Triton SHRS Vietnam 2023: Talal Shakerchi clinches Main Event title for $3.25M; Aaron Zang dominates Short Deck Main Event for $1.5M; Dao Minh Phu, Webster Lim, and Danny Tang emerge victorious; Jason Koon captures fifth Triton win

 

Tournament Area 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV01 25K GG Super Millions Live Day 1 Giron 7JG7709Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Posting some of the highest buy-ins in tournament poker, the recently concluded Triton Super High Roller Series in Hoiana Resort & Golf, Vietnam was nothing short of glamorous. From the wealthiest businessmen to the fiercest poker players, the premium games which ran from March 1-13, 2023 drew some of the toughest fields and the heftiest prizes available out there. High roller crushers including Wiktor Malinowski, Daniel Dvoress, Stephen Chidwick, and Fedor Holz were seen across the scene in search of a Triton title but fell a few places short. Asian superstars fared well in this season’s events with a few – Aaron Zang, Dao Minh Phu, Webster Lim, and Danny Tang, claiming glory and top scores.

Triton SHRS Main Event: Talal Shakerchi – USD 3,250,000

Champion Talal Shakerchi 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV09 100K NLH Main Event Final Table Giron 7JG1654Talal Shakerchi, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Undoubtedly not his first six-figured buy-in, high roller Talal Shakerchi clinched his career-best score of $3.25M after defeating Malaysian pro Michael Soyza in heads up battle for the Triton Main Event title. Shakerchi outlasted 135 entrants to claim the biggest share of the $13.5M prize pool. With records dating back to 2007, this second million dollar win comes in following his previous best live cash of $1.18M after placing 4th in the $300,000 NLH Super High Roller Bowl back in 2018. 

“Poker is my hobby and I want to play the best players,” Shakerchi said. “That’s how you get satisfaction out of any activity that you do. Challenge yourself and try to do the best you can.”

“I’m not a professional player. I spend quite a lot of time playing poker. It’s my main hobby. But I’m definitely not a pro.”

To start the final day, Shakerchi led the final nine with a healthy stack of 74 big blinds, followed closely behind by Spain’s Adrian Mateos with 71. It did not take long for short-stacked Roman Hrabec to exit on the table’s first orbit after his pocket three’s failed to hold against Mateos’ Kd10s. Hong Kong-native Winfred Yu then found himself in trouble as his 12 big blind jam with As10h was in terrible condition up against two monster hands – Fedor Holz’s KsKh, and Soyza’s AdKd. An ace on the flop awarded Soyza a full double up in addition to scooping up Yu’s stack and sending him to the rails in 8th. Soyza continued with the momentum and crushed Nick Petrangelo’s pocket Jacks with the Rockets to lock in six remaining players.

While Jacks were no good for Petrangelo, Shakerchi’s had a different fate as his JcJh proceeded to knock out heavily-decorated Timothy Adams’ AsQc in 6th place. German powerhouse Fedor Holz likewise was out of luck as his premium pocket Kings fell into the hands of fellow countryman Daniel Smiljkovic’s AhQh after an ace peeled on the turn. With four left in the running, Mateos claimed the first seven-digit payout after losing a blind vs blind battle against Soyza. Smiljkovic followed behind after losing two significant pots to Shakerchi, allowing the latter to hold a 2:1 lead against the Malaysian beast. Shakerchi took advantage of his superb run and confidently sealed the deal not long after with his final hand Ad7d good against Soyza’s QsJh

Heads Up Michael Soyza Talal Shakerchi 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV09 100K NLH Main Event Final Table Giron 7JG1596Heads Up Michael Soyza & Talal Shakerchi, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Event #9 – $100,000 NLH Main Event
Dates: March 8-10, 2023
Entries: 135 (inc. 45 re-entries)
Prize pool: $13,500,000

1 – Talal Shakerchi (UK) – $3,250,000
2 – Michael Soyza (Malaysia) –$2,207,000
3 – Daniel Smiljkovic (Germany) – $1,450,000
4 – Adrian Mateos (Spain) – $1,201,000
5 – Fedor Holz (Germany) – $965,000
6 – Timothy Adams (Canada) – $756,000
7 – Nick Petrangelo (USA) – $566,800
8 – Winfred Yu (Hong Kong) – $418,400
9 – Roman Hrabec (Czech Republic) – $324,000

Triton SHRS Short Deck Main Event: Aaron Zang – USD 1,544,000

Champion Aaron Zang 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV13 100K Short Deck Main Event Final Table Giron 7JG2571Aaron Zang, Photo Credit – Triton Pokerzang

A popular variant in the Triton games, China’s Aaron Zang topped the biggest buy-in Short Deck event on schedule for a sweet $1.5M. This stands to be Zang’s second Triton title with his first one from the  £ 1,050,000 No Limit Hold’em – Triton Million for Charity in London back in 2019 for a massive $16.7M. On the tail leg of the series, the $100,000 Short Deck event racked up 49 entries for a $4.9M prize pool and only seven players receiving a return.

