After fifteen days of thrilling poker action, the recent Triton Super High Roller Series wrapped up its games with several big name players claiming gold. The premium series, which ran from May 10-25, 2023 at Merit Royal Diamond Hotel, North Cyprus, showcased another round of its unique lineup featuring top tier buy-ins and massive prize pools.
GGPoker global ambassador Jason Koon for one, shined above the rest after he bagged the Main Event title, the $20,000 NLH 7-Handed victory, and a runner-up finish in the $25,000 PLO. Natural8 pro Danny Tang similarly found success having captured two titles in the bag, while Ramin Hajiyev banked huge after topping the most expensive event of the season. Other tournament winners include high stakes regulars Michael Soyza, Biao Ding, Santhosh Suvarna, and co-founder Richard Yong amongst champions. All event results reported down below.
Jason Koon achieves monumental success with latest Main Event victory
This season’s Triton Super High Roller Series proved incredibly unbelievable for American pro Jason Koon as he closed in $3.9 million richer after the two-week affair. The Triton ambassador who previously held the most number of titles at five, raised the bar even higher with seven currently under his belt. Earlier this year, Koon surpassed four-time Triton winner Mikita Badziakouski to claim the top spot and now ranks fifth in the poker All-Time Money List. To date, Koon has amassed $47.7 million in total live earnings according to The Hendon Mob, with a Triton win last 2018 for $3.5 million being his career-best cash.
Triton SHRS $100,000 NLH Main Event: Jason Koon – USD 2,451,082*
It was an emotional win for Koon as he emerged as the latest Triton Main Event champion, earning him a seventh title, $2,451,082 in prizes, and an exclusive Jacob & Co timepiece. Koon claimed the lion’s share of the $10.1 million prize pool after outlasting the 101-entry field and cutting a heads up deal with Sam Greenwood.
“I’m always trying to hold it together most days, I feel pretty good. I’m always a happy guy when I’m playing. But it’s been a long trip. I’ve made a lot of long, deep runs and I’ve pushed myself really, really hard.”, said Koon.
“You deal with a lot,” Koon added. “You hold in a ton of your feelings, and this was one of those ones where it wasn’t just joy. It was just, like, ‘I can’t believe this.’ This is it for me. I don’t really play other poker tournaments. These are the most important to me. I’m sure [Phil] Hellmuth would feel the same whenever he wins a bracelet. To me, these are the most important. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude.”
The three-day $100,000 NLH Main Event drew its final nine players with Denmark’s Henrik Hecklen in the lead with 55 big blinds and Sean Winter with the shortest stack of 9. Unexpected as it is in the game of poker, Russia’s Viacheslav Buldygin who started the final day second in chips, found himself losing consecutive pots early on to eventually bethe first casualty of the final table. Pressure was high for the remaining players as pay jumps began to climb the six-figure mark and short stacks were evident all around.
Unafraid to get in the middle, Stephen Chidwick locked in an eighth place finish after battling with Steve O’Dwyer’s big blind. Chidwick opened from the middle position and O’Dwyer completed. The flop came as to which O’Dwyer check-called Chidwick’s all-in. O’Dwyer revealed for top pair, enough to send Chidwick to the rails and collect $358,500 for his deep run. At this point, Mike Watson and Winter were battling for survival but it would be Watson who would be the first to go after losing a flip with pocket sevens against Hecklen’s .
A crucial moment for Koon plummeted him to the top as he won another race with against O’Dwyer’s and carried on to eliminate Winter’s micro stack in following. Koon continued on his ascend, forcing another elimination with pocket tens against Dan Smith’s . Just two hands later, Hecklen squeeze jammed with pocket queens versus Koon’s open. Koon made the call with and Hecklen was in great shape with his premium pair. An ace however, popped on board and Hecklen exited in fourth place for a notable $946,000.
Guaranteed four-figure scores, Koon held a substantial lead three-handed and sent O’Dwyer out in third after an interesting situation. The hand began with O’Dwyer calling his small blind and Koon checking behind. On a board of , Koon bet three streets, leaving his opponent all-in by the river. Koon showed for a straight, smashing O’Dwyer’s pair . Holding a 4:1 chip advantage against Greenwood, the two cut an ICM deal and left 10% of the pot to play for. It didn’t last long for Koon to seal the win after outflopping Greenwood’s with for the Main Event trophy along with $2,451,082 in prizes.
