Calling the Clock: Triton high stakes craziness; SCOOP news and more
In this week’s Calling the Clock we cover the action at the Triton Poker Series in Montenegro, some standout performances in the Spring Championship of Online Poker and much more.
When it comes to the stars of our beloved game, they don’t get much bigger than Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey, and this week the pair surfaced in Montenegro for the first Triton Poker Series event of the year.
The festival consisted of four live events:
HKD 250,000 (USD 32,000) Short-Deck, Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em
HKD 250,000 (USD 32,000) Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em
HKD 1,000,000 (USD 127,000) No-Limit Hold’em Main Event
HKD 1,000,000 (USD 127,000) Short-Deck, Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em
As you can see by the schedule, it wasn’t only the presence of Ivey and Dwan that gave the event a buzz. It was the first time that poker fans would get to see the infamous Short-Deck, Ante Only poker played out on the live stream.
The game that leaves the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s back home attracted 61 entrants, and Phil Ivey took down the event, beating Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates, heads-up, to bank the $604,992 first prize. It was Ivey’s first tournament victory since winning the AUD 250,000 Challenge at the 2015 Aussie Millions.
Final Table Results
1. Phil Ivey – $604,992
2. Daniel Cates – $407,515
3. Gabe Patgorski – $246,751
4. Jason Koon – $169,936
5. Furkat Rakhimov – $116,942
6. Ivan Leow – $87,770
7. Alan Sass – $71,337
8. Wai Kin Yong – $62,165
9. Mikhail Smirnov – $60,255
But Ivey wasn’t here for the tournaments; he was here for the cash games. Tom Dwan put in some marathon sessions, none of which we can report about, here (because we don’t know the results), but we did get to see him compete in a televised €1m buy-in, and for once he wasn’t the star of the show, that honour fell to Jason Koon.
Koon, one of partypoker’s most recent recruits, was involved in the two biggest NLHE cash game pots ever televised.
In the first, Koon got involved with Kane Kalas in a four-bet pot with the partypoker star holding AQ, and Kalas (the aggressor) holding TT. There was €263,000 in the middle going to a flop of 5d3h6s, Koon bet €128,000, and Kalas called. The Tc came out of the deck on the turn to give Kalas a set. This time Koon bet €160,000 and Kalas once again called. The river was the Ad, Koon moved all-in for over half a million euros, and Kalas snap-called to win a pot of over €1.8m.
Then, in the same orbit, Koon won a €2m pot in a three-way hand with Tom Dwan and Elton Tsang that you can see below courtesy of Joe Ingram.
Kalas walked away from the game €771,000 in profit; Paul Phua banked €433,000, Koon fought back to leave with a €186,000, with Dwan (€176,000) and Patrik Antonius (€101,000) also leaving in the black.
Phil Ivey was the biggest loser with €717,000 heading into the middle never to return. Tsang lost €582,000, Jungleman lost €50,000, and the other two Asian players in the game lost a combined €300,000.
More Triton Tournaments
Another winner in the game was Cao, the Asian star who grew up playing online games in France, dropped out of the cash game early because he was scheduled to compete in the final of the HKD 1,000,000 Main Event. Cao left with €241,000 in profit, but that would be peanuts compared to his MTT haul the next day.
Cao ended up heads-up with Mikita Badziakouski, and although Cao couldn’t find the right ingredients of skill and luck to overcome his Belarusian opponent he walked away with $1,683,648 in prize money. Not bad for a man, who rarely plays tournaments.
Badziakouski, who earlier in the week said he prefers to stay out of the limelight, won $2,499,090, after beating a 63-entry strong field. It’s his largest score to date, and the second seven-figure score of his life after finishing third in the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) One Drop High Roller for $1.7m.
Final Table Results
1. Mikita Badziakouski – $2,499,090
2. Rui Cao – $1,683,648
3. Peter Jetten – $1,019,335
4. Wai Leong Chan – $702,146
5. Steffen Sontheimer – $483,171
6. Ivan Leow – $362,410
7. Steve O’Dwyer – $294,514
8. Manig Loeser – $256,681
9. Dietrich Fast – $249,165
The Triton Poker Series is the brainchild of Richard Yong, and the Malaysian businessman took down one of his events, when he defeated Steve O’Dwyer, heads-up, to take the $388,024 first prize in the HKD 250,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event.
Final Table Results
1. Richard Yong – $388,024
2. Steve O’Dwyer – $251,719
3. Isaac Haxton – $157,324
4. Winfred Yu – $110,063
5. Richard Leng – $78,599
6. Wai Chan – $62,930
The Triton Series continues with the HKD 1,000,000 Short-Deck, Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em event currently underway, and a second €1m buy-in cash game scheduled over the weekend.
