While Saturday evening dragged in many enthusiastic gamblers to the slot machines of Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila, Philippines, happening right above them in an exclusive room at The Forum was an intense game of high stakes poker with many well known pros and several affluent Asian businessmen in attendance.
Entering its second day of action, the 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series Manila resumed its HK$250,000 6-Max event, the only side event offered, which began yesterday. Slowly climbing up the ranks from an ailing stack of six big blinds at ten-handed, Daniel Colman rose to victory – as predicted by Mustapha Kanit – to seize the HK$3,641,600 (US$473,408) first prize.
The day kicked off with 25 players out of the 43 entrants at the felt, which included the addition of re-entry players Mustapha Kanit and Bryn Kenney. They would have actually been 26, however Wai Kim Yong was a no show with chips remaining. The total prize pool amounted to HK$10,113,600 with seven players in the money.
Players bust in rapid pace
Immediately after the starting buzzer, it was knockout city with nine players sent to the rail after just two quick levels. Among them was John Juanda, Dan “Jungleman Cates, Jack Salter, Paul Phua, Winfred Yu, and Devan Tang.
The field continued to downsize on the next level with the missing-in-action Yong blinded out, joined by Dario Sammartino, Bryn Kenney, and 2016 GPI Player of the Year, David Peters. Stanley Choi, one of the few remaining Asian highbrow representatives also fell in this round leaving only 11 players in just over two hours.
With such rapidity of fallouts, this gave the impression that the tournament was headed for a quick finish. However, this was not the case.
It took four more levels before the bubble finally burst with Triton SHR founder, Richard Yong, eliminated by Sergio Aido. Yong was also the last hope of the Asian contenders with only heavyweight pros left in the field.
The final table began with the lively and exuberant Kanit tripling up his very very short stack by completing a lucky straight on the river. For Mikita Badziakouski, he was not so fortunate, meeting his end in 7th place at the hands of legendary pro Eric Seidel. Settling for a 6th place berth was Kanit whose ace-king was unable to survive against Aido’s queen-eight that found a lady on the river.
At five-handed, action slowed down once again. Rainer Kempe was the dominating chip leader, and climbed even higher by amassing well over half of the chips in play. As the rest played catch up, the leader’s stack did take several hits, but the dents were too small to make much of a difference. When online master Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov lost a sizable pot to Dan Colman, he shoved his short stack on the next hand and ran into the Kempe’s mid pocket pair – that held – to get the boot in 5th place.
The four-handed battle saw the rise of Colman. He doubled up with against Kempe’s , which brought him close to par with the leader. Kempe retaliated and earned some of it back from Colman, but picked up more in a hand against Aido. Several hands later, Aido was unable to go any further and was sent packing in 4th place by Colman.
A tough three-handed bout for Kempe
Despite holding a dominating chip lead for most of the final table, Kempe could not catch a break against Colman at the three-handed round. In just two hands, he lost the lead. The first hand saw him double up the American pro whose two pair improved to a full house on the river, burning his missed flush draw; several hands later, he dropped to the shortest stack – for the first time all day – with a failed gutshot draw.
His troubles with Colman were briefly cheered up with a winning pot with against Seidel to retake the lead. However it was only momentary as Colman claimed a sick cooler set over set hand of over on a board of . Kempe fell in 3rd place with his not good enough against Colman’s on a running board of .
Heads up: Seidel vs Colman
Entering the heads up round, Colman had close to a 2.5:1 lead against Seidel. Earlier at the final table, Colman was caught bluffing Seidel and asked railbird Kanit “why do I try to bluff Erik?”
It seems, he forgot his earlier loss and moved all in with on a board of . Although it took some deliberation, Seidel made an impressive call for his tournament life and turned up mid pair. This gave him the chip lead.
Several hands more, Seidel surged even higher with a winning straight flush holding on a board of . The lead reversed back to Colman, successfully calling out Seidel’s bluff which led to the last hand of the tournament.
After a preflop raise war saw both players all in, Seidel had ace-six and Colman with ace-jack. The board further improved Colman to a full house to knock out the legendary pro and champion the 6-Max opening event.
1st Dan Colman – USA – HK$3,641,600 (US$473,408)
2nd Erik Seidel – USA – HK$2,326,000
3rd Rainer Kempe – UK – HK$1,466,000
4th Sergio Aido – Spain – HK$1,011,000
5th Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov – Russia – HK$708,000
6th Mustapha Kanit – Italy – HK$556,000
7th Mikita Badziakouski – Belarus – HK$405,000
The Triton SHR continues for another three days with the HK$1,000,000 entry Main Event coming up. Stay tuned to Somuchpoker.com for the recaps.
Article by Triccia David