Mike Watson Claims First Seven-Figure Score of the Triton Poker Montenegro Series

Home » Mike Watson Claims First Seven-Figure Score of the Triton Poker Montenegro Series
Mike Watson

The Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Montenegro has crowned its third champion, and Mike Watson took home the top honors. Watson raked in $1,023,000, the first seven-figure prize of the current series, taking his earnings from Triton events past the $10 million barrier.

Event #3 was the $30,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed tournament, which drew 100 unique players. Fifty-four players re-entered, seeming not put off by the $30,000 buy-in, taking the total attendance to 154 and the prize pool to $4,620,000.

On Day 1 of the tournament, the field was whittled to only 25 hopefuls. Mario Mosboeck was the unfortunate bubble boy, busting in 28th place and leaving empty-handed. Watson’s fellow Canadian Andrew Chen and Chuck Chu crashed out before Day 1 concluded; both captured $46,200 prizes.

The star-studded final 25 gradually dwindled throughout Day 2, with superstars such as Mikita Badziakouski, Chris Moneymaker, Dimitar Danchev, and Patrik Antonius falling by the wayside.

The nine-handed final table was set when the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Hossein Ensan busted. Ensan was all-in at the same time as Daniel Rezaei, and a double-elimination was a possibility. Ensan’s suited king-deuce lost to Leon Sturm‘s ace-deuce, but Rezaei survived after his ace-queen remained best against Wai Kiat Lee‘s dominated ace-seven.

Event #3: $30,000 NLH 8-Handed Final Table Chip Counts

Rank Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1 Wai Kiat Lee Malaysia 6,225,000 50
2 Mike Watson Canada 5,800,000 46
3 David Yan New Zealand 5,125,000 41
4 Ding Biao China 3,750,000 30
5 Leon Sturm Germany 2,700,000 22
6 Morten Klein Norway 2,525,000 20
7 Stephen Chidwick United Kingdom 2,100,000 17
8 Sirzat Hissou Germany 1,475,000 12
9 Daniel Rezaei Austria 1,100,000 9

Stephen Chidwick sat down at the final table seventh in chips, yet was the first finalist heading out of the tournament area. Chidwick lost a coinflip with pocket jacks against the king-queen of clubs in Sirzat Hissou‘s hand before getting the last of his chips in against Watson’s ace-nine of diamonds and losing to quad nines.

Rezaei looked set for an epic comeback after doubling through Watson, but two hands in quick succession against Morten Klein saw the Austrian bow out in eighth. Rezaei lost a decent chunk with suited ace-six against ace-jack, then found himself void of chips when his king-jack failed to beat Klein’s superior ace-king of diamonds.

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Leon Sturm
Leon Sturm

Seventh place went to Sturm in an unfortunate set of circumstances. Sturm looked down at king-seven of clubs and opted to move all-in for 18 big blinds when the action folded to him in the small blind. Ordinarily, this move would have won the blinds and antes. However, Lee woke up with pocket queens, and he made one of the easier calls of his career. The queens held, and Sturm was gone.

Hissou rode his luck a little when he cracked Watson’s pocket kings with ace-six of diamonds, improving to a flush to shoot down those cowboys. His luck ran out after he flopped trip kings with king-queen. Hissou was locked in battle with New Zealand’s David Yan, who expertly reeled in Hissou after turning a straight with queen-jack. Yan set himself up for a shove on the river, which is precisely what he did, and Hissou couldn’t find a fold.

Yan then eliminated Norway’s Klein in a traditional coinflip scenario. Yan three-bet with pocket nines after Ding Bao opened the pot and then called when Klein four-bet all-in from the big blind with what turned out to be ace-king. Five low cards later, Klein made his way to the cashier’s desk while Yan climbed up the chip counts.

David Yan
David Yan

None of the final four players were particularly deep-stacked, meaning anything could happen. Yan was at the top of the chip counts until he check-called every street in a hand against Biao, where Biao’s pocket tens had improved to an unlikely flush. The last of Yan’s chips went into the middle with ace-king versus Lee’s king-queen of spades, and a queen on the flop was all she wrote for the New Zealander.

The third event of the Montenegro series progressed to heads-up with the untimely demise of Biao. Lee open-shoved from the button with ace-seven, and Biao had a mandatory call in the big blind with pocket jacks. Biao called but found himself finishing in third place after the dealer placed an ace on the flop.

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Lee held a three-to-one chip lead over Watson at the start of heads-up, and looked set to capture his first Triton Poker Super High Roller Series title; Watson had other ideas. Watson’s ace-trey remained best against Lee’s queen-deuce of spades to level matters.

