly after, with AsQs against Liang’s KcKd. Yong spiked an ace on the river.

Wai Kin Yong hits an ace on the river to double

That left Liang with fewer than 40 antes and in real trouble, while putting Yong back on the top of the pile.

Bonomo finished Liang off. They got it in pre-flop, with Bonomo’s Th9h very much more than live against Liang’s KcQh. The TcTd6s flop smashed Bonomo in the face, and Liang was drawing dead after the 7h turn.

Liang, who is becoming something of a fixture in the deep stages of super high roller events, won £1,202,500.

Liang Xu’s tournament ends

They were all but even as heads up began, with around 105 antes apiece. The best of Asia versus the best of the rest of the world. In many ways it was the perfect representation of the Triton brand, which brings these two factions together for this peerless series of high roller tournaments.

West vs. East: Bonomo vs. Yong

While most of us were settling in for a very long duel, the pair at the table actually started playing some sizeable pots right off the bat. One particularly huge encounter came about with a board of 9d6hQcJc7h on the table. Bonomo bet about 4 million at it, a third of his stack. Yong used two time-bank chips before calling with Js7s and Bonomo’s Tc9h was beaten.The pot gave Yong a near three-to-one chip lead.

But Bonomo chipped back and then doubled himself, setting up the big finale. Kenney was long gone from London, back in the United States and enjoying his new status on top of the world. But for all Bonomo’s insistence that’s he’s not chasing, results like this put him right back in the hunt.

Champion Justin Bonomo

Triton London Short Deck Main Event
Dates: August 6-8, 2019
Buy-in: £100,000
Entries: 108 (inc. 55 re-entries)
Prize pool: £10,370,000

1 – Justin Bonomo, United States, £2,670,000
2 – Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia, £1,835,000
3 – Liang Xu, China, £1,202,500
4 – Paul Phua, Malaysia, £974,500
5 – Rui Cao, France, £783,000
6 – Isaac Haxton, United States, £611,900
7 – Ming Zhong Liu, Macau, £482,200

8 – David Benefield, United States, £368,100
9 – Stephen Chidwick, UK, £269,600
10 – Jason Koon, United States, £217,700
11 – Furkat Rakhimov, Russia, £217,700
12 – Tom Dwan, United States, £191,900
13 – Cary Katz, United States, £191,900
14 – Elton Tsang, Hong Kong, £177,000
15 – Richard Yong, Malaysia, £177,000

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Liang chews up the raptor, claims Triton £50K short deck title

The Marshall Islands, a tiny country in Micronesia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, does not exactly have a rich poker history. But as of tonight, it has a Triton Super High Roller Series champion after the quiet, unassuming and ruthless Yu Liang beat David Benefield heads up to win the £50,000 buy-in short deck tournament at London’s Park Lane Hilton.

Two days ago, Benefield won the first major poker tournament of his career when he took down a £25,000 short-deck event. But even the Texan, who goes by the name “raptor” online, couldn’t chew up Liang. As the clock struck midnight on the final day of this long and lucrative festival, Liang’s Tc7c flopped best against Benefield’s AcQc when the dealer put the Qh7s7d on the board. All the chips went in and a long and gruelling tournament ended with the As turn and 8d river not enough to push Benefield back in front.

Liang too £777,000 for the victory, while Benefield adds another £560,500.

No back-to-back for David Benefield

The tournament started slowly yesterday, with a clock ticking down above empty seats. But then four hardy souls — Peter Jetten, Daniel Dvoress, Sam Greenwood and Mikita Badziakouski — got things started, and others eventually decided that they wanted in too.

With registration remaining open into the second and final day, it allowed for 52 entries to land on the cash desk and a prize pool of £2.465 million. It was the smallest of the festival, but not a single person would sniff at the £777,000 first prize.

£50K took a while to get going, but got there in the end

Sniff was all that all of those four pioneers — plus a roll call also including the likes of Jason Koon, Cary Katz, Seth Davies, Gabe Patgorski and Danny Tang — could do, however, as they perished before the final table was even close. But we then saw a Triton first: a double knock-out on the stone bubble, on two different tables, meaning two players split the seventh place prize.

Those two were Malaysia’s Tong Siow Choon, whose AhQc lost to Richard Yong’s AdKh and Mike Watson, whose QsQh lost to David Benefield’s As8h.

Bubble 1: Tong Siow Choon

With all due respect to Choon, the latter bust-out was far more significant. Watson was sitting in second place in the overall chip counts nine-handed when he got it in, with Benefield the only player who could possibly knock him out. It was particularly grim, therefore, for Watson to see an ace on the flop: his wretched fortune in Triton events continues, even though he took £64,750 for a chop of seventh. (He was only in for one bullet, so that’s a profit.)

Yet another Triton sickener for Mike Watson

The knock-on effect of this was that Beh Kok Weng was the retrospective bubble boy, though he was long gone by that point.

Thanks in a large part to that huge hand, Benefield went to his second short-deck final of the week as a soaraway chip leader. The full line up looked like this:

1 – David Benefield, 5.98 million
2 – Richard Yong, 2.585 million
3 – Yu Liang, 2.08 million
4 – Romain Arnaud, 1.41 million
5 – Chin Wei Lim, 1.41 million
6 – Stephen Chidwick, 815,000

Final table in the £50K (l-r): Yu Liang, Richard Yong, Stephen Chidwick, Romain Arnaud, Chin Wei Lim, David Benefield

Chidwick has had a brilliant Triton London festival, cashing four of the five tournaments he has entered, including the £1 million event. He was in for four bullets in this final event, however, so needed to finish fourth or better to return a profit.

