Triton London kicks off on Park Lane

It’s Wednesday afternoon in central London and all appears normal on Park Lane. There are buses and taxis and businessmen and tourists. There’s even some rain in the air.

But on the first floor of the Hilton Hotel, something extraordinary is afoot. What is normally a nondescript function suite has been transformed into a poker room par excellence: 12 tables surrounded by soft, luxurious seats, information boards dangling beneath chandeliers, the incessant riffling of thousands of chips. Two of those tables are mounted on a slick, jet-black stage with a phalanx of cameras sliding around them, and two on extendable booms.

The biggest hint as to the reason for all this is to be found in the bronze logo that floats on a video wall, between depictions of the London Eye and Tower Bridge. That three-pronged icon represents Triton Poker and this is the set-up for the latest stop on the Triton Super High Roller Series — by far and away the most prestigious poker tour on the planet.

Stephen Chidwick: Among the early arrivals

Over the coming week and a half, this room will host seven exclusive poker tournaments, with buy-ins starting at £25,000 ($30,400 approx.) The centrepiece is the spectacular Triton Million for Charity, whose £1.05 million ($1.275 million) buy-in is the biggest ever required to play a poker tournament.

The three-day event, from which the $50,000 entry fee will be donated to charitable causes, is certain to produce the biggest first-place prize ever awarded. At present, Antonio Esfandiari’s $18 million win in the inaugural Big One for One Drop holds that accolade, but somebody else will be taking that on Saturday night.

Right now, the festival has got under way with a £25,000 turbo event — a gentle introduction when you’re playing these stakes. It’s certainly proved to be exceptionally popular: more than 50 players entered within the first hour, quickly building a prize pool of more than £1 million.

As ever on the Triton Series, the line-up is a who’s who of the absolute cream of the crop. Stephen Chidwick, David Peters, Isaac Haxton, Patrik Antonius, Sam Greenwood, Christoph Vogelsang, Alex Foxen and Charlie Carrell are just a handful of early registrants from the western game, while Paul Phua, Ivan Leow and Stanley Choi are among the familiar Asian players already seated. We also have former tennis pro Boris Becker in the field.

The idea is to wrap this tournament up tonight ahead of tomorrow’s big one. What time that happens is anyone’s guess, but we’ll have a recap at the end.


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