Triton Series Concludes After Player Death; Phil Ivey Snags Short Deck Title, Punsri Wins Main Event

The Triton Super High Roller Series came to an early conclusion over the weekend in North Cyprus after the sudden death of a regular player on the tour. The final tournament played to a winner on Saturday, cutting the series short by two events.

Seng Yee “Ivan” Leow, 41, passed away unexpectedly while in North Cyprus to play in the series. With the action now concluded, later events saw wins by Phil Ivey, Sam Greenwood, and others.

Here’s a look at the second half of the series. For a look at the first half of the series, click here.

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Death of Leow stuns Triton players, organizers

Leow’s passing left many players on the tour stunned and organizers facing a difficult situation. After his death, the tour released a statement honoring the player originally from Malaysia

“Ivan was a hugely popular member of the Triton family,” the statement noted. “He was warm, generous, and enormous fun both at the tables and off – a loyal friend to us all. He was also a fantastic poker player, with a lifelong passion for the game.

“Ivan was a very special person who lived life to the full, was always smiling, and loved the game of poker. He will be sincerely missed by his family, friends, and everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

In a poker career stretching to 2015, Leow had $13 million in live tournament winnings. In Triton events, he recorded 12 final table appearances, winning two of those. Numerous players offered condolences online and memories of playing with Leow.

“My first interaction with Ivan Leow was in Macau and it was nothing but positive vibes,” poker player Randy Lew noted on Twitter. “He was always smiling and welcoming to every single person. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend.”

Event 8: $100,000 Main Event

Punnat Punsri after his Main Event win. (photos courtesy Triton/Joe Giron)

At the tables, a few more events wrapped up over the last week including the series’ championship. Thailand’s Punnat Punsri took the title in this tournament that brought in 99 entries for a $9.9 million prize pool.

The Main Event featured some of the biggest names in poker with Punsri rising to the top for the biggest score of his career.

Describing himself as more of a cash game player, he now has a major bullet point on his resumé and $4.3 million in live tournament winnings. Hong Kong’s Wayne Heung took runner-up for $1.8 million. Here’s a look at the final table payouts.

  1. Punnat Punsri, Thailand – $2,600,000
  2. Wayne Heung, Hong Kong – $1,825,000
  3. Wiktor Malinowski, Poland – $1,210,000
  4. Henrik Hecklen, Denmark – $946,000
  5. Jason Koon, USA – $762,000

Event 9: $50,000 NLHE Turbo

This event brought the last of the traditional No Limit Hold’em action and saw 32 entries for a $1.6 million prize pool. Austria’s Matthias Eibinger found the winner’s circle for $545,000.

At the Triton Poker Cyprus Special Edition in April, Eibinger also scored the title in a NLHE Turbo at the same buy-in level. He took home $676,000 for that win and now has more than $12 million in live tournament winnings.

Jonathan Jaffe, of the United States, finished runner-up for $375,000 and Mikita Badziakouski, of Belarus, took third for $245,000.

Event 10: $30,000 Short Deck – Ante Only

One of the biggest names in poker rose to the top once again in a Triton Short Deck tournament. Phil Ivey (pictured in lead image) grabbed his third Triton title of the year in this event.

“I love playing short deck,” Ivey said after the win. “It’s a great game so I’m very happy.”

The Poker Hall of Famer scored $387,000 for his efforts. He also scored a Short Deck title in the Triton Series in Madrid in April.

Canada’s Sam Greenwood finished in second place for $268,000. Ivey also scored a Triton runner-up finish earlier this year and has lifetime career winnings of more than $38 million.

In June, the 10-time bracelet winner also cashed in at the World Series of Poker. He came in second in the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for $1.2 million.

Event 11: $40,000 Short Deck – Ante Only

Karl Chappe-Gatien after his Tirton Super High Roller Short Deck victory.

The Short Deck action continued and France’s Karl Chappe-Gatien entered the field having never played the game in his life. He proved to be a fast learner. 

Chappe-Gatien topped a field of 45 to take the title for $565,000 in a tournament that produced a $1.8 million prize pool. Kiat Lee, of Malaysia, finished runner-up for $401,000.

“I was feeling good but I didn’t expect anything,” Chappe-Gatien said of playing the tournament. “I wanted to have fun.”

This score came after finishing third in the $200,000 Coin Rivet Invitational (Event 6) for $2.6 million. The Short Deck title capped a huge series for the recreational player, accounting for more than $3.1 million in winnings.

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Event 12: $50,000 Short Deck – Ante Only Single Bullet

This Short Deck event brought an early close to the series. Sam Greenwood continued his nice run in the festival by taking the title for $341,275 after finishing runner-up to Ivey earlier.

The event brought in 30 entries for a $1.5 million prize pool. Seth Davies, of the US, finished runner-up for $290,857 and Malaysia’s Paul Phua took third for $198,498. Ivey again showed his Short Deck prowess, finishing fourth for $181,784.

Beyond the Short Deck action, Greenwood also scored a runner-up finish in an earlier $75,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $1.2 million.