He doubled his short stack through Benefield early in final table play, but almost immediately sent the whole lot over to Yong, when his AcKd lost to Yong’s As8d when Yong rivered a flush. Chidwick rounds off his week with £160,200 on to the ledger.

The last event, last knockout of Stephen Chidwick

As for Yong, his star was in the ascendant. Though Benefield was still clear at the top, Yong also then managed to knock out Romain Arnaud in fifth place in a standard AcKh > AdQc coup. Arnaud won £209,500.

Romain Arnaud busts, with no tears

As tends to happen in short deck tournaments, the stacks were suddenly relatively deep so the action slowed down a little. But Chin Wei Lim found himself growing shorter and made a stand with AsKh. Benefield had all the chips to play with and TcTh was plenty good enough to take a free hit at Lim.

Benefield flopped a set, Lim turned a straight and then Benefield rivered a full house. Anyone still questioning why short deck is a volatile game should replay that run out over and over. It happens all the time. Lim cashed three times this week, including in the £1 million tournament, and this one was worth £271,300.

As tends to happen in short deck tournaments, the stacks were suddenly relatively deep so the action slowed down a little. But Chin Wei Lim found himself growing shorter and made a stand with AsKh. Benefield had all the chips to play with and TcTh was plenty good enough to take a free hit at Lim.

Benefield flopped a set, Lim turned a straight and then Benefield rivered a full house. Anyone still questioning why short deck is a volatile game should replay that run out over and over. (In full, the board was Js7cTsQdJc) Lim cashed three times this week, including in the £1 million tournament, and this one was worth £271,300.

A rap on the table and it’s goodbye for Wei Lim Chin

Much like in the short deck main event, taking place on the neighbouring table, three-handed play took a good long while. But unlike in the main event, the Yong in this tournament found himself in trouble. And then he was out. With young Wai Kin Yong occasionally wandering over to see how his father, Richard, was faring, Yu Liang did his bit in trimming the Yong quotient in half.

Liang’s QhKd stayed better than Yong’s QsTc through a board of AdQc9s7c6s. Yong won £357,000.

Richard Yong knocked out in third

Benefield had found himself heads up for a short deck tournament only a matter of two days ago, and had come through that battle with flying colours. But this one proved to be much more of a test. Even though Benefield opened up a big lead, it was Liang who scored the first major double up when his tournament life was hanging by a thread.

They got their stacks in on a flop of 8s6dJh with Benefield’s 8c6c representing a very fragile two pair against Liang’s 9sTd. The 9c turn gave Liang even more cause for optimism, then the Qd river completed his straight. That then gave Liang a three-to-one chip lead: 150 antes to Benefield’s 45.

Benefield tried to get something going, and had seemingly abandoned his strategy from yesterday when he said the key to short deck was just to “go all in”. The pots were comparatively small. But then there was that huge flop, with trips to Liang and top pair to Benefield, and neither was backing down.

Benefield congratulates Liang at the end

Triton London Short Deck
Dates: August 7-8, 2019
Buy-in: £50,000
Entries: 52 (inc. 21 re-entries)
Prize pool: £2.465 million

1 – Xu Liang, Marshall Islands, £777,000
2 – David Benefield, United States, £560,500
3 – Richard Yong, Malaysia, £357,000
4 – Chin Wei Lim, Malaysia, £271,300
5 – Romain Arnaud, France, £209,500
6 – Stephen Chidwick, UK, £160,200
7= – Mike Watson, Canada, £64,750
7= – Choon Tong Siow, Malaysia, £64,750

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Prize pools push past $100 million at Triton London

Registration closed today on Event #8 at the Triton Super High Roller Series in London, the last of seven tournaments held in the Park Lane Hilton. This festival included the £1.05 million buy-in Helping Hand for Charity tournament, making it the biggest poker event held outside the World Series.

If we include the £1 million event, the total prize pools accumulated over the past eight days weigh in at £89.425 million. But even if we discount it, the remaining six tournaments attracted 622 entries (many of which were re-entries) and built prize pools of £35.425 million.

Even some of the hyper wealthy residents of Mayfair might have blinked had they known the money changing hands on their doorsteps.

Here’s the complete run-down of entry numbers and prize pools at this festival.

FormatBuy-inEntriesPrize poolFirst prize
16-Max Turbo£25,000117£2,749,500£690,000
2Triton Million£1,000,00054£54,000,000£19,000,000
3NLHE£50,000109£5,123,000£1,321,000
5NLHE£100,000130£12,200,000£3,080,000
6Short Deck£25,000106£2,517,500£650,000
7Short Deck£100,000108£10,370,000£2,670,000
8Short Deck£50,00052£2,465,000£777,000
  TOTALS676£89,425,000£28,188,000

Total prize pools USD: $108,726,492
Without Triton Million USD: $43,071,132

Note: the stated first prize is the original amount; some tournaments ended in deals being struck between remaining players.

Further note: The exchange rate between the British pound and US dollar has fluctuated significantly this week. The USD conversion is spot rate on August 8.