PokerStars SCOOP News
It’s not unusual to walk around the Maestral seeing poker players stumbling like zombies as they click buttons on their mobile phone. It’s the tenth anniversary of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), and there have been some big winners this week.
We’ll start with the SCOOP End Boss.
Calvin ‘cal42688′ Anderson came into the series as the most successful SCOOPER in history with eight wins, and he now has ten. Anderson outfought a field of 338 entrants to win a $2,100 NLHE Six-Max event for $126,659, before winning a $1,050 FLO8 8-Max event for $26,305 after cutting a threeway deal with Sebastian “p0cket00” Sikorski ($21,847) and Connor “blanconegro” Drinan ($20,099).
Sikorski is one of nine players to achieve $10m in online MTT earnings, and this week the classy Swede Niklas “lena900” Astedt made it #10 when he took down a $530+R NLHE event for $102,115.
Finally, Roman “Rome0pro” Romanovskiy, also featured in the SCOOP headlines on a frequent basis this week. The Ukrainian won two titles and finished second to Andras Nemeth in the $25k High Roller.
The Raising for Effective Giving (REG) member, beat 728 players to win $123,935 in an NLHE event and then beat Patrick ‘pads1161′ Leonard, heads-up, to win a second title and $135,121 in the same week. Romanovskiy earned $442,299 for that runner-up spot with Nemeth taking a career-high $576,087.
And you won’t be seeing a Split Hold’em SCOOP event anytime soon. According to PokerFuse, PokerStars is planning to take the new game off the shelf to be replaced by Showtime, Spin & Goal and PokerStars Fusion.
Showtime is said to be a game where players have to show at least one hole card after each hand. Spin & Goal is a Russian World Cup themed game. Fusion is a form of Irish where each player receives two cards and discards two after the flop.
There is as of yet no word from PokerStars as to why Split Hold’em is going into cold storage.
The World Poker Tour News
The World Poker Tour had a strange old week.
It began with rumours of Asian black rainclouds after the name of their owners, Ourgame International Holdings, emerged in headlines associated with the culling of online poker in China.
Ourgame confirmed that Chinese authorities had arrested six employees, including three executives, in connection with the alleged illegal online poker games tied to social poker apps. Ourgame said the employees acted on their own volition, and their decisions were in no way connected to the giant Chinese gaming company.
And when you expect the Chinese cull to end the WPT’s activity in the region, they announced two new stops, one in Japan and another in Korea. WPT Japan begins in Tokyo in September and includes a starting flight for WPT Korea that starts in the same month. WPT Korea will also add a High Roller, an array of side events, and the first-ever WPT Team competition.
World Series of Poker News
From the WPT to the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and this week the iconic brand continued to build up to their summer extravaganza partnering with UMG Media Group. If you’ve been to the Rio in recent years, you know the team like to create something special on the Pavilion stage, and this year it will become an esports stage. UMG will use their mobile app to advertise gaming times to players. Fans and players can compete in titles such as Hearthstone, Fortnite and FIFA.
If you’re going to have a little flutter on a bracelet winner this summer then why not back Valentin Vornicu. The Romanian born pro travelled to Harrah’s New Orleans tied with Maurice Hawkins at the top of the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring charts with ten, and now has a clear lead with twelve.
Vornicu defeated a 1,340 entrant field to turn $365 into $64,205 in the opening event, had a kip, and then won the third event, defeating 349 entrants to win the $24,084 first prize, once again off a stake of $365.
CoinPoker announced plans to host online poker’s first cryptocurrency based online festival. The Crypto Series of Poker (CSOP) runs from May 27 to June 3, and the owners are adding 10,000,000CHP into the prize pool. You can also expect to see CoinPoker advisor Tony G to enter the fray after his name appears in the Main Event as a bounty.
Virtue Poker shut the doors on the first phase of their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) after reaching the hard cap of $18 million in less than two days. Virtue Poker will now treat those who participated in the early morning rush to a pleasant surprise, giving them free VPPs (the site’s currency) to play on the site during Alpha and Beta testing.
And Alex Henry, the founder of the Deepstack Open, told PokerNews that during a recent event in Mauritius, 15% of the field paid their entry with cryptocurrency, a sign of the future, maybe?
Bits and Bobs
Adrian Mateos picked up another title this week. The Winamax ambassador shunned the high stakes games in Montenegro to travel to Morocco to compete in his employer’s SISMIX event and walked away with the €89,453 first prize. Mateos defeated 1,252 entrants.
And finally, some quarters of the online poker community were excited by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Federal Sports Betting Ban, feeling the time is nigh for online poker regulation. I opine as to why tweets from the likes of Phil Hellmuth are not going to cut the mustard if the poker community wants to make a difference in such things in All we do is tweet: why online poker will struggle to be the next sports betting.
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.
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