Mikita Badziakouski Wins 2018 Triton Series Main Event for $5.2m

Mikita Badziakouski Wins 2018 Triton Series Main Event for $5.2m

The 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju took place at the Landing Casino in South Korea from July 23 to August 1st, with its hugely entertaining five event schedule culminating in a massive HK$2M (US$250,000) buy-in Main Event. Needless to say, some of the game’s top talent were represented at the tournament, including such big names pros as Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and John Juanda.

Following three days of action, however, it was Belarusian player Mikita Badziakouski who would eventually defeat his final opponent, Malaysia’s Wai Chan, to claim the title, as well as an enormous first place prize of HK$41.25m (US$5,257,027). Following his impressive victory, Badziakouski commented:

“I’m feeling great. Usually, you’re really tired after a hard tournament, so the most joy is coming in the next days. This is obviously the biggest score but, at the same time, there is nothing special about it. It’s just about making good decisions, being a good player.”

HK$2M (US$250k) Main Event

The HK$2M (US$250k) Main Event attracted 55 entries, resulting in a HK$110m ($14,018,739) prize pool, and a top-prize of $5,255,456, making it the fourth-highest prize ever awarded in a non-WSOP tournament.

It also featured one of the largest bubbles ever seen in a poker tournament, with Malaysia’s Ivan Leow eventually becoming the unfortunate bubble boy after crashing out in 7th place, meaning all remaining players were then guaranteed at least $826,858 for their deep runs.

Final Table

After the final table had been reached, Jason Koon (A-K) eliminated Sergio Aido (A-Q) in 6th, although any satisfaction was short lived as soon after Badziakouski (A-7) sent Koon (A-6) to the rail in 5th. Badziakouski (A-8) followed up by knocking out Sam Greenwood (K-9) in 4th, before being dealt A-K and doing likewise to Richard Yong (A-Q) in 3rd to force heads-up play against Chan Wai Leong for the title.

Badziakouski took a commanding 5-to-1 chip advantage over his remaining opponent into the final battle, and by the time the final hand arose the Belarusian was sitting on a comfortable 11.6m to 2.15m chip lead. Badziakouski subsequently raised on the button holding A-Q, leading to an all-in shove from Chan Wai Leong with pocket sixes. Having made the call, the dealer then laid out an A-7-10-2-5 board to eliminate Chan Wai Leong in a runner-up position, albeit one worth a huge $3,251,376.

Final Table Results (US$)

1: Mikita Badziakouski (Bel) $5,255,456
2: Chan Wai Leong (Mal) $3,251,376
3: Richard Yong (Mal) $2,130,212
4: Sam Greenwood (Can) $1,471,528
5: Jason Koon (US) $1,079,120
6: Sergio Aido (SPN) $826,858

Badziakouski’s Golden Year

Meanwhile, Badziakouski’s victory earned him $5,255,456, to go with the $588,692 he won earlier in the series following a 5th place finish at the HK$1,000,000 NLHE Short Deck Ante-Only event. The partypoker sponsored Triton Super High Roller Series has become the world’s leading super high roller brand, and has also introduced a number of innovative tournaments to cement its standing further, including two “Short Deck Ante-Only” events, a format that has proved wildly popular in Asia.

In May, the Triton Super High Roller Series stopped at the Maestral Resort & Casino in the small Southeastern European country of Montenegro. Badziakouski tasted success at that series, too, and took down its HK$1,000,000 Main Event for HK$19,618,400 ($2,499,185). Badziakouski also won a total of $4,599,502 in 2017, but this year alone has earned a further $10,499,064 in tournament winnings, making 2018 somewhat of a break-out year for the pro.

As a result, Badziakouski currently boasts $16,677,901 in career winnings, and now sits firmly atop the Belarus ‘All Time Money List’ money list, with clear daylight between himself and nearest contenders Ihar Soika ($3,313,611) and Alex Bolotin ($2,672,454).

Commenting upon his golden run, Badziakouski said that his greatest motivation was trying to play at the highest possible level, stating that “every time you face a decision, you just want to do the best decision the theory tells you.” The modest Belarusian pro then added; “In the end, it’s mostly about the luck. Last month, I’ve been really lucky and that’s the reason why I’m winning.”