Rui Cao Wins Triton Poker Short Deck Main Event For $3,350,725

Frenchman Rui Cao landed his maiden tournament victory when he saw off the challenge of billionaire Malaysian businessman and series co-founder Paul Phua to lift the Triton Poker Short Deck Main Event in Montenegro for HKD 26,300,000 ($3,350,725).

By: Andrew Burnett

With the 36-card variant popular for many years in the far East, it was little surprise that Asian players or those with roots there filled more than half of the cash spots, and there was plenty of that to go round.

A total of 98 entries, with 51 of those re-entries at HKD1million apiece (US$127,000) gave a total prizepool of $11,736,640, the top eleven guaranteed more than twice their buy-in.

Newly-promoted Triton Poker ambassador Tom Dwan wouldn’t be among them though – getting it in good only to see Sam Greenwood turn a straight flush to send me crashing out…

That was on day two, and only seven players would survive the fast and brutal action, although the likes of Mikita Badziakouski, Timofey Trueteller Kuznetsov and Ike Haxton would make the money, though not the final table.

Three of the five Asian challengers would crash out in a row, Malaysia, China and Singapore giving you an idea of the breadth of interest in the Triton Series. When Canada’s Dvoress and Frenchman Arnaud departed, we had an excellent match-up in prospect.

China-born Frenchman Rui Cao been ‘one of the most feared and respected operators both live and online for several years’ while Macau legend Paul Phua has proved that billionaire amateurs can compete with the world’s best.

Cao, however, was not to be denied – his ‘perfect’ play rewarded when he ended Phua’s challenge in a typical short-deck, big-hand showdown.

“First time I ever won a tournament, and this is a good one,” Cao said afterwards, adding: “So I’m happy.”

“After three years, I still haven’t got a title,” Phua told Triton host Marle Cordeira. “If it goes on, I’ll be embarrassed.”

Final results

1 Rui Cao $3,350,725
2 Paul Phua $2,178,608
3 Romain Arnaud $1,503,367
4 Daniel Dvoress $1,155,554
5 Kenneth Kee $917,309
6 Ming Zhong Liu $716,010
7 Tong Siow Choon $560,578
8 Isaac Haxton $433,174
9 Timofey Kuznetsov $335,073
10 Mikita Badziakouski $293,029
11 Guang Pu Lu $293,029



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