Devan Tang of Hong Kong outlasted a field of high-stakes pros before defeating Canadian Peter Jetten in heads-up play to win the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju HKD 500,000 ($63,700) Short Deck Ante Only Event on Monday.
A field of 45 players, many of whom reentered during the event, built a prize pool of more than HKD 32.4 million ($4.13 million), with Tang taking home HKD 9.73 million ($1.24 million) for the victory.
A Little Luck, A Little Skill Carries Tang to Victory
Tang enjoyed a run of exceptional luck at the final table, picking up pocket aces several times and making quads at least once on his way to victory. But as the Chinese pro said afterwards, it takes a mix of skill and good fortune to win a major tournament.
I got very lucky. I was lucky the whole way,” Tang told PokerNews after his win. “When you’re playing this big and you make the final table, you have to play your best for sure.”
Tang now has lifetime earnings of more than $6.2 million. That ranks him in the top 200 of the all-time tournament poker money list, and second among Chinese players, trailing only Elton Tsang, who has more than $12.7 million in career winnings.
Big Names Fall at Final Table
The final table featured a who’s who of high stakes poker superstars. Paul Phua went out in eighth place, while Isaac Haxton made it to fifth before dropping out. Jason Koon, who leads the world in lifetime winnings in short deck poker tournaments, was knocked out in fourth place when Jetten rivered a straight to beat his pocket queens.
Other top finishers included Romain Arnaud, who finished in third, as well as Leong Chan Wai (sixth) and Mikita Badziakouski (seventh).
The Triton Series Jeju, which consists of six super high roller events, is being held at Jeju Shinhwa World in South Korea. The action kicked off on Saturday with the HKD 250,000 Short Deck Ante Only tournament, which was won by Justin Bonomo. The American made it back for Day 2 in the second event as well, but fell just short of the money.
Short Deck Offers New Twist on Hold’em
For those unfamiliar with the game, short deck hold’em – also known as six plus hold’em – is a variation of no limit hold’em that uses most of the same rules. However, the game is played with a deck that has been stripped of all twos, threes, fours and fives, leaving only a 36-card deck.
The modified deck creates more action, but also plays around with the probability of various hands being made. Flushes are ranked higher than full houses, while straights are easier to make. That has sometimes led to straights being ranked lower than three of a kind, though most major tournaments – including those in the Triton series – use rules that rank straights above three of a kind, as it makes for a more strategically challenging game.