Zang kicked off the day with the lead but soon found himself awarding double ups to his opponents. Michael Zhang, who entered second in chips on the other hand, zoomed his way to the top racking up more than half the chips in play with four players to go. Taking turns in providing eliminations, both Zang and Zhang went on to heads up with the latter having a small lead over the Chinese high stakes player. This however, did not matter as Zang continued to claim pots and eventually secure the $1.5M victory along with a Main Event title nonetheless.

Event #13 – $100,000 Short Deck
Dates: March 12-13, 2023
Entries: 49 (inc. 23 re-entries)
Prize pool: $4,900,000

1 – Aaron Zang (China) – $1,544,000
2 – Michael Zhang (UK) – $1,115,000
3 – Kiat Lee (Malaysia) – $710,000
4 – Phil Chiu (Hong Kong) – $540,000
5 – Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus) – $416,000
6 – Paul Phua (Malaysia) – $318,000
7 – Jason Koon (USA) – $257,000

Triton SHRS Event #6 – $50,000 NLH 8-Handed: Dao Minh Phu – USD 1,670,000

Champion Dao Minh Phu 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV06 50K NLH 8 Handed Final Table Giron 7JG0056Dao Minh Phu, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Winning his biggest career score by far, local Dao Minh Phu stormed the ranks after he topped the 139-entry field $50,000 NLH event in this Triton season. The victory in his homeland earned Phu $1.6M in winnings to boost him up the ranks to 2nd in Vietnam’s All Time Money List. Prior to this series, Phu had less than $100K in combined tournament cashes, all garnered on Vietnamese soil. Through the high roller series, Phu racked up three cashes in total amounting to a combined $2M added to his The Hendon Mob record.

“I just learnt poker three years ago,” commented Phu to Triton following his win. “This is the first time I have played a big tournament, and I’m so happy.”

After managing to survive the bubble, Phu entered the final table play third in chips yet with only 20 big blinds in comparison to chip leader Biao Ding’s 70 big blind stack. Canadian pro Sam Greenwood was the first to go, followed surprisingly by Switzerland’s Linus Loeliger who started with a 50 big blind stack. With Loeliger out of the way, Ding dominated the table causing elimination after elimination to hold a sizable lead heading into the endgame against Phu. An aggressive double up with AdJd against Ding’s As8d however, changed the momentum of the game. Phu not once relinquished the lead then on, and continued to victory to claim his maiden Triton title.

Event #6 – $50,000 NLH 8-Handed
Dates: March 5-6, 2023
Entries: 139 (inc. 51 re-entries)
Prize pool: $6,950,000

1 – Dao Minh Phu (Vietnam) – $1,670,000
2 – Biao Ding (China) – $1,135,000
3 – Dan Smith (USA) – $750,500
4 – Viacheslav Buldygin (Russia) – $618,000
5 – Patrik Antonius (Finland) – $497,000
6 – Karl Chappe-Gatien (France) – $389,000
7 – Ben Heath (UK) – $291,800
8 – Linus Loeliger (Switzerland) – $215,500
9 – Sam Greenwood (Canada) – $166,800

Triton SHRS Event #1 – $25,000 GG Super Millions: Webster Lim – USD 965,000

Champion Webster Lim 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV01 25K GG Super Millions Live Final Table Giron 7JG8289Webster Lim, Photo Credit – Triton Pokerlim

A good start for the series, 30-year old Wester Lim secured his second Triton trophy to date after claiming the opening event of the season for nearly a million dollar score. Mentored by the late Ivan Leow, Lim is regarded as one of Malaysia’s strongest runners with major titles including an EPT and WSOP win to back it up. Lim’s total live earnings now amount to over $11M with his best live cash remaining to be at the € 100,000 No Limit Hold’em – Diamond High Roller, 2019 WSOPE for $2.4M.

An outstanding final table performance, Lim led the final 8 and carried the lead all the way to the end. Smart decisions and a good run of cards, it was smooth sailing for Lim as his opponents one by one headed for the exit. After a failed bluff by Chris Brewer against Lim, the Malaysian pro headed to heads up play against Triton first-timer Roman Hrabec. By this time, the Czech was already guaranteed a minimum payout of $653K which put him high in the green to start the series. After Hrabec fired a triple barrel bluff on a board of 9h2h3h6s9c and Lim making the call on all three streets with Jh3s, Hrabec accepted defeat soon after and Lim attributed the win to his dear friend, Leow.

Event #1 – $25,000 GG Super Millions
Dates: March 1-2, 2023
Entries: 166
Prize pool: $4,150,000

1 – Webster Lim, Malaysia – $965,000
2 – Roman Hrabec, Czech Republic – $653,600
3 – Chris Brewer, USA – $435,500
4 – Seth Davies, USA – $357,000
5 – Nick Petrangelo, USA – $286,300
6 – Sosia Jiang, New Zealand – $222,000
7 – Michael Soyza, Malaysia – $164,000
8 – Jonathan Jaffe, USA – $121,000

Triton SHRS Event #11 – $25,000 Short Deck: Danny Tang – USD 427,000

Champion Danny Tang 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV11 25K Short Deck Final Table Giron 7JG1916Danny Tang, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Following ten final table appearances, Hong Kong’s Danny Tang finally secured his maiden Triton title after defeating bracelet winner Stephen Chidwick in heads up battle. It took five bullets for Tang to claim Triton glory in the first Short Deck on schedule. Fortunately for Tang, he managed to rack up a profit after topping the 57-entry field and leaving with $427K. The Natural8 ambassador did so in record-time, cruising through the final table all the way to the end in less than three hours. 

