High-stakes regular Paul Phua wrote on Twitter that “56 players” are “confirmed” for the epic Triton Million poker tournament in London which begins on Thursday. Tom Dwan, Tony G, Bill Perkins, and Justin Bonomo are among the players who will pony up £1,050,000 in what will be be the most expensive buy-in tournament in poker history.
Sports betting legend Haralabos Voulgaris will also take his shot at the millions. “Haralabob” is no stranger to the high-stakes poker lifestyle. He’s a former grinder with over $3 million in lifetime live tournament cashes.
Although the Triton Million tournament, a charity event, will make history and bring some mainstream attention to poker, not everyone is thrilled with the event’s “private game” model. And that’s caused a bit of a stir on social media thanks to a tweet by Sam Grafton.
Who’s In, Who’s Out?
Simply handing over £1.05 million isn’t enough to enter the Triton Million, at least for a pro. Professional poker players must be invited by a recreational player to buy-in. As of Wednesday evening, 56 players have registered, creating a £56 million prize pool.
The champion will surpass Antonio Esfandiari – who won $18.3 million in 2012 $1 million Big One for One Drop at the WSOP – as the biggest individual tournament winner in history.
Haralabos Voulgaris is the latest to register. The sports betting master joins huge names such as Fedor Holz, Tom Dwan, Justin Bonomo, Fedor Holz. Andrew Robl, Bill Perkins, Paul Phua, and David Peters are also the mix.
Phil Ivey, however, is among those who it appears won’t be competing in the Triton Million. He still has some time to register by Thursday. Other high roller regulars Scott Seiver, Brian Rast, and Daniel Negreanu have yet to receive an invite.
Is There a Problem Here?
You can chalk poker pro Sam Grafton up as one player grumbling over the Triton Million selection process. He referred to it on Twitter as a “private cash game model.”
Anyone concerned about the private cash game model being exported in to tournaments for the first time?
Any debate or discussion about whether it’s a good thing? It’s potential ramifications for the highest stakes tournaments?
Nah. Let’s just talk about Christoph’s hoody again
— Sam Grafton (@SquidPoker) July 30, 2019
Some players shared the same view. But others, including Daniel Negreanu, argued that the tournament is good for poker for various reasons.
“A group of wealthy businessmen want to donate some money to charity and play in a poker tournament that isn’t overrun with pros so they feel like they have a fair shot. Not sure what about this could be seen as bad or wrong?” Kid Poker argues.
Jason Koon, who will have a seat in the Triton Million, made a similar argument.
“The Triton event is raising loads of money for charity. On top of that, a ton of these guys are entering the event out of personal relationships with the people running it. This is meant to be a spectacle, it’s meant to be a rarity. Events like this can’t consistently run,” Koon wrote.
Whether you love or hate the player selection format, you can watch the event live at Triton-Series.com from August 1-3. Each session begins at 1 pm in London.