Action under way at Triton Jeju 2019
The 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series is now officially under way after tournament officials set the ball rolling on the first of six events playing out at the Landing Casino, Jeju, South Korea, this week. We are in the salubrious Jeju Shinhwa World resort — an extraordinary complex of hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions.
A field comprising the best players in the world has already assembled for Event #1, a HK$250,000 ($32,000 approx) Short-Deck Ante-Only tournament. It will play out over the coming two days and will offer the first hefty prize-pool of what will inevitably be a exceptional week.
This first event sets the tone for an eight-day schedule, culminating in the HK$2 million (US $250,000 approx.) main event, which runs Thursday through Saturday. While three of six events, including the main event, are traditional no-limit hold’em tournaments, the other three are Short Deck, which is played with all the cards from five down removed. That leaves 36 cards instead of the more normal 52 and means a shifting in hand rankings and a fairly significant strategy rethink for players.
That, however, is part of the Triton Series’ unique appeal: in exchange for the highest regular buy-ins in world poker, and a line-up of players on a break from the boardrooms of the major business capitals of the region, you have to play the game that the businessmen want. Short Deck means more big hands and a higher volatility, which suits the thirst for action among many of the recreational players.
Naturally, the established professionals are still going to fancy their chances in this environment, and when you look at the line up of superstars here in Jeju, they have every right to back themselves. This is without question one of the densest concentrations of poker talent ever assembled, with almost all of poker’s elite either already on the ground or confirmed incoming.
Among the players in their seats for the first deal of the day were Justin Bonomo, Isaac Haxton, Sam and Luc Greenwood, Stephen Chidwick, Jason Koon, Seth Davies, Ben Lamb, Mike Watson, David Peters, David Benefield and Daniel Dvoress. All of Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Daniel Cates, Bryn Kenney, Mikita Badziakouski, Dominik Nitsche, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters, Erik Seidel and Dan Smith are confirmed as en route.
“Every name is a big name,” said Luca Vivaldi, Triton tournament director.
But it’s not only north Americans and Europeans who will have legitimate claims on some of the huge prizes on offer this week. Triton founder Richard Yong is considered one of the game’s elite players, and he’ll play every hour he can this week.
Similarly over the past few years, all of Ivan Leow, Wai Kin Yong and Kenneth Kee have won on the Triton Series, while Michael Soyza has put together a strong string of results too. All of the above are here, and they have brought friends. In the hour prior to the beginning of the tournament, a contingent of at least 15 Asia-based players assembled in the poker room, and they are now ready to cross swords with the players who made their names elsewhere.
This is a two-day event, with today’s schedule calling for 12 40-minute levels. (There’s a 15-minute break at the end of every three levels.) All the action is being live streamed, with expert commentary coming from Lex Veldhuis and Randy “nanonoko” Lew.
The full plan for the week is as follows:
#1: Sat 2 Mar – HK$250K — Short-Deck, Ante-Only (Two-day event)**
#2: Sun 3 Mar – HK$250K+250K — Short-Deck, Ante-Only Bounty (Two-day event) **
#3: Mon 4 Mar: HK$500K — No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed (Two-day event)**
#5: Tue 5 Mar: HK$1m — Short-Deck, Ante-Only (Two-day event)*
#6: Thu 7 Mar: HK$2m — No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (Three-day event)*
#7: Fri 8 Mar: HK$1m — No-Limit Hold’em Refresh (Two-day event)**
* Indicates a 2 pm local start time
** Indicates a 4 pm local start time
Day 2/3 resumptions begin at 2pm