Event #11 – $100,000 NLH Main Event
Dates: May 20-22, 2023
Entries: 101 (inc. 36 re-entries)
Prize pool: $10,100,000
1 – Jason Koon, USA – $2,451,082*
2 – Sam Greenwood, Canada – $1,923,918*
3 – Steve O’Dwyer, USA – $1,171,000
4 – Henrik Hecklen, Denmark – $946,000
5 – Dan Smith, USA – $762,000
6 – Sean Winter, USA – $595,000
7 – Mike Watson, Canada – $469,500
8 – Stephen Chidwick, UK – $358,500
9 – Viacheslav Buldygin, Russia – $263,000
*denotes deal was made
Early in the series, Koon already claimed his sixth Triton gold after topping the second event of the season, $20,000 NLH 7-Handed. Koon dominated the 138-entrant field and defeated Turkey’s Kanan Taherkhani for the title and $663,000 in prizes. Prior to the Main Event, Koon also cut a heads up deal with Event #10 – $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha champion Chris Brewer but was one spot short of the trophy. Succeedingly, Koon closed the series with a second runner-up finish at Event #16 – $50,000 Short Deck Ante-Only Main Event for $330,000.
Triton SHRS Event #2 – $20,000 NLH 7-Handed: Jason Koon – USD 663,000
Dates: May 11-12, 2023
Entries: 138 (inc. 44 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,760,000
1 – Jason Koon, USA – $663,000
2 – Kanan Taherkhani, Turkey – $451,200
3 – Stephen Chidwick, UK – $298,000
4 – Eduard Barsegian, Russia – $245,500
5 – Adrian Mateos, Spain – $197,300
6 – Artur Martirosian, Russia – $154,400
7 – Ian Bradley, UK – $115,900
8 – Sean Winter, USA – $85,500
9 – Viacheslav Buldygin, Russia – $66,200
Triton SHRS Event #10 – $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha: Chris Brewer – USD 292,449*
Dates: May 19-20, 2023
Entries: 37 (inc. 13 re-entries)
Prize pool: $925,000
1 – Chris Brewer, USA – $292,449*
2 – Jason Koon, USA – $239,551*
3 – Daniel Perkusic, Germany – $138,700
4 – Eddie Ke Ti Tran, Australia – $106,300
5 – Maxim Kolosov, Russia – $83,200
6 – Nicolas Chouity, Lebanon – $64,800
Danny Tang scoops up two titles
Hong Kong pro Danny Tang racked up an equally impressive series after landing two Triton titles in the Cyprus festivities alone for a combined $1.29 million in winnings. The Natural8 ambassador clinched his maiden Triton trophy earlier this March after claiming victory in the $25,000 Short Deck event. Tang’s career-best cash remains to be a runner-up finish in the 2019 Triton Montenegro NLH Main Event for $1,796,498. His total live earnings has now eclipsed the $15 million mark, inching close to claim the top spot in Hong Kong’s all-time money list.
Triton SHRS Event #16 – $50,000 Short Deck Ante-Only Main Event: Danny Tang – USD 750,000
A beast in the Short Deck games, Danny Tang is finally cashing in on the glory after several attempts with now, three titles under his belt. In his latest Main Event victory, Tang denied Triton superstar Mikita Badziakouski a fifth win after defeating him in the heads up battle. It seemed like it was fate for Tang as he swiftly cruised his way through the final table, happily claiming the $750,000 top prize for his efforts.
“This is the Main Event. This is my seventh stop, it took me a while to get one under my belt. I got it in Vietnam, but that was a small field, smaller buy-in. This is the Main Event. Against these two three-way. It was a very tough final table.”, commented Tang following his win.
“I started many years ago, back in the UK, at Rob Yong’s Dusk Til Dawn casino,” Tang added. “I just made my way up, and luckily I met these nice people around me, Richard, Paul, these people. Everyone has helped me along the way. I’ve been given these opportunities to play these stakes.”
With only six receiving a payout, Tang delivered the bubble with Aces and locked in Jason Koon as the top contender in the Player of the Year race. Tang started the final table with a significant lead and continued his good run, sending both Sam Greenwood and Kiat Lee in fifth and sixth place respectively in a three-way all-in. Triton co-founder Richard Yong soon fell into Koon’s hands but still left Koon only holding half of his opponents’ stacks going into three-handed play.
After losing a few pots here and there, Tang sent Koon to the rails with against the latter’s . The heads up battle carried on to exchange leads between both Tang and Badziakouski with Tang eventually managing to grind his opponent down. With all the chips in the middle, Tang’s bested Badziakouski’s for the ultimate victory and a Triton Main Event title to boot.
Event #16 – $50,000 Short Deck Ante-Only Main Event
Dates: May 24-25, 2023
Entries: 44 (inc. 24 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,200,000
1 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – $750,000
2 – Mikita Badziakouski – $515,000
3 – Jason Koon, USA – $330,000
4 – Richard Yong, Malaysia – $253,000
5 – Sam Greenwood, Canada – $198,000
6 – Kiat Lee, Malaysia – $154,000
Triton SHRS Event #12 – $50,000 NLH Turbo: Danny Tang – USD 545,000
Dates: May 21, 2023
Entries: 32 (inc. 12 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,600,000
1 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – $545,000
2 – Santhosh Suvarna, India – $376,000
3 – Igor Yaroshevsky, Ukraine – $240,000
4 – Brian Kim, USA – $184,000
5 – Ding Biao, China – $144,000
6 – Dao Minh Phu, Vietnam – $111,000
Ramin Hajiyev hits big, bags $4.1M score
The biggest buy-in on schedule, Event #9 – $200,000 NLH Luxon Invitational saw a massive pot swell to the tune of $17.2 million after 86 entries were recorded. Azerbaijan’s Ramin Hajiyev proudly claimed the $4.1 million top score after beating a tough final table lineup including the likes of pros Patrik Antonius, Sean Winter, and Punnat Punsri. Raking in his career best cash by far, Hajiyev’s total live earnings rose to $7.8 million, making him the top poker earner of all-time in his home country.
Drawing down to the event’s final players, Hajiyev was left against German online pro Tobias Duthweiler who started the final table with the least, in contention for the title. Hajiyev was in the lead with 71 big blinds against Duthweiler’s 33 big blinds when talks of a deal kicked in. After a bit of persuasion and an additional $40,000 for Duthweiler, an agreement was in place with $130,000 left to play for. In the end, the 35-year old recreational player secured the win after winning a flip with against Duthweiler’s . The German pro was left to settle for $3.6 million in winnings, enjoyably his career-best cash as well.
“If you’re going to brick nine events and then ship a tenth, it’d better be this one, right? I know that poker has a lot of variance, so I was just staying focused, motivated, because I love the game, obviously,” said Hajiyev.
Triton SHRS Event #9 – $200,000 NLH Luxon Invitational: Ramin Hajiyev – USD 4,122,554*
Dates: May 18-20, 2023
Entries: 86 (inc. 24 re-entries)
Prize pool: $17,200,000
1 – Ramin Hajiyev, Azerbaijan – $4,122,554*
2 – Tobias Duthweiler, Germany – $3,606,446*
3 – Patrik Antonius, Finland – $2,100,000
4 – Sean Winter, USA – $1,640,000
5 – Punnat Punsri, Thailand – $1,325,000
6 – Kiat Lee, Malaysia – $1,030,000
7 – Sosia Jiang, New Zealand – $820,000
8 – Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia – $636,000
9 – Ben Heath, UK – $481,000
Triton SHRS Event #8 – $75,000 NLH 8-Handed: Michael Soyza – USD 1,735,000
A fixture across the Triton high roller scene, Malaysia’s best Michael Soyza claimed his career-second Triton victory in this season’s $75,000 NLH 8-Handed event. A big year for the Asian crusher, Soyza bagged a sizeable $1,735,000 payday just in following of his career-best cash of $2.2 million in the previous Triton series. Soyza fell one spot short of Main Event glory in last March’s games held in Hoi An, Vietnam.
The final nine was set with Belarusian beast Mikita Badziakouski who was almost knocked out as the bubble, leading the pack. That wasn’t enough to worry Soyza as he scored a double elimination – Artur Martirosian and Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, right off the bat. It didn’t take long for Dylan Linde and Matthias Eibinger to follow suit in seventh and sixth place respectively. With five left in the running, Event #6 – $50,000 NLH 7-Handed champion Viacheslav Buldygin soon fell into Soyza’s hands who remained unstoppable from then on. The Malaysian pro proceeded to pick off his opponents one by one, not once relinquishing the lead to claim his second highest tournament payout to date.
Event #8 – $75,000 NLH 8-Handed
Dates: May 16-17, 2023
Entries: 87 (inc. 32 re-entries)
Prize pool: $6,525,000
1 – Michael Soyza, Malaysia – $1,735,000
2 – Mikita Badziakouski, Belarus – $1,200,000
3 – Michael Addamo, Australia – $796,000
4 – Dan Smith, USA – $623,000
5 – Viacheslav Buldygin, Russia – $502,500
6 – Matthias Eibinger, Austria – $391,500
7 – Dylan Linde, USA – $310,000
8 – Artur Martirosian, Russia – $241,500
9 – Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, Belarus – $182,500
Triton SHRS Event #3 – $30,000 NLH 6-Handed Mystery Bounty: Biao Ding – USD 540,500 + USD 545,000 in bounties
China’s Biao Ding emerged victorious in his career-second Triton stop, bagging a combined $1,085,500 in prizes as he topped the Mystery Bounty in the Cyprus series. Ding outlasted the 155-entry field and captured the listed $540,500 top payout from the $2,325,000 prize pool. This stands to be Ding’s second best live cash with his biggest one yet, being a runner-up finish at the $50,000 NLH 8-Handed event in the previous Vietnam festivities. The games held last March was Ding’s first Triton experience which already earned him two final table finishes along with $1.4 million in prizes.
Considering the Mystery Bounty format, another $2,325,000 went into the bounty prize pool with everyone eyeing the $345,000 top bounty when the draw took place the next day. Ding, who collected six bounties overall, couldn’t be any luckier as he picked up the biggest one for a total of $545,000 in bounties alone. This brought the Chinese’ victory past the seven-figure mark and another exciting night following his win. New Zealand’s David Yan was also one of the lucky few who hauled in a huge bounty, boosting his third place finish for a combined $679,200.
Event #3 – $30,000 NLH 6-Handed Mystery Bounty
Dates: May 12-13, 2023
Entries: 155 (inc. 64 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,325,000
1 – Biao Ding, China – $540,500 (plus $545,000 in bounties)
2 – Nacho Barbero, Argentina – $366,200 (plus $195,000)
3 – David Yan, New Zealand – $244,200 (plus $435,000)
4 – Artur Martirosian, Russia – $200,000 (plus $195,000)
5 – Isaac Haxton, USA – $160,500 (plus $80,000)
6 – Danny Tang, Hong Kong – $124,400 (plus $195,000)
7 – Henrik Hecklen, Denmark – $92,100 (plus $80,000)
Triton SHRS Event #1 – $25,000 NLH GG Super Millions Live: Santhosh Suvarna – USD 700,000
The opening event of the high roller series recorded 158 entries post the $25,000 buy-in, building the prize pool up just shy of $4 million. After two days of play, 43-year-old realtor and amateur poker enthusiast from Bangalore, Santhosh Suvarna claimed gold along with $700,000 in total winnings. This serves as Suvarna’s career-best cash and India’s first Triton champion as of late. The two-week grind appears to be highly profitable for Suvarna as he closed the series with four final table appearances and $1.7 million in total cashes.
“I’m so happy, Finally, I won this tournament.”, said Suvarna. “This tournament, big big pros are playing. I’m easily learning, actually. I am watching Triton videos.”
Interestingly, an unusual deal was brokered as the tournament drew down to its last three players. Suvarna, who held an enormous chip lead after scooping fourth and fifth placers Igor Yaroshevskyy and Sam Greenwood’s stacks, agreed to take only $630,000 from the prize pool. Lebanon’s Nicolas Chouity was guaranteed a slightly higher $636,000 while Turkey’s Salahaddin Bedir claimed $620,000. The trio left $70,000 and the two trophies (Triton and GG Millions) as well as the Shamballa Jewels bracelet, to play for. Thus in two hands, Suvarna locked in the victory and a maiden Triton title to his name.
Event #1 – $25,000 NLH GG Super Millions Live
Dates: May 10-11, 2023
Entries: 158 (inc. 57 re-entries)
Prize pool: $3,950,000
1 – Santhosh Suvarna, India – $700,000*
2 – Nicolas Chouity, Lebanon – $636,000*
3 – Salahaddin Bedir, Turkey – $620,000*
4 – Igor Yaroshevskyy, Ukraine – $339,500
5 – Sam Greenwood, Canada – $272,500
6 – Robert Heidorn, Germany – $211,300
7 – Tobias Schwecht, Germany – $156,400
8 – Alex Boika, Belarus – $115,000
9 – Christopher Putz, Germany – $91,600
Triton SHRS Event #15 – $25,000 Short Deck Ante-Only: Richard Yong – USD 323,000
Short Deck games are a staple in Triton festivals and in this Cyprus series, the premium brand’s very own Richard Yong proudly secured his second Triton title. Played through at the tail end of the season, the $25,000 Short Deck Ante-Only collected 38 entries for a $950,000 prize pool and only six players getting paid.
Yong was up against the fiercest contenders but continued to wield through all the way down to the heads up battle against PLO champion Chris Brewer. Brewer held the lead to start the duel and was looking to seal another victory in addition to his win earlier in the week. However after two hours of play, Yong managed to nose in the lead and see the final hand with against Brewer’s . The board ran , and Yong was crowned, leaving Brewer to settle for runner-up finish for $222,000 in prizes.
“I know everybody like Triton Series tournaments because everybody is very friendly, like family,” said Yong. “I would like to see Triton go up and up. Be strong, the best in the world.”
“Short deck is easy for me to play, because full deck has a lot of super players and it’s difficult for me to beat them,” Yong added. “They’re so good and so young. I’m the old man. I can just play this gamble game, very fast.”
Event #15 – $25,000 Short Deck Ante-Only (Two Bullets)
Dates: May 23-24, 2023
Entries: 38 (inc. 19 re-entries)
Prize pool: $950,000
1 – Richard Yong, Malaysia – $323,000
2 – Chris Brewer, USA – $222,000
3 – Anson Ewe, Malaysia – $143,000
4 – Stephen Chidwick, UK – $110,000
5 – Mikita Badziakouski, Belarus – $85,500
6 – Mike Watson, Canada – $66,500
Triton SHRS Event #5 – $40,000 NLH 8-Handed
Dates: May 13-14, 2023
Entries: 125 (inc. 42 re-entries)
Prize pool: $5,000,000
Champion: Gregoire Auzoux, France – $1,050,024*
Triton SHRS Event #6 – $50,000 NLH 7-Handed
Dates: May 14-15, 2023
Entries: 104 (inc. 41 re-entries)
Prize pool: $5,200,000
Champion: Viacheslav Buldygin, Russia – $1,342,000
Triton SHRS Event #7 – $25,000 NLH 8-Handed Turbo
Dates: May 15, 2023
Entries: 83 (inc. 19 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,075,000
Champion: Anatoly Zlotnikov, Russia – $496,100*
Triton SHRS Event #13 – $30,000 Pot Limit Omaha
Dates: May 22-23, 2023
Entries: 34 (inc. 12 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,020,000
Champion: Mike Watson, Canada – $347,000
Triton SHRS Event #17 – $20,000 Short Deck Ante-Only (Two Bullets)
Dates: May 25, 2023
Entries: 29 (inc. 12 re-entries)
Prize pool: $580,000
Champion: Daniel Dvoress, Canada – $214,000
*denotes deal was made