Here’s Everything You May Have Missed from Triton Jeju

Elton Tsang cashed for over $6.3 million in two tournaments at Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju, but he was far from the only big winner as the festival crowned 17 champions and awarded over $101 million in prizes.

Tim Fiorvanti
Mar 22, 2024
Elton Tsang won a $150,000 event and finished third in the $100,000 Main Event at Triton Jeju. (Photo courtesy of Triton Super High Roller Series)

After 17 days of action at South Korea’s Jeju Shinhwa World and over $100 million in payouts, the opening Triton Super High Roller Series of 2024 officially came to a close on Thursday.

There were big winners, as there are at any festival, but the themes that came to bear over 17 events were balance and parity. Nobody left Jeju with more than one trophy. Seven of the 17 winners were first-time Triton champions and only three players – Mikita Badziakouski (5), Fedor Holz (4), and Mike Watson (3) – won more than their second Triton title. Nobody made more than three final tables.

Most notable, perhaps, was the overall turnout and number of new faces. By the time the last card fell in the final Short Deck event, 193 unique individuals recorded at least one cash over the course of the festival and 85 made at least one final table.

With much of the action taking place during late-night hours in North America, here are some of the headlines you might have missed during the Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju.

Elton Tsang Tops Jeju’s Biggest Winners

Elton Tsang has played a limited live tournament schedule since his first recorded cash on The Hendon Mob in 2006, but over the last decade, Tsang’s results when he does play are impressive – most notably in 2016, when he won $12 million in the €1 million buy-in One Drop event in Monte Carlo. He became a Triton regular in 2022 and had a number of close calls before falling short of a Triton title.

That drought finally ended in Jeju, as Tsang put on a pair of impressive back-to-back performances in two of the most lucrative tournaments of the festival. It started with a $150,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event, which Tsang won for just over $4.2 million. Straight off of that run, Tsang final tabled the $100,000 Triton Jeju Main Event and finished third – good for another $2.1 million. Those were his only two cashes during this festival, but they were enough to make Tsang, who is from Hong Kong, the biggest winner of all.

Roman Hrabec, who defeated Tsang on his way to the Triton Jeju Main Event title, banked $4.33 million for his win – one of six cashes during the series. Hrabec, a Czech pro, more than doubled his career tournament earnings in a single night.

Biao Ding, who finished second to Tsang in the $150K, was one of only three players – along with Tsang and Sergio Aido – to record multiple seven-figure cashes during the festival.

After winning the WPT Big One for One Drop in December, Mikita Badziakouski continued his hot run in Jeju, capturing his fifth career Triton title.

Mikita Badziakouski Ties for Second-Most Titles; Adrian Mateos Headlines Among First-Timers

Jason Koon has 10 career Triton titles, twice as many as his nearest competitors at five. Phil Ivey nearly broke through for No. 6 in Jeju, only to finish second to Ding in the $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha event to remain tied with Danny Tang at 5 wins. Mikita Badziakouski joined them with his fifth career Triton win in the $100,000 Short Deck event.

Just behind them at four Triton wins are Fedor Holz, who took down the opening event in Jeju, and Wai Kin Yong.

Making Moves on the All-Time Money List

As you might expect in a festival with $101,986,332 in total prizes awarded, there were some major moves among the leaders on the all-time tournament money list. Everyone made up ground on Bryn Kenney ($65.2M) and Justin Bonomo ($63.4M), neither of whom played in Jeju, and current No. 3 Jason Koon ($56.7M) only made up a small percentage of the gap between him and the top two.

But others made far more significant leaps. Stephen Chidwick all but pulled even with Koon, climbing to $56.5 million courtesy of his Jeju results. Dan Smith ($53.9M) also tacked onto his career total, while Badziakouski ($52.8M) jumped Daniel Negreanu ($52.2 million) for sixth all-time on The Hendon Mob’s list.

Last Haven of Short Deck Poker

With the World Series of Poker dropping Short Deck Poker from their schedule for 2024, Triton stands as the final tour consistently running tournaments in that game. There were four Short Deck events during the festival, with buy-ins of $20,000 (42 entries), $25,000 event (52 entries), $50,000 (67 entries) and $100,000 (34 entries).

The game has a strong regional appeal, but the high rollers who’ve found success in other games clearly have a strong grasp of it as well as three out of the four winners hail from elsewhere – Chidwick (U.K.), Badziakouski (Belarus), and Watson (Canada).

Jesse Lonis Knows Nothing of Jetlag

One of the most impressive Triton Jeju-related accomplishments didn’t happen entirely in Korea. Jesse Lonis made his first-ever Triton trip and cashed in three events. His last result, a final table appearance in the $25,000 GGMillion$ event on March 11, ended in seventh place. He left Korea, either on the night of the 11th or the morning of March 12 and flew back to Las Vegas – a 12-hour trip at minimum, excluding customs and other delaying factors.

Shortly after getting home, Lonis decided to immediately return to the table. He entered a $10,000 High Roller at Wynn Las Vegas on March 13 and ultimately defeated Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau heads up to win the title. And as if that wasn’t enough, the following day on March 14, Lonis won a $320 WSOP Circuit ring online, outlasting a field of 303. He did admit, following that WSOPC run, that sleep had become something of an issue.