Webster Lim is a three-time champion on the Triton Super High Roller Series after winning a fascinating all-Malaysian heads-up duel tonight in Monte Carlo and winning the latest GG Poker Million$ Live tournament.
This is actually Lim’s second GG Million$ Live victory having won the same $25,000 buy-in tournament in Vietnam earlier this year. It’s no mean feat because, at $25K, this is the lowest buy-in on the Triton Series and draws the biggest crowd.
This one was a Triton record, with 187 entries.
“Maybe I should play only this one,” Lim joked as he picked up his trophy.
Lim’s prize was $899,893, an adjusted total after he struck a heads-up deal with his countryman Hing Yong Chow. As ever, the seats around the final table were full with the great and the good of Asian poker, with this crew as tight as any in the world.
“It’s 1am and they’re here, I cannot ask for more,” Lim said.
He added that members of the crew — Danny Tang, Punnat Punsri, Kiat Lee, Lun Loon, Michael Soyza, among others — regularly share notes and tips and support. “You always learn every day,” Lim said.
He also said he enjoyed the fact that he took down the title with the most ever entries on the Triton Series. “It’s always good to see Triton growing,” he said.
TOURNAMENT ACTION RECAP
The tournament resumed overnight with 41 players left from that record-breaking field of 187 entries. As always, the only decisive thing that could happen in the early levels was that players could bust, and quickly the field reduced by nine to leave the tournament on its stone bubble.
Almost immediately, that particular milestone passed. Paul Phua opened a pot, Viacheslav Buldygin shipped with about 10 big blinds, and Phua made the call. It was a classic flip: pocket jacks versus , with Phua holding the jacks. And when another appeared on the flop, Buldygin was drawing to the straight only.
It never came.
The Russian left the field, Phua boosted his stack, and the race towards the final began.
For once in this Triton Series stop, the Asian contingent quickly rose to the top. Phua’s trajectory continued upward, and he was joined by fellow Malaysians Hing Yang Chow and Webster Lim, while China’s Biao Ding also found his stride.
The same couldn’t be said for Steve O’Dwyer, Tim Adams, Alex Kulev, Bruno Volkmann and Artur Martirosian, who were among the players knocked out ahead of the final. When Jean-Noel Thorel’s friend and traveling partner Frederic Delval went out in 10th, the final table was set, with the three Malaysians in the top spots.
Hing Yang Chow – 43 BBs
Paul Phua – 38 BBs
Webster Lim – 28 BBs
Yulian Bogdanov – 28 BBs
Ren Lin – 26 BBs
Biao Ding – 24 BBs
Igor Yaroshevskyy – 22 BBs
Ben Heath – 16 BBs
Ferdinand Putra – 9 BBs
Cash-game regular Ferdinand Putra had locked up a cash for the third time on the Monte Carlo trip, but his stay at this final table was brief. He became the first of three consecutive players to go broke at the hands of Ren Lin, unable to get to hold up against .
Putra picked up $100,200 for this one.
Lin wasted little time before despatching Yulian Bogdanov next. Bogdanov pushed all in from the small blind with and Lin woke up with pocket queens in the big. That was an easy call and Bogdanov took $122,000 — another good result for the Bulgarians.
This tournament, which carried the GG Poker name, employed the “seat swap” format heading into the final table, which is used on the online site. It means that players can select their position at the final, with choices made in order of chip stack.
Phua, who was second in the standings heading into the final, cursed his luck with having swapped seats with Lin. That was certainly the hot seat — and it stayed warm for the elimination of Biao Ding next.
Lin raised from the button with and Ding called in the big blind, sitting with . Ding probably hoped to see a queen, but that was actually the last thing he really wanted. However, the dealer maybe heard his silent plea.
The board came queen high and all the money went in. Lin’s kicker played as Ding was ousted. He won $166,600.
Lin took a back seat now as Webster Lim — one spot along the keyboard only — took over. He knocked out Phua and Igor Yaroshevskyy in back-to-back hands and took over at the top of the leader board.
Lim found aces and, obviously, called Phua’s three-bet jam. Phua did pick up a straight draw with his , but it never came. Phua busted in sixth for $228,000.
On the very next hand, Yaroshevskyy moved all in from under the gun with and Lim snapped him off with , which stayed good.