Here’s the payout schedule for the £50,000 short deck:

Triton London Short Deck
Dates: August 7-8, 2019
Buy-in: £50,000
Entries: 52 (inc. 21 re-entries)
Prize pool: £2.465 million

1 – £777,000
2 – £560,500
3 – £357,000
4 – £271,300
5 – £209,500
6 – £160,200
7 – £129,500

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Wai Kin Yong aims for remarkable double, leads short deck main event

A most remarkable story is developing here at the Triton Super High Roller Series in London, where Wai Kin Yong booked his place as chip leader at the final of the £100,000 short deck main event, less than 24 hours after winning the £100,000 full deck version.

Needless to say, the short deck/full deck main event double has never been achieved before, but it is now in sight for this hugely talented 28-year-old from Malaysia. With a £2.67 million first prize on offer for this one, Yong is on course for earnings of £5.8 million over 48 hours.

But that’s not all. Yong is joined at tomorrow’s final table by a glittering supporting cast, including the man he beat heads up yesterday. Paul Phua, the Triton co-founder, has once again made the very deep stages of a tournament on the series he created–along with Richard Yong, Wai Kin’s father. If we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes, we wouldn’t believe it either.

Paul Phua doubles, and books his place at another final

Take a look at the full line up of players for tomorrow’s grand finale to this festival at London’s Park Lane Hilton, and you’ll quickly see that success for either Phua or Yong is far from a foregone conclusion.

Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia — 7.595 million
Justin Bonomo, USA — 5.91 million
Rui Cao, France — 4.375 million
Paul Phua, Malaysia — 3.905 million
Xu Liang, China — 3.585 million
Ming Zhong Liu, Macau — 3.53 million
Isaac Haxton, USA — 3.51 million

Justin Bonomo, sitting in second overnight, may have been powerless to stop Bryn Kenney leapfrogging him at the top of poker’s all-time money list this week, but demonstrated today that he’s going to fight Kenney to regain top spot. Bonomo won a short deck event in Jeju earlier this year, and is well positioned to take a second.

The inscrutable Justin Bonomo

Meanwhile Rui Cao was the short deck main event champion in Montenegro in May, and lo and behold he’s in with a chance of defending his title. Similarly David Benefield won the first short deck event of this festival yesterday, and it was his elimination in eighth tonight that ended the day and took us to the final.

When you add the fact that all of Stephen Chidwick, Jason Koon, Tom Dwan and Elton Tsang also cashed, it’s almost like this game does require some skill after all.

Jason Koon: Missed out on a second final of the week

They’ll all be richly rewarded. When registration closed on this one today, there were 108 entries, including 55 re-entries, which built a prize pool of £10.37 million. First out at tomorrow’s final will win £482,200.

Both Romain Arnaud and Gabe Patgorski have had a good deal of success on the Triton Series, but this trip to London has been harsh on them. They were knocked out in 17th and 16th respectively, with Patgorski’s elimination bursting the bubble. It was harsh in particular for Patgorski, whose pocket kings lost to Liu Ming Zhong’s AdKd

In short deck, this is a near flip: the suited ace-king has 45 percent against kings. But it still hurts when you see it for 73 antes on the bubble, and the board of QcAh6h9sAc sealed it.

Bubble sickener for Gabe Patgorski

Two Yongs made it through the bubble, but the senior party, Richard Yong, was the first out in the money. His assassin was his friend, business partner and fellow Triton founder Phua, whose KcJc rivered a straight to beat Yong’s QhTc after a Th6dQd8sAc run-out. There appeared to be no hard feelings.

Tom Dwan: all the kit, but still no Triton title

A relative storm then swept all of Tsang, Cary Katz, Dwan, Furkat Rakhimov, Koon and Chidwick out of the door, with tense moments then following for Wai Kin Yong and Phua on the final table bubble. But they both doubled up when the other option was a day off tomorrow, leaving poor Benefield to hit the rail in eighth.

David Benefield: Run ends in eighth this time

Benefield had not been knocked out of a short deck event for three days, but even he couldn’t halt Wai Kin Yong. Benefield had AdAh when he and Yong got it all in, with Benefield’s 2.5 million stack at risk, looking at a flop of 6cQs7s. Yong had all the outs with his Ts9s and hit the Ks on the turn.

That consolidated Yong’s lead and brought us to our final. We will find out tomorrow if there’s a double in the offing for one of the former champions, or whether Phua can finally break his heads-up hoodoo.

Triton London Short Deck Main Event
Dates: August 6-8, 2019
Buy-in: £100,000
Entries: 108 (inc. 55 re-entries)
Prize pool: £10,370,000

1 – £2,670,000
2 – £1,835,000
3 – £1,202,500
4 – £974,500
5 – £783,000
6 – £611,900
7 – £482,200

8 – David Benefield, United States, £368,100
9 – Stephen Chidwick, UK, £269,600
10 – Jason Koon, United States, £217,700
11 – Furkat Rakhimov, Russia, £217,700
12 – Tom Dwan, United States, £191,900
13 – Cary Katz, United States, £191,900
14 – Elton Tsang, Hong Kong, £177,000
15 – Richard Yong, Malaysia, £177,000

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Triton extends helping hand to charities in Macau and Taiwan

The Triton Million – A Helping Hand for Charity is about much more than just the biggest buy-in and first prize in tournament poker history. In fact, in his introductory speech to the event, Triton co-founder Paul Phua said the first priority when organising this spectacular tournament was its unique charitable aspect.

