Triton London closes with Bonomo winning the Short Deck Main as Benefield and Liang claim titles

The Triton London series has undoubtedly been one of the greatest spectacles of 2019. Incredible prize pools, world-class talent and headline grabbing action have all combined to leave us wanting to see more, but sadly the final three events are now at end. The curtain may have come down on Triton London, but we have little doubt this super series will spring up in another part of the world again soon. Here is a recap of the final events at Triton London.

Event 7 – £100,000 Short Deck Main Event – Winner: Justin Bonomo

Champion Justin Bonomo 2019 Triton London EV07 Short Deck Main Event Day 2 Giron 8JG0036
Justin Bonomo – Photo by Triton Poker

With the £1,000,000 event and the Hold’em Main Event now in the books, the major attraction during the last couple of days has been the Short Deck Main Event. Its £100,000 (US$1,210,015) buy in and less familiar game format did not deter players, with 108 players buying a seat. This created a prize pool of £10,370,000 (US$12,547,856). One of the remarkable stories of this event is that of Paul Phua and Wai Kin Yong. The two players battled through a field of exceptional talent to contest the Hold’em Main Event title, with Yong besting Phua heads up to win the title. In this event, the two were once again stars of the show and both made the final table.

Paul Phua increasingly seems to be blurring the lines between professional and businessman with his performances which often lead to final tables and illustrious pros being left in his wake. Closing the events out has always been his weakness though, and this time around he was once again left disappointed, busting out in 4th place. Meanwhile, Yong went on to fight a five-hour three handed battle against Justin Bonomo and Liang Xu before Xu’s challenge finally expired. After a slightly shorter heads up skirmish, Bonomo was able to overpower his opponent, denying Wai Kin, son of Richard Yong, back to back Main Event titles this series.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Justin Bonomo (USA) – £ 2,670,000 (US$3,230,740)
2nd – Wai Kin Yong (Malaysia) – £ 1,835,000
3rd – Liang Xu (China) – £ 1,202,500
4th – Paul Phua (Malaysia) – £ 974,500
5th – Rui Cao (France) – £ 783,000
6thIsaac Haxton (USA) – £ 611,900
7th – Ming Zhong Liu (Hong Kong) – £ 482,200
8th – David Benefield (USA) – £ 368,100

Event 6 – £25,000 Short Deck – Winner: David Benefield

£25K Short Deck champion David Benefield – Photo by Triton Poker

106 players stepped forward to challenge for this title, each paying a £25,000 (US$30,250) entry fee to generate a prize pool of £2,517,500 (US$3,046,213). The field was jam-packed with quality, with only 15 players going on to get paid. By the time the final six players were assembled and ready to bid for the title, the chip stacks were all quite close. Talal Shakerchi started as the shortest with 2.595 million chips, while Yu Feng Pang led the way with 6.060 million.

Early bustouts involved a swing in the chip counts as Bjorn Li benefitted most, going from second in chips to a strong chiplead. Peter Jetten and Chin Wei Lim had vacated the table, and very few would have bet on Bjorn Li being the next to bust, but Benefield caught some cards to finish off Li after his luck had turned sour in previous hands.

Three handed play saw multiple all-ins survived as the chips flowed around the table, but eventually, Benefield was able to get heads up against Cheok Leng Cheong and close out the event for his first live title and £650,000 in prize money. Benefield is a former cash game pro who enjoyed a lot of success in the glory days of online poker, but this marks his biggest cash since taking 8th place in the WSOP Main Event in 2013 for $944,650.

The payouts are as follows:

1st – David Benefield (US) £650,000 (US$786,510)
2nd – Cheok Leng Cheong (Macau) £445,000
3rd – Pang Yu Feng (Hong Kong) £292,000
4th – Bjorn Li (Hong Kong) £236,500
5th – Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) £190,000
6th – Peter Jetten (Canada) £148,300
7th – Talal Shakerchi (UK) £117,000

Event 8 – £50,000 Short Deck – Winner: Yu Liang

Yu Liang
Liang Yu – Photo by Triton Poker

Event 8 brought us the third Short Deck event of this series, further underlining the growing popularity of the game. This £50,000 (US$60,501) event attracted 52 entries, with the prize pool growing to £2,465,000 (US$2,982,687). As the tournament moved into its latter stages, familiar names were working their way up the chip counts. Stephen Chidwick has made many runs at Triton London and he continued that pattern here with an eventual 6th place finish. Chin Wei Lim has also been a regular at final tables in this series and notched one more in the final event, hitting the rail in 4th.

Three handed play saw Yu Liang and Richard Yong initially attempting to keep David Benefield in sight after he had gathered around 65% of the chips in play. Benefield was fresh off the back of his maiden Triton win, having picked up the £25,000 Short Deck title the previous day, and did not appear to be in the mood for sharing as he pressed the final two challengers. Yong was first to capitulate, but Liang’s resistance could not be broken. He rallied before taking the chiplead from Benefield and after a protracted struggle, managed to relegate Benefield to 2nd place and claim the title.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Yu Liang (Marshall Islands) – £ 777,000 (US$940,182)
2nd – David Benefield (USA) – £ 560,500>
3rd – Richard Yong (Malaysia) – £ 357,000
4th – Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) – £ 271,300
5th – Romain Arnaud (France) – £ 209,500
6th – Stephen Chidwick (UK) – £ 160,200
7th – Michael Watson (Canada) – £ 64,750
8th – Choon Tong Siow (Malaysia) – £ 64,750

Over US$100M in  combined prize pools

Triton London has been nothing short of a fantastic success, with the series showcasing everything that is positive and exciting about ultra-high-stakes poker, all while doing great work for charity too. The total prize pools across all 8 events add up to £89,425,000 (US$108,588,777) and the total entries reached 676, with many events drawing over 100 entrants. Furthermore, the series broke the record for the largest buy in and 1st place prize for any live tournament in the world, topping what has been a truly captivating festival.

Article by Craig Bradshaw