It was Paul Phua who outlasted the 93 entries in the 2022 Triton Poker Series Madrid €30,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em seven-max event to claim the top prize of €740,400 ($777,420 USD). The Malaysian businessman had secured 19 in-the-money finishes in Triton Poker events, with eight figures worth of earnings along the way.
The win brought Phua’s career earnings to just shy of $25 million, enough to put him in 21st place on poker’s all-time money list.
He had finished as the runner-up three times in previous Triton events, with each of those finishes bringing seven-figure paydays despite not coming out on top.
“I thought the fourth second place is coming,” Paul Phua said. “But somehow the cards fell for me.”
The final day of Triton Poker Series began with 21 players remaining and only 13 set to cash. Tom Vogelsang was eliminated on the money bubble, with top tournament stars like Fedor Holz (13th – $58,800 USD), Michael Souyza (12th – $58,800 USD), Danny Tang (10th – $63,000 USD), Patrik Antonius (9th – $82,005 USD) and and Phil Ivey (8th – $108,360 USD) hitting the rail before the official final table of seven was set.
Michael Watson’s run came to and end when his K-Q failed to outrun the A-J of Isaac Haxton. Watson flopped two pair after the chips had gone in preflop, only to have Haxton river a straight. Watson earned $139,125 USD as the seventh-place finisher.
Bracelet winner and Super High Roller Bowl Bahamas champion Daniel Dvoress got all-in with top two pair facing the flush and straight draw of Paul Phua. The turn gave Phua some additional outs with a pair of his own, but it was the straight draw that ultimately came in. He hit a king-high straight on the river to send Dvoress home in sixth place ($175,770 USD). The Canadian now has more than $21.5 million in career cashes to his name. This was Dvoress’ tenth final-table showing of the year, with more than $3 million in earnings compiled along the way. He now sits in third place in the POY standings as a result.
Ben Heath was the next to hit the rail. The bracelet winner from the UK got all-in with Q-J suited up against the A-2 of nine-time WSOP event winner Erik Seidel, who paired his ace and held from there to narrow the field to four. Heath earned $225,540 USD as the fifth-place finisher.
Kannapong Thanarattrakul’s stack dwindled to just a couple big blinds during four-handed play. He eventually got the last of his chips in with J-10, and was unable to overcome the A-9 of Haxton. Thanarattrakul earned $279,825 USD for his first cashe in a Triton event. Despite scoring that knockout, Haxton was the next to fall. He called all-in from the big blind with Q-8 suited facing a small-blind shove from Phua, who held K-10. A king-high flop gave Phua an even-larger lead in the hand, which he maintained through the river. Haxton was awarded $357,315 USD as the third-place finisher, increasing his lifetime earnings to just shy of $30 million in the process.
With that Phua took a small lead into heads-up play with Seidel, a living legend of the game. Seidel overtook the lead and at one point extended his advantage to more than 2:1 before Phua found a double up, with his K-10 beating the pocket jacks of Seidel to turn the tables. Seidel was down to just a few big blinds by the time the final hand was dealt. Phua shoved with AClub Suit5Spade Suit from the button and Seidel called all-in with 10Heart Suit7Club Suit. The board ran out 9Spade Suit6Club Suit5Diamond Suit9Heart SuitQDiamond Suit and Phua’s nines and fives got the job done. Seidel earned $540,540 USD as the runner-up finisher. Seidel has made six final tables this year, with one title won in a U.S. Poker Open event.
Kannapong Thanarattrakui – 5.4 million
Paul Phua – 4.425 million
Isaac Haxton – 4.175 million
Erik Seidel – 1.8 million
Michael Watson – 1.125 million
Ben Heath – 900,000
Daniel Dvoress – 775,000
Photo credit: Joe Giron / Triton Poker.