Don’t forget, the £50,000 entry fee appended to each £1 million buy-in went directly to charity—that’s a helping hand worth at least £2.7 million.

This donation is in keeping with Triton’s guiding principle. The organisation has always been run as a not-for-profit entity, with any additional money earned being donated to charity, typically in south-east Asia where both Phua and Richard Yong, the Triton co-founders, grew up.

The spectacular London event sent money to charities based in Europe, Hong Kong and Malaysia, but here we look at two charities based in Macau and Taiwan, respectively.

Caritas Macau was established in the early 1950s, a time of great economic and geopolitical turbulence in what is now a Special Administrative Region of China. Fr. Luis Ruiz Suarez arrived to Macau from his native Portugal and established an office to help fellow immigrants with basic supplies and administrative chores as they looked to settle in the Portuguese colony. Through the subsequent 70 years, the Fr. Suarez’s organisation grew and the charity’s purpose shifted to meet the most pressing demands, including periods proving food and support to the poor and homeless elderly, addressing problems with child labour, and general social work. As Macau modernised rapidly in the 1980s, then went through even more dramatic changes into the 21st century, Caritas Macau provided any assistance necessary to help the existing population adjust.

Its mission statement now is “to provide services to the individuals, families, communities and societies, to help them to live in the society in a more humane condition economically, morally and spiritually; to encourage them to be responsible towards their own life and activities; to enable them to build within their environment a community based on truth, justice, fraternity, freedom and peace.” It focuses on the most marginalised in society and to “enable those who need help to become self-support and be able to contribute positively to the society”.

Caritas runs services for the young and old, families and children, and has rehabilitation, residential and training centres across Macau.

Taiwan Osteosarcoma Caring Association offers complete support to patients and families affected by osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and related illnesses. With a simple two-word slogan — “We Care” — the Taipei-based association provides resources before, during and after treatment, helping to alleviate some of the suffering related to a disease that most commonly affects young people.

The Association’s work takes on three major purposes: advocacy, care and assistance. The Association aims to raise awareness of osteosarcoma so that doctors can make early diagnosis and patients can receive treatment as early as possible. It then aims to offer care for families in treatment, providing whatever assistance will be of most help. The families can then be offered both psychological and physical counselling at the end of treatment, with the hope of keeping lasting effects to a minimum.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

£10 million prize pool for UK’s biggest ever short deck event

The remarkable popularity of short deck hold’em shows no sign of slowing down as the £100,000 short deck main event here at the Triton Super High Roller Series in London built a prize pool of more than £10 million.

When registration closed on the event at the Park Lane Hilton, organisers had recorded 108 entries, including 55 re-entries, and planned to award the winner £2.67 million.

It immediately set a new bar for the biggest prize pool for a short deck tournament ever held in the UK as well as the biggest first prize. It’s the second largest anywhere in the world, trailing only the short deck main event that took place on the Triton Series in Montenegro in 2018.

The tournament plays down to its final table today, and then crowns its champion tomorrow, on the last day of play at this festival.

Top 5 largest short deck tournaments (by prize pool):

1 – Triton Montenegro, May 2018
Buy-in: HK$1 million
Entries: 103
Prize pool: US$12,344,129
Winner: Jason Koon
First prize: US$3,579,836

2 – Triton London Short Deck Main Event
Dates: August 6-8, 2019
Buy-in: £100,000
Entries: 108 (inc. 55 re-entries)
Prize pool: US$12,600,483
Winner: tbd
First prize: $3,244,290*

3 – Triton Montenegro, May 2019
Buy-in: HK$1 million
Entries: 98
Prize pool: US$11,737,873
Winner: Rui Cao
First prize: US$3,351,130*

4 – Triton Jeju, March 2019
Buy-in: HK$1 million
Prize pool: US$9,699,981
Winner: Jason Koon
First prize: US$2,899,000

5 – Triton Jeju, July 2018
Buy-in: HK$1 million
Entries: 60
Prize pool: US$7,645,357
Winner: Kenneth Kee
First prize: US$2,867,009

*Triton introduced a flatter payout structure between events in Montenegro and London, so first prize is smaller now despite larger total prize pool.

Full payouts for Triton Short Deck Main Event:

Triton London Short Deck Main Event
Dates: August 6-8, 2019
Buy-in: £100,000
Entries: 108 (inc. 55 re-entries)
Prize pool: £10,370,000

1 – £2,670,000
2 – £1,835,000
3 – £1,202,500
4 – £974,500
5 – £783,000
6 – £611,900
7 – £482,200
8 – £368,100
9 – £269,600
10 – £217,700
11 – £217,700
12 – £191,900
13 – £191,900
14 – £177,000
15 – £177,000

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Benefield survives choppy Triton short-deck waters to win first live tournament

A chip lead guarantees nothing in poker, and that is even more true in a short-stacked, short-deck tournament, where the volatility is at its highest. The first short deck tournament of this Triton Super High Roller Series stop in London demonstrated that more visibly than perhaps ever before, with players seizing the lead only to see it crumble away to nothing soon after.

When all the drama finally halted, it was David Benefield, the high stakes cash game superstar, originally from Texas, who raised the trophy and picked up a winner’s check for £650,000. Even he was not immune to the buffeting of this game, but he did the one thing that seemingly nobody else had managed to do: get a chip lead to stick.

