John Juanda defeats Fedor Holz to capture the Triton SHR 1M Main Event

It couldn’t have been a more thrilling race to the finish at the Triton Super High Roller Series with Poker Hall of Fame inductee John Juanda and German prodigy Fedor Holz facing off at the final heads up round of the HK$1M Main Event. After nearly five hours, Juanda denied the young superstar his second Triton Main Event title and claimed the HK$22,410,400 (~US$2,870,000) first prize. This is Juanda’s first major title since 2015 and the largest takedown of his 20–year career.

John Juanda - Photo Triton Poker - Danny Maxwell
John Juanda – Photo Triton Poker – Danny Maxwell

For the first time since its inception last year, the Triton SHR Series made its way to Asia’s gambling destination – “Macau”, held at the Galaxy Macau Hotel. The series ran from October 16 – 20, 2017 with the HK$1M Main Event in control of the last three days. With roughly a day and a half of registration available, the event pooled in 83 entries – 57 unique and 26 re-entries – making this the largest Triton SHR Main Event to-date. The prize pool was also something to brag about as it charged up to HK$78,086,400 (~US$10,000,499).

The Fallen

Being that this was the Triton SHR, practically every player that attended was either well known in the live circuit or online. Still, we’ll give you a rundown of some of those names that fell before the money: Erik Seidel, David Peters, Elton Tsang, Steve O’Dwyer, Justin Bonomo, Christoph Vogelsang, Rainer Kempe, Bryn Kenney, Nick Petrangelo, recent Poker Masters Purple Jacket winner Steffen Sontheimer, and Triton co-founders Richard Yong and Winfred Yu. Past Triton Main Event champions Wai Kin Yong and Koray Aldemir also fell, as well as Stefan Schillhabel, winner of the Triton SHR Six Max event just days ago.

More: Stefan Schillhabel takes down the Triton SHR Six Max event

Bubble, Money, Pre-final table

After Timofey Kuznetsov aka Trueteller was knocked out by Isaac Haxton, this signaled the start of the bubble round with 13 players remaining. It was at this crucial stage that Juanda doubled up with his pocket queens over JC Alvarado’s big slick. This was then followed by the fall of Furkat Rakhimov at the hands of Holz.

With the money now reached, it was a race to the 8 slots of the official final table. Reigning Triton SHR champion Manig Loeser fared well in attempting a back-to-back but was stopped by Holz and had to settle for a 12th place berth. Tumbling next were Alvarado (11th), Mike Watson (10th), and James Chen (9th).

Final Table and Rise of John Juanda

Final Table - Photo Triton Poker - Danny Maxwell
Final Table – Photo Triton Poker – Danny Maxwell

Leading the last 8 players into the final day was #2 ranked player from Spain, Adrian Mateos with around 95 big blinds. Like Holz, Mateos rose up the ranks in just several years. To-date, Mateos has earned over US$10M. Trailing closely behind him was Holz in second position with 86 bbs while Juanda was at the bottom of the pack with 20 bbs.

The first to leave the final 8 was Haxton in 8th place followed by Timothy Adams (7th), Stephen Chidwick (6th), and Dietrich Fast (5th). Somewhere in between those bust outs, Juanda landed two double ups to bring him up to third rank. With Mateos losing momentum at four-handed, Juanda capitalized with another double up then proceed to eliminate Mateos in 4th place. Given more ammo, Juanda dominated, winning a sizable pot against Holz, then grabbed the chip lead after railing Kahle Burns in 3rd place.

Heads up: Juanda versus Holz

It is well worth highlighting that this was Juanda’s second bullet. He busted out on the first day then re-entered in Day 2. As for Holz, he didn’t even show up in Day 1.

The heads up round began with Juanda holding a 2:1 advantage. The game continued with Juanda taking the reins, sending Holz’s stack down even further. Holz bounced back up, but for the most part, he simply played catch up to Juanda. Every time Holz got close, Juanda would send him back down. After many attempts, the incredible Holz did manage to claim the chip lead but couldn’t hold on to it. Poker legend Juanda stole it right back and from there, Juanda was able shut the door on the German wonder.

After two 4th place Triton SHR Main Event finishes, Juanda finally captured his first Triton championship title. With this victory, Juanda jumped two spots up into 7th in the All Time Money List. As for Holz, he is closing in on 4th ranked Antonio Esfandiari with just over a million behind.

Final Table results
1st John Juanda – Indonesia – HK$22,410,400 (~US$2,870,000)
2nd Fedor Holz – Germany – HK$16,398,000
3rd Kahle Burns – Australia – HK$10,151,000
4th Adrian Mateos – Spain – HK$6,950,000
5th Dietrich Fast – Germany – HK$4,607,000
6th Stephen Chidwick – UK – HK$3,436,000
7th Timothy Adams – Canada – HK$2,811,000
8th Isaac Haxton – USA – HK$2,421,000

Article by Triccia David

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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