Triton Million London double bill
Do you remember the Triton Million in London?
If the answer is yes, that makes sense. It was kind of a big deal. After all, a million-pound buy-in tournament doesn’t come along every day or, well, ever.
If the answer is no, that also makes sense. It was held in “the before time” and who can remember what that was like? Six hundred Groundhog Days may as well be an eternity.
feature the greatest players in the game and Daniel Negreanu on commentary
Thankfully, Triton Poker is going to jog our memories with a slickly-produced ten-part series on its official YouTube channel. The trailer just dropped today and it promises an incredible line-up of the greatest players in the game and Daniel Negreanu on commentary. In case you don’t know the outcome, the rest of this article won’t contain spoilers.
Triton Poker’s history
Triton Poker was founded in 2015 by Malaysian businessmen, philanthropists, and poker enthusiasts Richard Yong and Paul Phua, who have used Triton events to raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations such as Project Pink, the Red Cross, and Raising for Effective Giving (REG). Both men believed that there was a gap in the market for an exclusive poker tournament series catering to affluent business people and elite professional players.
The mission statement of Triton Poker reads:
Poker is the perfect vehicle to reduce pain and suffering in the world, and, as we stand at the summit of the game, our ability to serve others through charitable donations, tournaments and other enterprises is unparalleled.
Prior to the record-breaking tournament in London, Triton events were held in the Philippines, Montenegro, Russia, Macau, and South Korea. Some of the tour’s biggest winners include Fedor Holz, John Juanda, Bryn Kenney, Mikita Badziakouski, Jason Koon, and Kenneth Kee, but, needless to say, the £1,050,000 ($1,448,071 today) tournament was about to shake things up at the top of the money-earners list.
A record-breaking tournament with a twist
Held in the London Hilton on Park Lane between August 1-3, 2019, The Triton Million – A Helping Hand for Charity poker tournament was a star-studded affair and with 54 entrants, it had the largest attendance ever seen for a poker tournament with a buy-in over $1,000,000. With a hefty price tag of £1,050,000, it generated a prizepool of £54m ($74.5m) with a fantastic £2.7m ($3.7m) going to over 15 charities globally, including the One Drop Foundation, Raising for Effective Giving (REG), and the Malaysian Red Crescent.
The tournament also boasted a unique format with the field split evenly between wealthy recreational players and their invited professional-playing guests. Not only that, but for the first six levels, the field was segregated, with no late registration permitted. This meant that for much of Day 1, the professionals had to battle it out against one another while the recreationals could enjoy swimming in shark-free waters.
each recreational player and his chosen professional invitee were kept apart until the final table
From Level 7 onwards, the field was mixed as per a regular tournament with one caveat: each recreational player and his chosen professional invitee were kept apart until the final table. The recreational players included many familiar faces including Paul Phua, Bobby Baldwin, Cary Katz, Talal Shakerchi, Bill Perkins, Tony G, and Haralabos Voulgaris while the professionals included the cream of the poker crop like David Peters, Fedor Holz, Jason Koon, Bryn Kenney, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, Stephen Chidwick, Nick Petrangelo, Sam Greenwood, Tom Dwan, and Dan Smith.
The trailer does a good job of capturing the excitement:
When poker ceases to be poker
Poker players take shots from time to time. Sometimes they recognize a good spot in which the field looks extra soft and sometimes they simply succumb to the devil on their shoulder. There is no question that the Triton Million represented a high equity spot for many of the participants but there is also no doubting the enormity of price tag.
VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to Dan Smith who played this and two previous million-dollar buy-in events. “I think people like to say poker is poker, regardless of the stakes, but I think at a certain point that is no longer true,” he said.
When you play big enough, nothing else in the world is going on and that is a very special feeling.
Smith went on to explain how tournaments of this distinction feel very different, even to a hardened and battle-scarred pro.
“The magnitude and the significance of the moment is definitely not lost on the players. When you play big enough, nothing else in the world is going on and that is a very special feeling.”
It is also true that when you play big enough, the audience comes to watch. Live coverage of the Triton Million London shattered livestream records so it is likely that these episodes will be a hit with the viewers.
One (especially handsome) player agrees.
Episodes 1 and 2 of the post-produced series will be available to watch on the Triton Poker YouTube Channel from September 23 at 8pm PDT, with commentary from Daniel Negreanu and Ali Nejad. With £19m ($26.2m) for first, it’s going to be must-see poker TV.