“I’m delighted,” he said. “It’s an emotional roller coaster, but that’s short deck. You just keep going all in. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

He said he’s only been playing short deck for about a year, dabbling online and then coming to the Triton stops. But now here he is with the first outright live tournament title of his career and a prize second only to the $950K he picked up for finishing eighth in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.

He was congratulated by friend and Triton Ambassador Jason Koon, and bubble-boy Seth Davies also joined the winner’s picture. With two more short deck events to play this week, chances are he’ll be giving this one another go.

Jason Koon congratulates Benefield on his victory

The opening day of action yesterday was characterised by a thrilling bubble period during which there were countless double ups, including the occasional one-outer for added drama. Things were far more sedate today, however, as they eased to a final table thanks to the eliminations of Danny Tang (10th – £52,800), Mike Watson (9th – £65,500) and Jordi Urlings (8th — £89,000).

China’s Yu Feng Pang had the slight lead, but Bjorn Li and Wei Lim Chin were close behind.

Final table chip stacks:

Yu Feng Pang — 6.060 million
Bjorn Li — 5.815 million
Wei Lim Chin — 5.105 million
Cheok Leng Cheong — 4.455 million
David Benefield — 4.225 million
Peter Jetten — 3.545 million
Talal Shakerchi – 2.595 million

Final table at £25K short deck (l-r): Peter Jetten, David Benefield, Talal Shakerchi, Wei Chin Lim, Bjorn Li, Yu Feng Pang, Cheok Leng Cheong

The British businessman Shakerchi was playing his first major short-deck event, so making the final table was a doubly exciting achievement. It was probably more of an exploratory toe-dip into these waters for Shakerchi, so even when he was knocked out in seventh, he may not have minded too much. His last hand saw his shove with QdJh picked off by Cheong’s KcKs. Shakerchi won £117,000.

Talal Shakerchi: A successful first stab at short deck

Jetten was the beneficiary of the one-outer on the bubble last night (even if he had got his chips in good) but he ended up busting in fifth, for £148,300, shortly before the overnight leader Chin Wei Lim also bust, both sending their chips to Bjorn Li, whose 13.1 million stack seemingly sprawled across the table.

A telling absence of chips in front of Wei Lim Chin

But Benefield, who retains great respect and mystique from his days as an online poker crusher, soon found it was his turn to go on a surge. He captured the lead from Li and then knocked him out, with QhTd to Li’s KcTs. Benefield flopped a queen and Li was out in fourth for £236,500.

The end of the road for Bjorn Li

It then got a big silly. With spectators shouting the magic words “Short deck!” from the bleachers, everyone seemed to be doubling up through everyone else. Hong Kong’s Feng, the final table leader, was swept away in all this, winning £292,000, and that left Benefield heads up against Cheok Leng Cheong.

Yu Feng Pang: Another chip leader who couldn’t hang on

Most of the room thought Benefield was already the champion when the tournament announcer awarded him the pot when his 9c9d flopped a set against Cheong’s Kc8h, which they got all in pre-flop. But the full board read 6dQc9hAc7h and that was a straight for Cheong, on the river.

A spirited heads up battle from Cheok Leng Cheong

Cheong doubled up once more, with his Ad7d beating Benefield’s Ac6c. But finally it was the chip leader who managed to secure an outdraw and end things.

Benefield’s 9dTd turned a straight to beat Cheong’s As9h. The full board read 8dKcQhJcKs.

One more time: “Shooort deck!”

Triton London Event #6 – Short Deck
Dates: August 4-5, 2019
Buy-in: £25,000
Entries: 106 (inc. 53 re-entries)
Prize pool: £2,517,500

1 – David Benefield, United States, £650,000
2 – Cheok Leng Cheong, Macau, £445,000
3 – Pang Yu Feng, Hong Kong, £292,000
4 – Bjorn Li, Hong Kong, £236,500
5 – Chin Wei Lim, Malaysia, £190,000
6 – Peter Jetten, Canada, £148,300
7 – Talal Shakerchi, UK, £117,000

8 – Jordi Urlings, Netherlands, £89,000
9 – Mike Watson, Canada, £65,500
10 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong, £52,800
11 – Jason Koon, USA, £52,800
12 – Devan Tang, Hong Kong, £46,500
13 – Jun Wah Yap, Malaysia, £46,500
14 – Rui Cao, France, £42,800
15 – Gabe Patgorski, USA, £42,800

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Yong denies Phua as London Main Event ends in Triton 1-2

It has been an extraordinary week for the Triton family here in London, where the most prestigious brand in the global game hosted the biggest buy-in poker tournament ever held, and paid out the biggest ever prize.

And then tonight in the Grand Ballroom of the Park Lane Hilton, London, the Triton co-founder Paul Phua played heads up against Wai Kin Yong, the other Triton co-founder Richard Yong’s son, at the end of the biggest event the series has ever hosted. It’s remarkable bordering on the absurd that from a field of 130 entries (including 52 re-entries) of £100,000 each, these two Malaysian friends, business partners and Triton linchpins were left.

Phua wanted the title desperately. Though there’s not much missing in his life, his mantlepiece doesn’t yet have a Triton Series winner’s trophy. But when it came down to it, Yong was in unforgiving mood. They arranged a deal heads-up, but then the young protege overcame a chip deficit to wear down Phua and claim his second title.