Both responsible for majority of the eliminations, Tang and Chidwick proceeded into a quick heads up duel with Tang holding more than double of Chidwick’s chips. Tang proved to be a tough opponent, snatching several pots to eventually end the day with JsJd against Chidwick’s 8c9c for the win.

Event #11 – $25,000 Short Deck
Dates: March 10-11, 2023
Entries: 57 (inc. 23 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,425,000

1 – Danny Tang (Hong Kong) – $427,000
2 – Stephen Chidwick (UK) – $310,000
3 – Richard Yong (Malaysia) – $199,300
4 – Kiat Lee (Malaysia) – $151,000
5 – Isaac Haxton (USA) – $117,000
6 – Mike Watson (Canada) – $91,200
7 – Phil Chiu (Hong Kong) – $72,500
8 – Justin Bonomo (USA) – $57,000

Triton SHRS Event #10 – 50,000 NLH Turbo: Jason Koon – USD 574,000

Champion Jason Koon 2023 Triton Vietnam SHRS EV10 50K NLH Turbo Single Day Giron 7JG1315Jason Koon, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Triton’s very own ambassador Jason Koon proudly clinched another impressive victory in the $50,000 NLH Turbo event making him the first player to claim five Triton titles to date. In the process, Koon defeated Russian superstar Artur Martirosian to bank the top payout of $574K. 

“Update the banner!”, Koon said as he surpassed four-time Triton winner Mikita Badziakouski.

“The motivation, at the end of the day, is that I’m earning a lot and I want to do that,” Koon commented to Triton in following. “I’m leaving my family at home. I wouldn’t do that for prestige. I’m doing it because I know that there’s a short window of time where I have the energy and the passion to be good at this, and I want to make the most of it while I can.”

High stakes regular Chris Brewer held a commanding lead with five players left in the running but was soon overcome by Martirosian after the Russian sent Isaac Haxton to the rails and then snagged some of Brewer. Koon also managed to accumulate chips after a smooth double up and forcing Thai pro Punnat Punsri’s and Brewer’s elimination in 4th and 3rd place respectively. Almost equal in chips, a crucial hand which saw Martirosian fall back to nine big blinds and exit soon after commenced. A limp pot, the duo saw a flop of 4cQc6h. Martirosian check-called to see a turn of Js. Koon fired an overbet and Martirosian made the call. A 5h completed the board and Koon moved with an all-in for his remaining chips, an enormous 2x pot bet. Martirosian burnt through six time banks in total before making the call with Jh10s. Koon revealed the winning hand QhJd for two-pair to secure the legendary triumph.

Event #10 – 50,000 NLH Turbo
Dates: March 9, 2023
Entries: 31 (inc. 7 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,550,000

1 – Jason Koon (USA) – $574,000
2 – Artur Martirosian (Russia) – $395,000
3 – Chris Brewer (USA) – $252,000
4 – Punnat Punsri (Thailand) – $182,000
5 – Isaac Haxton (USA) – $147,000

Other Winners

Triton SHRS Event #2 – $15,000 NLHE
Dates: March 2-3, 2023
Entries: 172 (inc. 50 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,580,000
Champion: Nacho Barbero (Argentina) – $600,000

Triton SHRS Event #3 – $20,000 Mystery Bounty
Dates: March 3-4, 2023
Entries: 179 (inc. 54 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,790,000 + $1,790,000 in bounties
Champion: Mark Rubbathan, UK – $396,000 + $240,000 bounty

Triton SHRS Event #5 – $30,000 NLH
Dates: March 4-5, 2023
Entries: 171 (inc. 61 re-entries)
Prize pool: $5,130,000
Champion: Jans Arends (Netherlands) – $921,178

Triton SHRS Event #7 – $75,000 NLH 8-Handed
Dates: March 6-7, 2023
Entries: 85 (inc. 28 re-entries)
Prize pool: $6,375,000
Champion: Orpen Kisacikoglu (Turkey) – $1,753,000

Triton SHRS Event #8 – $25,000 NLH Turbo
Dates: March 7, 2023
Entries: 104 (inc. 25 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,600,000
Champion: Andrew Leathem (UK) – $670,000

Triton SHRS Event #12 – $50,000 Short Deck
Dates: March 11-12, 2023
Entries: 44 (inc. 19 re-entries)
Prize pool: $2,200,000
Champion: Mike Watson (Canada) – $695,000

Triton SHRS Event #14 – $20,000 Short Deck Turbo
Dates: March 13, 2023
Entries: 28 (inc. 9 re-entries)
Prize pool: $560,000
Champion: Sam Greenwood (Canada) – $207,000

jeanette

Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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Author: Henry Brown