John Juanda Wins Triton Series Montenegro Short Deck Ante Only Event

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John Juanda overcame what could have been fatal mistakes at the final table to win the Triton Poker High Roller Series Montenegro HKD 250,000 ($31,850) Short Deck Ante Only tournament on Wednesday.

John Juanda Triton Montenegro
John Juanda beat Daniel Dvoress in heads-up play to win the Short Deck Ante Only event at the Triton Poker High Roller Series Montenegro. (Image: Triton Poker)

Juanda claimed his second career win on the Triton Series, winning HKD 4.72 million ($601,000) in the process.

Juanda Bluffed Into Folding Quads

The tournament attracted a total of 65 entries, which include 29 re-entries. Heading into the final day of play, only 12 players remained, with eight destined to make the money.

The unlucky bubble boy was Danny Tang, who was coming off having already won an event earlier in the Montenegro festival. But destiny wasn’t on his side in the short deck event, as his KQ ran into Sergei Lebedev’s AJ, and when nothing came to help Tang’s hand, he was eliminated in ninth place.

Paul Phua went out in eighth place after securing his record 12th career Triton Series cash. Michael Soyza followed in seventh place, to be followed by Dan Cates, who lost most of his chips when he was on the wrong side of a boat-over-boat situation.

One of the most memorable hands of the final table was then played by Juanda and Lebedev. The two reached a river with an A6A6A board, with Juanda holding 66♠. But Lebedev saw an opportunity to make an audacious bluff, and made a bet of 200,000 – about four times the size of the pot – in the hopes of getting Juanda off his hand.

Despite holding quads, Juanda let his hand go, convinced that Lebedev must have the case ace. Instead, Lebedev was playing the board with JK, making Juanda’s fold of quads – rare even in short deck – all the more painful.

Juanda Gets Last Laugh

But it was Juanda who would get the last laugh. Lebedev ultimately went out in fourth place when he busted after a pre-flop all-in against Peter Jetten. The Canadian then gave away his stack to Juanda on an unfortunate river. Juanda held A♠K against Jetten’s QT on a 96♠8♠T♠ board. Jetten only needed one safe card to double up, but the K♣ gave Juanda a better pair and send Jetten home.

Three-handed play lasted better than an hour before Malaysia’s Wai Kin Yong was busted in third place as his KQ ran into Juanda’s pocket kings and couldn’t find a way to catch up.

“I think I’m pretty unlucky, I lost a few key hands and chopped once with Juanda when he was drawing dead,” Yong told a Triton Series reporter after his elimination. “But it’s fine. That’s why short deck is fun.”

That left Juanda heads up with Daniel Dvoress. On the final hand, Dvoress raised with A♣A, which Juanda called with QJ. The KT8 flop guaranteed action, but Juanda played it coolly, checking and allowing Dvoress to bet before merely calling. Both checked the K♣ turn before an 8♣ hit on the river. After Dvoress made what he assumed was a value bet, Juanda moved all-in and got the call, ending the tournament.

“It feels great,” Juanda told the Triton Series after his win. “Every time you win a tournament like this, it’s an amazing feeling.”

It’s also a feeling that Juanda has plenty of experience with. The five-time WSOP bracelet winner has now won more than $25.2 million in his career, good for 14th on the all-time money list according to the Hendon Mob database.

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