Triton Main Event Champion Wai Kin Yong

Yong took £2,591,695 to Phua’s £2,558,305. It’s the fact that Yong also gets to hold the trophy that will sting Phua, but that will also keep him hungry for the elusive win.

“It feels really great, especially that I could go heads up with Paul,” Yong said. When asked what it felt like to be the one to stop Phua claiming his title, Yong said: “I still prefer myself to win.”

Originally planned to be a two-day event, the tournament had drifted into a third day because of an unexpectedly high turnout. The huge player numbers built a prize pool of £12.2 million, but also meant that stacks were shallow among the last nine players returning today.

It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the day, with Wai Leong Chan getting his last 10 big blinds in with AcJh and picking up a call from Wai Kin Yong’s 6s6d. The six on the flop all but killed it dead, and Chan took £305,000 for ninth place.

Wai Leong Chan: First out from the final

Dan Cates pulled off arguably the best play of the tournament on the last hand yesterday, but the nature of it meant he was left with a short stack coming into the final. He somehow managed to fold trip aces and dodge Paul Phua’s flopped full house, but you don’t win tournaments with good folds only. Cates managed to double up once today, when his AhQh outdrew Stephen Chidwick’s AdKc, all in pre-flop. However, it was only a temporary stay of execution. And it wasn’t much better for Chidwick either.

Dan Cates: Immaculate judgment, eighth place

Those two ended up on the rail at the same time as Michael Soyza found AdQd in the big blind just as Cates had shoved the cutoff with As3d and Chidwick re-shoved Ac7h from the small blind.

It was an all action flop and turn, with all three players still alive when Kh4h5c6s came off. However the 6c river was a blank and Soyza scooped.

Cates won £410,000 for eighth (making his fold last night worth precisely £105,000). Chidwick added another £544,000 to his coffers and goes in the record books in seventh.

Seventh this time for Stephen Chidwick

The British pro Michael Zhang was making his Triton debut here in his home country, and had become a particular favourite among those watching the stream with the gutsy style of his play. But all the talent and confidence in the world doesn’t guarantee victory — especially against Paul Phua in the kind of mood he was in.

Phua opened QcQs, Zhang shipped for 5.01 million with 9s9c. Phua called, flopped a set and turned quads. Boom: that was the end of Zhang. He won £711,000.

Solid debut for Michael Zhang

Sam Greenwood was next out. The Canadian pro is another of those players who has a phenomenal list of achievements in world poker, and has made multiple visits to Triton final tables, but has not yet won on this tour. It didn’t change today either as he got his last seven big blinds in from the small blind with Ts8d and was picked off by Yong’s Jh3s. “Jack three!?!” Greenwood chided Yong, with tongue in cheek, as he departed and looked for a check for £902,000. All the remaining players were guaranteed £1 million.

Greenwood’s departure left three millionaires

During the bubble period last night, Michael Soyza was the tournament big stack and was doing everything he could to get the field into the cash. But he couldn’t shake any of his opponents, including Ben Heath, who doubled through Soyza, and Phua, who was clinging on with a short stack.

Flash forward a day and Soyza was still sitting with those two, as well as Yong, but was now the shortest of the four of them. And of course when Soyza scented his opportunity to double up, the very opposite happened. He was knocked out by Yong. It was pretty emphatic: Soyza had 8d8s and Yong had “only” Qh2h when they got it in pre-flop. But Yong smashed the 7h9hTh flop and Soyza was drawing dead on the turn. Soyza won £1.12 million.

No hard feelings as Michael Soyza departs

Local hero Ben Heath, who returned from Las Vegas this summer with his first WSOP bracelet and a million dollar score, was now guaranteed a minimum £1.35 million. But he was also going up against the combined might of the Triton machine.

At least his demise was quick, even if it was hardly painless. He found pocket kings when Phua had AsKc, a set-up that almost always means a huge pot for the man with the pocket pair. But even after they duly decided to play for stacks — Heath’s 7 million on the line — Phua managed to wriggle off the hook. The flop of JhThQs was greeted by gasps and Heath couldn’t catch even a chop. Heath maxed out at the £1.35 million.

Ben Heath couldn’t overcome the Triton might

Phua therefore took a chip lead of 61 big blinds to Yong’s 47 big blinds into heads up play, and they arranged a deal that left £150,000 on the side but guaranteed each of them close to £2.5 million.

When they got started heads-up, Yong made all the right moves to get the momentum moving in his direction. He called all in for his tournament life with Kd5h on a board of 5dTcKc7s7c. Phua was bluffing with a missed draw.

Yong then applied relentless pressure heads up and left Phua in the danger zone. He tried one too many shoves and was picked off by Yong — the last time when Phua had Qc6c and Yong had KsJc and the river was a jack.

To Yong went the spoils, and a trophy handed to him by his father, but Phua was keen to point to the success of Triton in London this week.

Paul Phua and the trophy that will one day be his

“We feel a sense of pride,” Phua said. “The brand has been growing stop after stop. We’re very lucky to have a lot of friends, poker pros, to support the event. We try to make it as fun and as comfortable to players to make the want to come back every time. In this stop we see a lot of new faces, so we’re very, very happy.”

Eventually it will be a new face, his face, hoisting a trophy. But this time, it was all about Yong.

