The largest-ever Triton Super High Roller Series Main Event prize was awarded Friday evening to Poker Hall of Fame member John Juanda after he captured the HK $1,000,000 Macau Main Event for HK $22,410,400 (US $2,872,299). Juanda defeated Fedor Holz heads-up after a four-and-a-half-hour battle inside the Galaxy Macau Hotel in Taipa, Macau.
"Playing against Fedor was really tough," Juanda said after winning the title. "He's a really awesome player and obviously, he's the guy winning all the super high rollers. I'm really fortunate to play heads up and come out on top. I think we have a different style of playing. It was a good long match and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it too."
When asked how he was feeling after securing the largest cash of his career, Juanda responded with, "Well, obviously it feels great anytime you win a tournament of this magnitude. First, you have to play pretty well and you also have to get lucky. Especially nowadays with the tough fields we have. For example, the final table, I mean, looks like everybody is an amazing player."
Juanda went on to express his appreciation for the Triton Poker events. "There are so many things I like about the Triton tournaments because they always treat the players nicely and of course I'm good friends with all the organizers. I feel very comfortable every time I come here. Manila, Montenegro, and here [Macau], it's like being around friends. The field is always really good. The registration desk.. there's never any line. The buffet is probably the best from all the poker tournaments."
Juanda began the heads-up battle with an almost two-to-one chip advantage and quickly pulled ahead to increase the margin to nearly five to one. Holz closed the gap to almost even before Juanda cut Holz in half again. Two straight doubles by Holz flipped the script and Holz took the chip lead. Juanda wasn't fazed, however, and in a matter of three hands, had retaken a sizeable lead. Eventually, Juanda was able to pierce the German's armor, getting Holz all-in in a dominating position and holding.
With the win, Juanda climbs to the seventh place on the all-time money list sitting just behind Phil Ivey. Juanda's career live recorded tournament earnings climb to just over US $23.5 million.
Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize HKD||Prize USD|
|1||John Juanda||Indonesia||$22,410,400 HKD||US $2,872,299|
|2||Fedor Holz||Germany||$16,398,000 HKD||US $2,101,674|
|3||Kahle Burns||Austrailia||$10,151,000 HKD||US $1,301,018|
|4||Adrian Mateos||Spain||$6,950,000 HKD||US $890,757|
|5||Dietrich Fast||Germany||$4,607,000 HKD||US $590,425|
|6||Stephen Chidwick||UK$||3,436,000 HKD||US $440,380|
|7||Timothy Adams||Canada||$2,811,000 HKD||US $360,257|
|8||Isaac Haxton||USA||$2,421,000 HKD||US $310,271|
The HK $1,000,000 buy-in Main Event played out over the course of three days, setting a Triton Poker record in the process. With 57 unique entries and 26 re-entries totaling 83, an HK $78,086,400 (approx. US $10,008,703) prize pool was created, the largest in Triton Poker history.
As expected, a star-studded field filled the Galaxy poker room. Triton Co-Founder Richard Yong and Kings Consulting President Winfred Yu were in attendance along with elite pros Steve O’Dwyer, Ben Lamb, Steffen Sontheimer, Erik Seidel, Mike Watson, and the HK $250,000 6-Max Champion Stefan Schillhabel. Former Triton champions Koray Aldemir, Manig Loeser, and Wai Kin Yong were also in the mix, but only the top 12 players left with a prize.
Before the final table was set and the finalists moved on to Day 3, five players bowed out of the tournament with some consolation. Furkat Rakhimov was eliminated on the direct money bubble, falling in 13th place. Once the bubble popped, Manig Loeser, the last remaining former champion, fell in 12th place for HK $2,108,000 (US $270,157). JC Alvarado busted in 11th place collecting HK $2,186,000 (US $280,154). Mike Watson added HK $2,265,000 (US $290,263) for 10th place to go along with his runner-up finish in the 6-Max, and James Chen was the final elimination on Day 2 receiving ninth place money worth HK $2,343,000 (US $300,278)
Final Table Lineup
Isaac Haxton was the first casualty of the final table, slipping to around 10 big blinds and shoving with ace-three. Unfortunately for him, Dietrich Fast woke up with a premium hand and knocked Haxton out with a dominating ace-jack. Next to go was Timothy Adams. A sick cooler spelled the end for the Canadian when he ran queens into Kahle Burns’ pocket kings and found no love to bust in seventh place.
A massive pot against Fedor Holz sent Stephen Chidwick to the rail in sixth place. Chidwick bluff-shoved the river and after Holz tanked for four and a half minutes, John Juanda called the clock and Holz eventually called with just top pair and proved good. Soon after, a short-stacked Fast dropped when he three-bet jammed on Burns with ace-king and Burns’ pocket nines prevailed in the race.
A couple levels went by before the start-of-day chip leader Adrian Mateos found himself with fewer than 10 big blinds and all-in against Juanda. Mateos was behind and Juanda held to eliminate the young Spanish phenom.
Once Mateos left, Burns became the shortest stack and was able to climb over Holz before running into Juanda. Burns three-bet shoved on a Juanda open and the Indonesian native put Burns at risk. Juanda was ahead with ace-ten against Burns’ king-queen and held to set a heads-up battle with Holz. With the cash, Burns almost doubled his career live-recorded tournament earnings and topped his previous best cash by more than three times.