Champion Wai Kin Yong!
The fastest final table in Triton Series history played out in London this afternoon, with Malaysia’s Wai Kin Yong tearing through the last seven in the $30,000 Short Deck event to claim a fourth Triton title.
It was blink-and-you’ll-miss it stuff. It took Yong only about 100 minutes to go from posing for the group photo to holding shaking hands with his last vanquished opponent, putting $350,000 more into his account and a fourth exclusive trophy on the mantlepiece.
“It’s crazy,” Yong said. “I just kept winning every hand. It was pretty insane.”
Last night, Yong’s friend Danny Tang won his fourth trophy, pulling him clear of Yong. But Yong was bullish about his chances of drawing back level.
“I told him [Tang] yesterday, I’m going to get my fourth one tomorrow,” Yong said.
Danny Tang comes over to sweat the final run-out
He added that his wife was intending to come to watch the final stages of the event if Yong was still alive when they got three-handed. But she wasn’t quick enough. Her husband was the champion before 2.45pm.
That was the point at which Yong managed to down Chris Brewer heads-up, the duo both getting dealt a premium pair and getting their chips all in. Yong’s pocket queens held up against Brewer’s pocket jacks. Brewer finished second for the second time on this trip and banked a further $252,400.
Another second place for Chris Brewer
However for Yong, it marks a return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2019, when he won the NLH Main Event here in London. This one was worth quite as much as the $2.6 million he won that time, but he’ll take it. He even gets an hour off before the start of the short deck Main Event.
Part of the reason for the swiftness of the final table today was a crazy period last night ahead of the bubble, when eight players shared chips around for several hours. There had been 37 entries, with only seven players due to be paid, and they sliced the field down to a final table pretty quickly.
Bubble for Daniel Dvoress after a wild phase of play
However, the bubble just refused to burst and with the ante level ever increasing, the stacks got very shallow indeed. Daniel Dvoress finally succumbed to the pressure and busted in eighth. It left the last seven, but only Yong had what you might call a big stack when they returned today.
FINAL TABLE LINE UP
Wai Kin Yong – 4.8 million (160 antes)
Karl Chappe-Gatien – 1.68 million (56 antes)
Paul Phua – 1.23 million (41 antes)
Chris Brewer – 975,000 (33 antes)
Sam Greenwood – 870,000 (29 antes)
Stephen Chidwick – 790,000 (26 antes)
Isaac Haxton – 755,000 (25 antes)
Last seven in Short Deck (l-r): Chris Brewer, Paul Phua, Stephen Chidwick, Karl Chappe-Gatien, Isaac Haxton, Sam Greenwood, Wai Kin Yong.
Stephen Chidwick is a fixture at Triton final tables, but his residence at this one could not have been briefer. On the very first hand after the photographic formalities, Chidwick got his stack in holding pocket jacks.
Stephen Chidwick was at the payouts desk before the final had even really begun
Paul Phua, who had limped pre-flop, made the call with . There was a queen on the turn and that did for Chidwick. He had been chip leader before all the bubble shenanigans last night, but suffered more than many others at that stage. His elimination in seventh earned him $58,200.
Phua’s victory in that pot all but doubled his stack, but short deck is so volatile that it didn’t take long until it had vanished again. The next hand, Phua lost with pocket tens to Sam Greenwood’s , and then two more stinging defeat, first to Haxton and then Chappe-Gatien sent him to the rail.
That last hand was especially brutal. Phua’s lost to . Chappe-Gatien rivered a straight. Phua ended this one with $72,100 for sixth.
Paul Phua was swept away in the early turmoil
The carnage was not done yet. Isaac Haxton was sitting with and saw Wai Kin Yong move in, with an enormous stack. Haxton made a simple call and was in good shape against Yong’s .
However, the queen on the flop was a killer, and the three sevens also on the board turned Yong’s hand into a full house. Haxton was left with a trip to the payouts desk where he picked up $94,300 for fifth.
Even Isaac Haxton couldn’t stop the rampage
Yong was finding his stride and then eliminated Sam Greenwood. The Canadian pushed his last 24 antes in with and Yong called with pocket queens. A ten on the river was not good enough for Greenwood and he departed in fourth, banking $122,000.
The end of the road for Sam Greenwood
That wasn’t the end of the rampage. Chappe-Gatien had only 27 antes when he picked up . He shoved and Yong called with . The flop was , something for everyone, but Yong’s two-pair held after a turn and river.
Chappe-Gatien skipped away and picked up a $161,000 prize for third.
A third place for Karl Chappe-Gatien
It left us with only two: Chris Brewer, who was heads-up for the second time on this trip to London, and Yong, who was seemingly romping to a fourth Triton title. Yong had 229 antes to Brewer’s 49.
The early stages were small ball, and then Brewer found the double up he needed to start his attempt to overhaul the disadvantage. He got it all in with pocket tens to Yong’s . By the time Yong hit a queen on the river, the smattering of other high cards also on the board meant Brewer made a straight.
That brought the stacks much closer: Yong’s 123 antes to Brewer’s 99. But the prospect of a small-ball grind quickly evaporated when they both got those pocket pairs. Yong had and called. Brewer had and put a raise in.
Yong then moved all in and Brewer called, essentially setting up a coup for the title.
There was scant help for Brewer. The board ran . And that was the end of that.
Chris Brewer and Wai Kin Yong heads up for the title
This Triton Series stop in London has seen both titanic fina table duels lasting long into the night, and now this one, which finished before afternoon tea.
Event #15 – $30,000 Short Deck Ante Only
Dates: August 8-9, 2023
Entries: 37 (inc. 13 re-entries)
Prize pool: $1,110,000
1 – Wai Kin Yong, Malaysia – $350,000
2 – Chris Brewer, USA – $252,400
3 – Karl Chappe-Gatien, France – $161,000
4 – Sam Greenwood, Canada – $122,000
5 – Isaac Haxton, USA – $94,300
6 – Paul Phua, Malaysia – $72,100
7 – Stephen Chidwick, UK – $58,200
Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive and Nick Pope