Triton London Main Event
Dates: Aug 4-6
Entries: 130 (inc. 52 re-entries)
Prize pool: £12.22 million

1 – Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia, £2,591,695*
2 – Paul Phua, Malaysia £2,558,305*
3 – Ben Heath, UK, £1.35 million
4 – Michael Soyza, Malaysia, £1.12 million
5 – Sam Greenwood, Canada, £902,000
6 – Michael Zhang, UK, £711,000
7 – Stephen Chidwick, UK, £544,000
8 – Dan Cates, United States, £410,000
9 – Wai Leong Chan, Malaysia, £305,000

10 – Matthias Eibinger, Austria, £250,400
11 – Liang Xu, China, £250,400
12 – Isaac Haxton, USA, £220,000
13 – Xuan Tan, China, £220,000
14 – Sosia Jiang, New Zealand, £201,600
15 – Justin Bonomo, USA, £201,600
16 – Timothy Adams, Canada, £192,000
17 – Wiktor Malinowski, Poland, £192,000
*heads up deal

The trophy belongs to Yong

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Short deck makes safe transition to UK; 100+ entries to £25K Event #6

As the main event was playing into its deep stages today, the first short-deck event of the week got under way at Triton London. And if you thought this variant might not make the safe transition over to the UK, you’d be wrong. This tournament was as healthily attended as any.

In fact, by the time registration closed there were 106 entries (including 53 re-entries) each of £25,000 apiece. That built a prize pool of more than £2.5 million and meant that tomorrow someone will win £650,000 as the champion. That’s not bad for a poker variant that probably dealt its first hand in this country only about 18 months ago. Ten players are left.

After a tortuous bubble period, with the tournament playing 17-handed for at least 90 minutes, Seth Davies was finally knocked out to give everyone at least £42,800, with Wei Lim Chin, pictured top, seizing the chip lead.

Jun Wah Yap secures a double up

There were at least 10 bubble-ups, none more dramatic than one in which Peter Jetten survived. He was all in with AdAh and called by David Benefield’s As6h. Jetten was out of his seat on the turn, with the board reading 6c9s7s6s, the apparent victim of a grim out-draw.

Peter Jetten hits his one-outer

But with tablemate Rui Cao claiming he had folded an ace, Jetten hit his one-outer when the Ac rivered. Jetten then survived another hairy moment, when his AsKd looked like it had been outdrawn by Benefield’s Ah7s. In that instance, the first four cards were 8d6sJc9c to give Benefield a straight. (This is short-deck, remember.) Then, however, the ace on the river meant a chop.

Only Davies couldn’t pull off the miracle. He had QhJh to Cao’s 7c8c. Though the flop looked good for Davies — it was 9cKh9h — the 7s turn hit Cao and the Ac river was a blank.

Seth Davies becomes the bubble boy

Chin’s lead came about when he secured a huge double on the bubble, with his AhAd staying strong against Mike Watson’s QcTc.

FULL CHIP COUNTS

Wei Lim Chin, Malaysia – 6.455 million
Yu Feng Pang, China – 5.46 million
David Benefield, USA – 3.485 million
Cheok Leng Cheong, Macau – 3.485 million
Jordi Urlings, Netherlands – 2.77 million
Danny Tang, Hong Kong – 2.755 million
Bjorn Li, USA – 2.275 million
Mike Watson, Canada – 2.11 million
Talal Shakerchi, UK – 1.97 million
Peter Jetten, Canada – 1.02 million

Triton London Event #6 – Short Deck
Dates: August 4-5, 2019
Buy-in: £25,000
Entries: 106 (inc. 53 re-entries)
Prize pool: £2,517,500

1 – £650,000
2 – £445,000
3 – £292,000
4 – £236,500
5 – £190,000
6 – £148,300
7 – £117,000
8 – £89,000
9 – £65,500
10-11
11 – Jason Koon, USA, £52,800
12 – Devan Tang, Hong Kong, £46,500
13 – Jun Wah Yap, China, £46,500
14 – tbc £46,500
15 – Rui Cao, France, £42,800
16 – Gabe Patgorski, USA, £42,800

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive

Late surge sends Paul Phua into main event lead at Triton London

The £100,000 no limit hold’em main event at the Triton Super High Roller Series in London is down to its last nine players–but the tournament is now edging into a third and final day.

As has happened often at this festival in the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, increased player numbers have forced a change to the advertised schedule with another day necessary to find a winner.

Not that Triton co-founder Paul Phua (pictured above) will complain. By his standards, the vivacious Malaysian had had a poor stop in London so far, with only one cash, but he went on a remarkable late surge late tonight to carry the chip lead into the final.

He was the short stack on the bubble, but now has the most. He only has a tiny pip more than Ben Heath and Wai Kin Yong, but a lead is a lead. (It’s been good for the Triton family, and Malaysia, all round: Wai Kin is the other co-founder Richard Yong’s son, and four of the final nine are from the same country.)

Ben Heath denied the lead by the last hand

It’s always true, but let’s say it again: the full line-up features a clutch of the game’s very best players, and the prize pool is enormous. There was £12.22 million to be divided between the last 17, with the winner set for £3.08 million.

FINAL TABLE PLAYERS

Paul Phua, Malaysia – 5.875 million
Ben Heath, UK – 5.81 million
Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia – 5.03 million
Michael Soyza, Malaysia – 3.87 million
Michael Zhang, UK – 3.74 million
Stephen Chidwick, UK – 2.955 million
Sam Greenwood, Canada – 2.385 million
Wai Leong Chan, Malaysia – 1.65 million
Daniel Cates, USA – 1.2 million

Main Event final table (l-r): Paul Phua, Wai Leong Chan, Stephen Chidwick, Michael Soyza, Sam Greenwood, Michael Zhang, Wai Kin Yong, Ben Heath, Dan Cates.

