Following Phil Ivey’s triumphant return to the poker scene this Sunday, the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series currently underway in Montenegro is about to crown yet another champion. Day 1 of the HK$100,000 Buy-in Main Event ended Tuesday evening with Malaysia’s Chan Wai Leong as chip leader. He will have a hard time making it to the final table on Thursday, however, as there are still plenty of notable players in play, including Patrik Antonius, Stephen Chidwick, and Phil Ivey.
High rollers from all over the world have gathered this week at the magnificent Maestral Resort & Casino in Budva, Montenegro, for the prestigious 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series. The festival kicked off Saturday, May 12, with the HK$250,000 ($31,850) Short Deck Ante Only event and runs through Friday. Although featuring only four events, this season of the series introduces the Short Deck Hold’em events, also known as Six Plus Hold’em, which have already gained a lot of popularity across Asia. Following basically the same rules of Texas Hold’em, this variation of poker is played with a shorter deck – a deck that has the Twos through Fives removed.
The Main Event started yesterday but players are still able to register by paying the entry fee of HK$100,000, so the guarantee of HK$1 million will probably be easily exceeded. Play continues today with tough competition between some of the most prominent high-stakes poker pros right now. Chan Wai Leong returned to the felt on Day 2 as the chip leader with 778,500 in chips, but there are plenty of notable names in the competition. One of the larger stacks at the start of the day was Patrik Antonius (576,000), while the HK$250K Short Deck Ante Only winner, Phil Ivey, returned with a short stack of 186,500.
Germany’s Stefan Schillhabel came in second in the chip count with 668,500, followed by Marius Torbergsen from Norway with 611,500 in chips. Other players that returned to the tables with larger stacks were Mikita Badziakouski (569,000), Stephen Chidwick, (526,500), Julian Thomas (505,000), Dietrich Fast (451,500), Rui Cao (420,000) and Steffen Sontheimer (387,000). Defending champion Manig Loeser also made it to Day 2 of the Main Event with 264,000 in chips. Several players have already busted, including Phil Ivey and Winfred Yu who were eliminated by Bryn Kenney after the break. Currently, there are 27 players out of 52 entries remaining.
The Tiger Woods of Poker Returns with a $605K Win
Legendary poker pro Phil Ivey made the headlines on Sunday when he won the HK$250,000 Short Deck Ante Only event at the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro. The player, known as “The Tiger Woods of Poker”, has been away from the spotlight over the last couple of years, following the baccarat edge sorting case, where his actions were described by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as cheating. Last year, Ivey who has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets and 1 World Poker Tour title, missed all major poker events.
Now, he triumphantly returned to the international poker scene when he took down the opening event of the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series in Montenegro. The Short Deck Ante Only tournament had a buy-in of HK$250,000 ($31,850) and attracted a field of 61 players. This created a total prize pool of $1,827,664, with the top nine finishers earning a payday of at least $60,255. Ivey defeated survived the tough competition and made it to the final heads-up battle against Daniel Cates.
In the final hand, Ivey raised with Queen-Jack and Cates who held Ace-7 called. Both players checked after the King-Jack-10 flop, but with the 9 on the turn and 6 on the river, Ivey’s straight won him the title and the first-place prize of HK$4.75 million ($605,000). For his efforts, Cates took home an attractive prize of $HK3.2 million ($408,000).