The 2023 Triton Super High Roller $250K Luxon Invitational played deep into the night on Day 2 of the event, more than 12 hours, in order to finally reach the final nine players. It was a marathon session but in the end, the final table emerged as an exciting, eclectic, experienced mix of pros (and VIPs) from all over the world.
The event brought out 118 entries and generated a prize pool of $29,500,000 – a sum that’s sure to make it one of the top 25 largest tournaments of all time. There’s $6.86 million up top waiting for the winner with $4.65 million for the runner-up, setting up what could be a $2.2 million heads-up match.
With so much money at stake, (nearly) every one of the final nine is playing for a new all-time high score on their poker resume. And, for a few, a new addition to their poker legacy.
Let’s take a look.
Talal Shakerchi – 7,195,000 (72 bbs)
Home Country: UK
Resides: London, England
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $13,524,569
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2023 Triton Vietnam $100,000 Main Event for $3,250,000
Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2018 Super High Roller Bowl for $1,188,000
Technically an Invitational VIP, Talal Shakerchi has more nosebleed tournament experience than most well-known poker pros. Headed into the final table with the chip lead, Shakerchi has a shot at besting his massive score in the $100,000 Triton Vietnam Main Event earlier this year. Besides his live experience, Shakerchi has a wealth of online experience as well playing under his legendary “raidalot” screen name. Currently, sitting 43rd on the Triton All-Time Money List a win for Shakerchi would vault him near the Top-10 and, perhaps, at the next invitational make him a player that needs to be invited rather than one doing the inviting.
Bryn Kenney – 5,850,000 (59 bbs)
Home Country: USA
Resides: New York, NY
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: 57,969,388 (2nd All-Time)
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2019 $1,050,000 Triton Million for Charity for $20,563,324
Other Prominent Scores: 1st, 2019 Triton Montenegro SHR for $2,713,859, 2nd, 2019 Triton Jeju Main Event for $3,062,513
Sitting second in chips is one of Triton’s most notable players, two-time Triton champion, Bryn Kenney. Kenney has fond memories of Triton’s last stop in London back in 2019 as that’s when he vaulted up poker’s All-Time Money with his 2nd place finish in the Million Dollar Charity event for more than $20 million. Kenny has eight career cashes of seven figures or more and in this event has the opportunity to not only add one more but earn the 2nd largest cash of his career. He currently sits just shy of $4 million behind Justin Bonomo on poker’s All-Time Money List so with a top-two finish, Kenney will soar past $60 million in earnings and retake the all-time lead.
Punnat Punsri – 4,850,000 (49 bbs)
Home Country: Thailand
Resides: Bangkok, Thailand
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: 8,174,335
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2022 Triton Cyprus $100,000 Main Event for $2,600,000
Other Prominent Scores: 5th, 2023 Triton Cyprus $200,000 Luxon Invitational for $1,325,000
Thailand’s All-Time Money List leader Punnat Punsri has enjoyed plenty of success in Triton events. He has seven career Triton cashes as well as a title in the 2022 Triton Cyprus Main Event. Although he has live results dating back to 2014, he really didn’t start excelling in high roller until late 2021 and since that time Punsri has been making a name for himself in Asia as well as PGT events and this year at the World Series of Poker. Coming into the final table third in chips, he’ll need to finish third or better to add a new high score to his poker resume.
Robert Flink – 4,525,000 (45 bbs)
Home Country: Sweden
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $2,054,813
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2019 Triton Jeju Short Deck Ante Only for $1,376,612
Other Prominent Scores: 6th, 2019 Triton London 50,000 NLHE for $366,328
Poker history has shown Sweden to be a hotbed of poker talent and yet another example of that is Robert Flink. Flink has been seen in Triton events since back in 2019 and, to date, he has two cashes for just over $1.7 million. In fact, a look at his live results yields only a handful of results but that’s because he’s been grinding online poker under his screenname ‘Gulkines’ for more than a decade. However, coming into this major final table fourth in chips, and a lifetime of experience behind him, Flink has an opportunity not only to grab his second seven-figure score but also step into the poker spotlight while he’s at it.
Aleksejs Ponakovs – 4,175,000 (42 bbs)
Home Country: Latvia
Resides: Riga, Latvia
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $9,539,106
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2022 World Series of Poker $100,000 High Roller for $1,897,363
Other Prominent Scores: 6th, 2022 Triton Cyprus $200,000 Coin Rivet Invitational for $1,350,000
Another online savant turned nosebleed crusher, Aleksejs Ponakovs is one of this final table’s most dangerous opponents. Nearly half of Ponakovs’ career live cashes have come from Triton events and even though he’s fifth in chips and has some work to do, with 42 big blinds he’s certainly in position to make his Triton earnings a whole lot higher.
Chris Moneymaker – 3,025,000 (30 bbs)
Resides: Nashville, TN
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $4,126,906
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event for $2,500,000
Other Prominent Scores: 2nd 2004 World Poker Tour Shooting Star for $200,000
You likely know everything you need to know about Chris Moneymaker, the man whose win in the 2003 WSOP Main Event is synonymous with the biggest expansion of the game of poker to date. But it’s been 20 years since the Hall of Famer made his name famous with his WSOP win and since that time Moneymaker has, as of yet, been able to match his fame-turning victory. Well, he’s got a shot now. With just nine left, in the biggest buy-in tournament of his career, Moneymaker is looking to write a new page in his own history books and eclipse his 2003 benchmark. He’ll need to finish fourth or better for a new high score but he’s already locked up a new second-best career cash while proving it’s never too late to write a new chapter for yourself.
Nick Petrangelo – 2,600,000 (26 bbs)
Home Country: USA
Resides: Las Vegas, NV
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $29,692,009
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2018 World Series of Poker $100,000 High Roller for $2,910,227
Other Prominent Scores: 2nd, 2022 Super High Roller Bowl for $2,016,000, 1st, 2021 PokerGO Tour $200,000 Aria High Roller for $1,468,800
Nick Petrangelo is widely considered one of today’s most prolific nosebleed tournament pros. With nearly $30 million in earnings (assured after this tournament) he’s found success just about everywhere he’s played – a World Poker Tour title, two WSOP bracelets, EPT High Roller wins, and plenty of victories on the PGT. However, one of the trophies Petrangelo has yet to hoist is one from Triton. With five cashes for just over a million in earnings, Petrangelo sits 110th on Triton’s All-Time Money List. But he’s got the skills and experience to turn his 26 big blinds into a new top line on his poker resume.
James Chen – 2,450,000 (25 bbs)
Home Country: Taiwan
Resides: Taipei, Taiwan
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $7,688.412
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2019 World Series of Poker Europe €250,000 Super High Roller for $3,142,848
Other Prominent Scores: 2nd, 2019 World Series of Poker $25,000 PLO High Roller for $1,000,253
It’s been a couple of years since James Chen appeared at a Triton Super High Roller festival, but he’s certainly making the most of it now. The pro from Taiwan may be near the bottom of the chip counts, but with multiple seven-figure scores, he has plenty of experience to navigate this tough final table. A WSOP bracelet winner. an Aussie Million High Roller champ, and victories on the APPT are some of the highlights of Chen’s nearly 10-year career.
Kayhan Mokri – 775,000 – (8 bb)
Home Country: Norway
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $1,278,241
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 6th, EPT Barcelona Main Event for $341,351
Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2023 PokerStars PCA High Roller for $340,200
High-stakes cash game and tournament pro Kayhan Mokri may not yet have the name recognition of some of the other pros at this final table, but he’s gaining valuable experience battling in Triton events this year. He scored a couple of cashes at Triton Vietnam earlier this year, however, him making this final table is a whole new level for Mokri. Even though he has fewer than 10 big blinds, he’s already locked up a career-high cash with the ninth-place $680,000 prize. Anything higher will be a new tournament milestone for the Norwegian.