One of Asian poker’s breakout talent, Malaysia’s Michael Soyza, was victorious in the third event of the Triton High Roller Series in Jeju, South Korea. The 29-year-old takes home the title and HKD 11.15 million (USD 1.421 million).
Soyza had broken his hand two weeks prior to the event while snowboarding in Japan and wore his arm in a sling during the tournament. He had 10 screws and a titanium plate in his hand, but it didn’t hold him back on his road to victory.
It was a tough final table, but that’s no surprise at this prestigious high roller series. Soyza had to get through none other than Triton ambassador Jason Koon and reigning Aussie Millions champion Bryn Kenney.
Heads-up meant facing and beating the Canadian pro Sam Greenwood. “Thankfully it was short”, Soyza said of the heads-up battle, “Sam’s a good player, so I’m just lucky I had a good spot. I decided to take it and it worked out pretty well.”
Soyza is currently ranked #1 on GPI Asia and winning this event was his biggest score yet, surpassing his win of the Las Vegas MSPT Event #75 for $588,249 (his biggest score at that point) and the APPT victory including the connected Platinum Pass in August last year.
“Feels pretty good, it’s nice to win something”, Soyza said. He added that he doesn’t yet feel entirely comfortable at these enormous stakes despite his success, ”You just play your hands and hopefully it works out well. Win flips, you know. That’s how you do it.”
Soyza has only gone full pro a few years ago after having worked at an investment bank for three years. The desire for more freedom, financially and otherwise, eventually made him take the step to becoming a professional poker player.
During an interview with Somuchpoker.com he said, “For me, deciding to switch to poker as a full time career was a risk, so it felt good to know it worked out fine and hopefully I won’t have to go back to working in an office.”
Triton Jeju Event #3: Six-Max Hold’em
Buy-in: HKD 500,000 (USD 63,700)
Entries: 81 (incl. 32 re-entries)
Prize pool: HKD 38.07 million
1 – Michael Soyza, Malaysia, HKD 11,150,000
2 – Sam Greenwood, Canada, HKD 8,000,000
3 – Ivan Leow, Malaysia, HKD 5,200,000
4 – Bryn Kenney, USA, HKD 3,921,000
5 – Beh Kok Weng, Malaysia, HKD 3,040,000
6 – Jason Koon, USA, HKD 2,360,000
7 – Xu Liang, China, HKD 1,860,000
8 – Tong Siow Choon, Malaysia, HKD 1,439,000
9 – Stanley Choi, Hong Kong, HKD 1,100,000
Devan Tang claims title in Event #2
In another “East vs West” or maybe rather “East vs Canada” duel, Hong Kong’s Devan Tang was the victor over Peter Jetten at the Triton High Roller Series Event #2, a HKD 500,000 buy-in short-Deck Ante-Only event.
Tang took down the event for HKD 9.7 million (USD 1.24 million) and his second title in the six-event tournament series.
“I’m very, very happy about it”, Tang said, “I got very lucky. I was lucky the whole way”, he added, “It was a tough field, for sure. When you’re playing this big and you make the final table, you have to play your best for sure.”
He did play his best and he did get very lucky with getting dealt aces at least five times and making quads to prevent an early elimination.
This tournament win solidifies Tang’s second place position in China’s All-Time Money List with more than USD 6 million in lifetime earnings.
Triton Jeju Event #2: Short-Deck Ante-Only
Buy-in: HKD 500,000
Entries: 69 (inc. 24 re-entries)
Prize pool: HKD 32.43 million
1 – Devan Tang, Hong Kong, HKD 9,730,000
2 – Peter Jetten, Canada, HKD 7,040,000
3 – Romain Arnaud, France, HKD 4,540,000
4 – Jason Koon, USA, HKD 3,435,000
5 – Isaac Haxton, USA, HKD 2,660,000
6 – Leong Chan Wai, China, HKD 2,075,000
7 – Mikita Badziakouski, Belarus, HKD 1,650,000
8 – Paul Phua, Malaysia, HKD 1,300,000