Yaroshevskyy cashed this very event back in Cyprus earlier this year, where his third place earned him $339,500. This time he had to settle for $301,000 for fourth.
Ben Heath now assumed the unfortunate role of the short stack and he wasn’t able to get it moving in the right direction. In fact, he could do little but sit and stare as others picked up all the pots, then finally getting his last chips in with and losing to Hing Yang Chow’s .
Heath won $380,000, but Chow’s stack was near even with his two opponents as they began three-handed play.
Having scaled the heights earlier, Lin was now the player on the ropes. Lim’s surge had coincided almost precisely with Lin’s decline and there was no surprise when the duo played the pot that sent Lin out in third.
This was a bit of a cooler. Lin had and watched the board come . There was betting on every street, with a shove on the river, and Lin had every reason to think his straight was good.
But Lim had and rivered a full house. He scored a huge double.
Chow took the last few blinds from Lin’s stack with beating . Lin’s tournament ended with a $468,000 payout.
The bleachers were now packed with supporters for this all-Malaysian showdown.
Lim had 62 big blinds; Chow had 31, but both players had been here before and closed it out.
Lim was already a two-time champion, having won this GG Super Million$ in Vietnam, after winning a €50K Short Deck in Madrid. Chow too had a Triton title. He won a PLO event in Montenegro in 2019.
The pair quickly decided on a deal, with Lim securing a minimum $859,893 and Chow locking up $760,107. That left $40K to play for on the side, plus the trophy. There was still life in this one yet.
Lim took the more aggressive lines heads up, but Chow actually managed to quickly pull into a chip lead in pots that went the distance. However, Lim managed to stay calm and continue to chip away at his opponent, opening up a lead of 41 BBs to 18 BBs when they entered Level 29.
Lim shoved on the first hand, but Chow tank-folded. However, Lim built an even bigger lead and Chow had only eight bigs when the chips all went in the middle for the first time. Chow was able to double, however, when his beat Lim’s .
Lim just set to work again and built his lead once more. But then a hand came up that was difficult for anyone to get away from, and it happened to favour Lim.
Chow had pocket sevens while Lim had . There was betting on every street as the board slowly ran .
Lim shoved on the end and Chow called, learning the bad news. Never mind: he dived into the crowd of supporters to show his appreciation too for Lim, who moves up the multiple champion standings and takes a third trophy home.
Event #10 – $25,000 NLH – 8 Handed – GGMillion$ Live
Dates:November 1-2, 2023
Entries: 187 (inc. 70 re-entries)
Prize pool: $4,675,000
1 – Webster Lim, Malaysia – $899,893*
2 – Hing Yang Chow, Malaysia – $760,107*
3 – Ren Lin, USA – $468,000
4 – Ben Heath, UK – $380,000
5 – Igor Yaroshevskyy, Ukraine – $301,000
6 – Paul Phua, Malaysia – $228,000
7 – Biao Ding, China – $166,600
8 – Yulian Bogdanov, Bulgaria – $122,000
9 – Ferdinand Putra, Indonesia – $100,200
10 – Frederic Delval, France – $85,000
11 – Yuri Dzivielevski, Brazil – $85,000
12 – Henrik Hecklen, Denmark – $76,000
13 – Sirzat Hissou, Germany – $76,000
14 – Jans Arends, Netherlands – $69,000
15 – Sam Greenwood, Canada – $69,000
16 – Santhosh Suvarna, India – $62,000
17 – Artur Martirosian, Russia – $62,000
18 – Francisco Benitez, Uruguay – $55,400
19 – Bruno Volkmann, Brazil – b$55,400
20 – Alex Kulev, Bulgaria – $55,400
21 – Timothy Adams, Canada – $50,600
22 – Mario Mobock, Austria – $50,600
23 – Steve O’Dwyer, Ireland – $50,600
24 – Jan Schwipperts, Germany – $45,800
25 – Robert Flink, Sweden – $45,800
26 – Punnat Punsri, Thailand – $45,800
27 – Lewis Spencer, UK – $45,800
28 – Phil Ivey, USA – $41,000
29 – Ian Bradley, UK – $41,000
30 – Justin Bonomo, USA – $41,000
31 – Shyngis Satubaev, Kazakhstan – $41,000
Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive