The last eight players of the $100,000-entry Triton Poker Series Main Event arrived at the final table in Vietnam’s stunning central province of Quảng Nam in varied degrees of strength, chips-wise. The chip leader was the eventual winner, Talal Shakerchi, whose stack of 7.4 million chips equated to 74 big blinds, a three-bet ahead of Adrian Mateos’ pile of 7.1 million.

Nearer the lower end of the counts was Winfred Yu, and he became the first final table player of the official eight to take his leave, cashing for $418,400 when his ace-ten fell to not only Fedor Holz’s pocket kings but Michael Soyza’s ace-king, an ace on the board sending Yu home, but helping Soyza triple up at the expense of the unfortunate Holz.

Of the 135 entries – a record for the Triton Poker Series in terms of its Main Events – only the final seven players won more than half a million dollars and the first person to claim part of the pie was the final American to lose his seat in the event – Nick Petrangelo. His pocket jacks looked strong only Soyza called with pocket aces, and the rockets held to blast Petrangelo out of contention for the title. He hit the rail with a conciliatory score of $566,800.


With six players remaining, the only North American left in the tournament soon made his way from the action. Timothy Adams has enjoyed a hugely profitable last two years on the tournament circuit and added another $756,000 to his personal profit column as he slid out in sixth. Adams was all-in pre-flop with Doyle Brunson’s least favorite hand – ace-queen. He may have been suited and he flopped an ace, but Talal Shakerchi held pocket jacks and one of those on the flop too gave the British player middle set, which held to vault him into a strong lead over the field with five remaining.

In another Triton event, Sam Greenwood was busy comparing his celebrations to a certain Best Picture Oscar winner.

Fedor Holz was in great shape for a vital double-up with pocket kings but couldn’t hold on as he was overtaken by his fellow German player Daniel Smiljkovic. His ace-queen proved far more fortuitous than the cards belonging to Timothy Adams, and an ace on the turn was enough to send Holz home with a score of $965,000 in fifth place. Holz’s exit saw the final four all guaranteed a seven-figure sum as the payout to a dramatic tournament, but the action was not over yet.


Adrian Mateos has a superb record of closing events out once he reaches the final staes of a major tournament, so the Spaniard will have been disappointed to have finished in fourth place, albeit for $1,201,000, the eighth seven-figure score of his career. The result keeps the Spanish pro in 16th place on the all-time money list, but having lost with king-seven against Michael Soyza’s ace-five, Mateos was left with the thought of what might have been.

Reaching the podium but going no further was Smiljkovic. His exit came at the hands of Shakerchi, whose flush draw from the flop hit against Smiljkovic, who had flopped top two pair but couldn’t hold to bust for a result worth $1.45 million.

Heads-up, Shakerchi had a roughly 2:1 chip lead, and although the stacks swung a little, that was his lead when the final hand saw him all-in with the best hand. The British player’s ace-seven was ahead of Soyza’s queen-jack, and a board of 6-6-5-7-K meant that the Malaysian came second for $2,207,000. Shakerchi’s win was worth $3.25 million, the single biggest score of his poker career.

After the event, one of the commentator’s behind the epic final table broadcast, Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew, posted a celebratory picture on Twitter after a job was well done by the Triton Poker Series team.

With Vietnam the latest stop where the player field and notoriety has increased, the series moves on the Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro between May 8-22.


1stTalal ShakerchiUnited Kingdom$3,250,000
2ndMichael SoyzaMalaysia$2,207,000
3rdDaniel SmiljkovicGermany$1,450,000
4thAdrian MateosSpain$1,201,000
5thFedor HolzGermany$965,000
6thTimothy AdamsCanada$756,000
7thNick PetrangeloU.S.A.$566,800
8thWinfred YuChina$418,400
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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton has been a professional poker writer and reporter for 12 years at the World Series of Poker, on the European Poker Tour and as part of the World Poker Tour team too. Passionate about interviewing many of poker’s best such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth Paul has been nominated for a Global Poker Award for Best Written Content.

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