The final hand saw Lee’s queen-six improve to top pair on a nine-queen-seven flop, with Watson holding eight-six for a straight draw. Watson made his straight with the arrival of the five of hearts on the turn, and he claimed Lee’s stack and the title with a river shove that Lee made a crying call of. Lee busted in second place for $691,000, leaving Watson to claim the $1,023,000 top prize and his fourth Triton title.

Event #3: $30,000 NLH 8-Handed Final Table Results

Rank Player Country Prize
1 Mike Watson Canada $1,023,000
2 Kiat Lee Malaysia $691,000
3 Ding Biao China $475,000
4 David Yan New Zealand $387,400
5 Morten Klein Norway $309,000
6 Sirzat Hissou Germany $238,000
7 Leon Sturm Germany $173,000
8 Daniel Rezaei Austria $125,000
9 Stephen Chidwick United Kingdom $103,400

Chris Moneymaker Kicks Off Triton Montenegro with Stunning High-Roller Win

Kuznetsov Leads Event #5 With 47 Players Remaining

Event #5: $40,000 NLH 7-Handed Mystery Bounty was running while Watson was marching to victory in Event #3. Including re-entries, 151 players bought in for $40,000, but only 47 progressed to Day 2, which shuffles up and deals at 1:00 p.m. CEST on May 16.

Russia’s Nikita Kuznetsov is the player to catch going into Day 2; his 1,740,000 stack is the equivalent of 70 big blinds. Kuznetsov may hold an advantage at the start of play, but some incredible players are in the chasing pack, so the Russian has plenty of work ahead of him.

Andrew Chen (1,600,000) and Orpen Kisacikoglu (1,525,000) make up the top three, while the likes of Henrik Hecklen (1,130,000), Jason Koon (1,055,000), and Aleksejs Ponakovs (880,000) find themselves in the top ten.

The likes of Danny Tang (830,000), Matthias Eibinger (795,000), Phil Ivey (775,000), Artur Martirosian (500,000), and Chris Moneymaker (485,000) are also still in contention.

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Event #5: $40,000 NLH 7-Handed Mystery Bounty Top 10 Chip Counts

Rank Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1 Nikita Kuznetsov Russia 1,740,000 70
2 Andrew Chen Canada 1,600,000 64
3 Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey 1,525,000 61
4 Xianchao Shen China 1,420,000 57
5 David Yan New Zealand 1,315,000 53
6 Henrik Hecklen Denmark 1,130,000 45
7 Leon Sturm Germany 1,075,000 43
8 Jason Koon United States 1,055,000 42
9 Daniel Rezaei Austria 945,000 38
10 Aleksejs Ponakovs Latvia 880,000 35

Remaining Schedule

Date Time Event
Thu 16 May 1:00 p.m. #5 – NLHE Mystery Bounty 7-Handed Day 2
  3:00 p.m. #6 – $53,000 NLHE Bounty Quattro 7-Handed Day 1
Fri 17 May 1:00 p.m. #6 – NLHE Bounty Quattro 7-Handed Day 2
  3:00 p.m. #7 – $53,000 NLHE 8-Handed Day 1
Sat 18 May 12:00 p.m. #7 – NLHE 8-Handed Day 2
  3:00 p.m. #8 – $106,000 NLHE 8-Handed Day 1
Sun 19 May 1:00 p.m. #8 – NLHE 8-Handed Day 2
Mon 20 May 2:00 p.m. #9 – $132,500 NLHE Triton Main Event Day 1
Tue 21 May 1:00 p.m. $132,500 NLHE Triton Main Event Day 2
  5:00 p.m. #10 – $52,000 NLHE Turbo 8-Handed
Wed 22 May 1:00 p.m. Triton Main Event Final Table
  2:00 p.m. #11 – $212,000 NLHE 8-Handed Day 1
Thu 23 May 1:00 p.m. #11 – NLHE 8-Handed Day 2
  4:00 p.m. #12 – $26,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Day 1
Fri 24 May 1:00 p.m. #12 – Pot-Limit Omaha Day 2
  2:00 p.m. #13 – $26,000 PLO Main Event Day 1
Sat 25 May 1:00 p.m. #13 – PLO Main Event Day 2
  4:00 p.m. #15 – $52,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Day 1
Sun 26 May 1:00 p.m. Pot-Limit Omaha Day 2
  4:00 p.m. #16 – $31,200 Pot-Limit Omaha Quatro Bounty

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive

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