Registration closed at the start of play today, with the final total hitting 130 entries (including 52 re-entries). They vast majority gradually hit the skids until the bubble loomed into view at around 8.30pm. Only Seventeen were due to be paid.

There was major drama in the run-up to the most nervous period, with Justin Bonomo sending both Mikita Badziakouski and Randy Lew out of the tournament on the same hand. It was grim for Lew in particular as his QhQc was in fine shape against Bonomo’s AcTh and Badziakouski’s Ad4d.

Rough end for Randy Lew

But the run out of 9s6d8hKs7d filled Bonomo’s straight and what could have been a timely near-triple for “nanonoko” instead became a dreadfully timed bad beat. Lew’s 420,000 and Badziakouski’s 320,000 went to Bonomo.

But Bonomo himself was soon the man in danger on the stone bubble. Michael Zhang got it all in with pocket queens and Bonomo called with pocket tens. This was a pot of more than 2.5 million chips. The queens won this time, leaving Bonomo with only seven big blinds to try to weave his way into the money.

He got a big boost thanks to a pair of kings, which earned him a double through Wai Kin Yong’s Qc8h and it was at this point that Paul Phua, a tournament short stack, came over and said to Bonomo: “I might be bubble boy.”

Paul Phua dodged the bubble

But he survived too during a protracted period of hand-for-hand play, which lasted a little over an hour. Eventually it came down to another bad beat with Michael Soyza’s Ad7s spiking a seven to beat Tong Siow Choon’s AhKd. Phua offered his countryman and neighbour a fist bump that was equal parts consolation and celebration.

Bubble boy Tong Siow Choon
Tong Siow Choon is fist-bumped out by Paul Phua on the bubble

The post-bubble rush of eliminations, either side of a dinner break, accounted for a number of established Triton superstars, and two who likely have a great future.

Timothy Adams and Bonomo went out on the same hand, busted by Dan “Jungleman” Cates and a pair of kings. Bonomo had Ah9c and Adams had 9sJd7d (both were short-stacked) and Cates accounted for them both. Adams secured his third in-the-money finish from three tournaments entered this week, but missed out on another final. He won £192,000 for 16th; Bonomo took £201,600 for 15th. Overnight leader Tan Xuan went out in 13th, with Isaac Haxton quickly behind.

Justin Bonomo couldn’t go all the way

Wiktor “limitless” Malinowski preceded them all, but will almost certainly be visiting a final table soon enough on the Triton series. He is one of the huge online stars who has recently migrated to the live arena and this was his first Triton cash. But his reputation ensures that there will be plenty more, should he continue to play.

A word too about Sosia Jiang, who was the only woman to play the £1 million Helping Hand for Charity tournament this week, despite battling what looked like a fairly dreadful cold. She played the main event while clearly still suffering — standing away from the table drinking hot water and honey — but despite all became the first woman to cash on the Triton Series.

Sosia Jiang battled illness to make the money

Her tournament came to an end when she shoved from the button with Qc2h and slammed into Michael Soyza’s aces. Jiang left, but left her mark as well.

The tournament was now very shallow, and sure enough there was still time for Isaac Haxton, Xu Liang and Matthias Eibinger to bust and gather everyone around a final table. Phua was still among the shorties, but now started a surge. He had only 15 big blinds but doubled up for the first time with JhJc to beat Wai Leong Chan’s KcKh and then won another big pot from Cates on the last hand of the night. Phua flopped a full house with his pocket threes while Cates’s AsJh flopped trips. Cates managed to get away without losing his whole stack, but he is now nine out of nine coming back.

That allowed Phua to go on a victory lap around the short-deck tables, saying “Chip leader!” to anyone who would listen.

They start again at 1pm tomorrow when we’ll see if he can translate the lead into his first title.

Triton London Main Event
Dates: Aug 4-6
Entries: 130 (inc. 52 re-entries)
Prize pool: £12.22 million

1 – £3.08 million
2 – £2.07 million
3 – £1.35 million
4 – £1.12 million
5 – £902,000
6 – £711,000
7 – £544,000
8 – £410,000
9 – £305,000

10 – Matthias Eibinger, Austria, £250,400
11 – Liang Xu, China, £250,400
12 – Isaac Haxton, USA, £220,000
13 – Xuan Tan, China, £220,000
14 – Sosia Jiang, New Zealand, £201,600
15 – Justin Bonomo, USA, £201,600
16 – Timothy Adams, Canada, £192,000
17 – Wiktor Malinowski, Poland, £192,000

Les Ambassadeurs is one of the most prestigious private clubs and casinos in London, with a history dating from the early 19th century. Situated in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair district, it is formerly the favoured gambling destination of Victorian aristocracy and diplomats and is still one of the most elegant and stylish casino floors in the world.

partypoker LIVE was created in January 2017 as a global poker tour, with the aim of bringing large field, high guarantee tournaments to players all over the world. Within just 12 months the partypoker LIVE tour has grown into the world’s largest ever poker tour and is guaranteeing over $70,000,000 in the 2018/2019 season.

Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive