First Four Winners Crowned in the 2024 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro Stop

Triton SHRS Montenegro
Triton SHRS Montenegro – Photo by Triton

For the fourth time in history, the Triton Super High Roller Series is visiting the coastal country of Montenegro and holds the most extensive schedule to date at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Budva. From May 12 to May 26, 2024, the high-stakes contest includes 14 trophy events in a mix of No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha while Short Deck is not featured on the schedule this time.

First Four Triton SHR Montenegro Winners

In the opening five days of the Triton SHRS Montenegro festival, four winners have been crowned and 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker lifted his first-ever Triton trophy for the second-biggest cash prize in a live poker tournament. Likewise, Andy Ni from China and Artsiom Lasouskii from Belarus landed their first Triton triumph.

Long-time Canadian poker pro Mike Watson completes the early winner’s line-up for his fourth Triton title and first in No-Limit Hold’em. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and those who cashed.

Chris Moneymaker Comes Out on Top of Event #1 GG MILLION$ LIVE

Chris Moneymaker at Triton
Chris Moneymaker – Photo by Triton

The opening event of the series continued the partnership between Triton and leading online poker site GGPoker for the live edition of the GG MILLION$, which features a buy-in of $25,000. There were a total of 163 entries and the $4,075,000 prize pool was split among the top 27 finishers.

Many American poker pros cashed including Seth Davies, Nick Petrangelo, Phil Ivey and Justin Saliba. The 2019 WSOP Main Event winner Hossein Ensan from Germany also had a strong showing and bowed out in 13th place for $67,200 while Asian players in the money included Andy Ni, Ken Tong, and Wai Leong Chan.

Brian Kim at Triton
Brian Kim – Photo by Triton

Only one other Asian made it further and that was China’s Biao Ding, who made it all the way to fourth place for $341,000, edging past superstars such as Isaac Haxton (9th for $91,300), and Adrian Mateos (6th for $209,500). Ukraine’s Igor Yaroshevskyy bowed out in third place for $419,000 and set up the all-American heads-up duel between Chris Moneymaker and Brian Kim.

On the money bubble, Moneymaker was down to fumes but staged a miracle comeback. In heads-up, he cracked pocket queens with king-nine and then sealed the victory with ace-ten versus ace-eight. Kim was once again denied a Triton title and had to settle for $609,000 while Moneymaker’s tally of $903,000 is the second-largest haul since his victory nearly two decades ago that shaped the modern world of poker.

Andy Ni Scores Double KO to Seal Victory in Event #2 $25,000 NLHE

Andy Ni at Triton
Andy Ni – Photo by Triton

The second tournament on the schedule featured the same price tag of $25,000 and attracted a field of 135 entries including 45 re-entries, which made for a prize pool of $3,375,000.

This time, the top 23 finishers earned at last $39,200, an amount collected by Mikita Badziakouski and Seth Davies. Wai Kiat Lee and Xiaohui Tan made the first pay jump to $42,500 while recent Jin Bei Cup Short Deck Main Event bubble-boy Quan Zhou cashed for $52,300 in 15th place.

Patrik Antonius fell on the final two tables once more and received $57,500 while Ben Heath bubbled the final table and earned $72,150. Two players from Asia reached the live-streamed conclusion and Hong Kong’s Danny Tang was aiming to finish as high as possible to defend his current first place in the Triton Poker Player of the Season leaderboard.

Danny Tang at Triton
Danny Tang – Photo by Triton

After the departures of Alex Kulev and Jose Ignacio “Nacho” Barbero, Tang bowed out next in sixth place for $180,500. Chris Brewer once again had a strong start to a Triton Poker stop and made it to the final three alongside Nicolas Chouity and Andy Ni from China. The latter then wrapped up the tournament with a spectacular double elimination.

Brewer raised for the vast majority of his stack on the button with ace-eight, Ni jammed with ace-jack and Chouity called all-in behind with ace-ten. Having kept one big blind behind, Brewer could have folded for the possible pay jump and be left with a mountain to climb in heads-up but called it off, too.

 Neither player hit and the kicker played to crown Ni as the champion. Brewer earned $354,000 while Chouity’s larger stack secured a consolation prize of $531,000. However, Ni earned the biggest slice worth $785,000 in style.

Mike Watson Denies Wai Kiat Lee for Fourth Triton Title

Mike Watson at Triton
Mike Watson – Photo by Triton

The price tag went up a notch to $30,000 for Event #3 NLHE 8-Handed and the turnout was strong once more with 154 entries including 54 re-entries, as the pros were firing hard to earn their slice of the $4,620,000 prize pool. As a result, the first seven-figure cash price was handed out during the stop in Montenegro and Canada’s Mike Watson collected $1,023,000 along with his fourth Triton title.

Wai Kiat Lee at Triton
Wai Kiat Lee – Photo by Triton

His turned straight with eight-six doomed the top pair of Malaysia’s Wai Kiat Lee, who paid off a double for most of the chips in play with top pair and a straight blocker. The consolation prize: $691,000 but yet again no Triton title for the high-stakes regular. Biao Ding also made a deep run again and completed the podium in third place for $475,000.

New Zealand’s online poker prodigy David Yan aka “MissOracle” in the online arena finished in fourth place for $387,400 while 2023 WSOP bracelet winner Leon Sturm made it to seventh place for $173,000. Hossein Ensan bubbled the final table and collected $88,000, the same prize Patrik Antonius earned after missing out the final stage by a small margin for the third event in a row.

Another four players from Asia were among the top 27 finishers with Chuck Chu and Stanley Choi taking home the min-cash of $46,200. Thailand’s number one Punnat Punsri made the first pay jump to $50,800 alongside Dylan Linde and Chris Moneymaker whereas Xianchao Shen finished in 19th place for $55,400.

Newcomer Artsiom Lasouskii Arrives in Style and Becomes Mystery Bounty Champion

Artsiom Lasouskii at Triton
Artsiom Lasouskii – Photo by Triton

Prior to the 2024 Triton Montenegro stop, very few poker players may have heard of Artsiom Lasouskii from Belarus who attended the high-stakes contest for the first time. The first two events were no bueno but he then jumped into Event #5 $40,000 Mystery Bounty NLH and was the last man standing.

The tournament drew 151 entries including 52 re-entries and they were fighting for $6,040,000 in cash prizes, of which half were awarded via the Mystery Bounty drawing. Indian businessman Santhosh Suvarna was the first to bust in the money for $30,000 with Ensan, Sturm and Ivey all joining the rail later on. Triton stalwart Jason Koon also cashed in 18th place for $36,000.

Xianchao Shen bowed out in 15th place for $45,000 and Malaysia’s Anson Eng Siang Ewe narrowly missed the unofficial final table of the last eight (12th place for $50,000). Stephen Chidwick became the first casualty on the live-streamed final for the second event in a row whereas Danny Tang racked up vital leaderboard points once more with his seventh place for $114,000.

Samuel Ju at Triton
Samuel Ju – Photo by Triton

The chip-and-a-chair comeback story this time belonged to Samuel Ju, who made it all the way to the heads-up stage, too. Unlike Chris Moneymaker who pulled off the victory after, Ju finished in second place for $452,000 but knocked out Moneymaker in third ($311,000). However, it was Lasouski who earned the final bounty and a cash prize of $669,000.

What about the bounty prizes? They have actually not been drawn yet as that was scheduled for the next day, but Lasouski has 12 tokens to redeem to potentially boost his bankroll even further. The largest mystery bounty is worth $400,000 and two $200,000 prizes are also up for grabs as well. Online grinder Lasouski is also the youngest Triton champion since Swiss cash-game wizard Linus Loeliger at 25 years of age.

More expensive “Side Events” await in the following days whereas the $125,000 Main Event is scheduled to run from Monday, May 20 until Wednesday, May 22, 2024. There is also a $25,000 PLO Main Event as well a few days later and the final stages of the stop certainly belong to the four-card variant.

*Article by Christian Zetzsche

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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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