2022 888poker XL Winter Series

Badziakouski Leads Final Six at Triton Jeju With $5.26 Million for First

Mikita Badziakouski

Widely regarded as one of the best no-limit hold'em players in the world, Mikita Badziakouski has been competing in the highest buy-in tournaments for several years. He has earned a strong reputation for his notoriously known expert knowledge of the technical aspects of the game. And while this year is rightfully the year of Justin Bonomo, Badziakouski has also been riding a tremendous wave of success in recent months.

Badziakouski is closing in on adding another major feather to his cap. He's leading the final six players into the last day of the spectacular 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju HK$2,000,000 Main Event with incredibly huge prizes up for grabs. All finalists have already locked up roughly $827,000 for their efforts, having survived the bubble.

PositionPrize (HKD)Prize (USD)

Badziakouski knows how it feels to win a Triton Main Event. He arrived in Jeju as the reigning champion after conquering the previous edition in Montenegro for a $2.5 million payday.

The stakes have doubled since then and the highest buy-in Triton event in the tour's history will see the champion walk away with a whopping HK$41,500,000 first-place prize, equalling $5,255,456. One thing is guaranteed: the final six will battle it out for one of the biggest prizes ever awarded in poker.

It will be an intense climax to the exclusive 55-entry tournament which attracted the world's elite players to come and take to the felt. Some of them weren't scared of firing multiple bullets. While the owners of the two biggest stacks – Badziakouski and Sergio Aido – were both able to navigate to the final table through one attempt, the other four remaining contenders have all invested in more shells; Richard Yong, Jason Koon, Chan Wai Leong and Sam Greenwood have all used the benefit of unlimited re-entries.

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Sergio AidoSpain3,000,000100
2Chan Wai LeongMalaysia1,055,00035
3Sam GreenwoodCanada1,715,00057
4Jason KoonUnited States2,500,00083
5Richard YongMalaysia2,415,00081
6Mikita BadziakouskiBelarus3,065,000102

Day 2 kicked off at a solid pace and by the time registration closed, there were only 19 players still eyeing a profit. The field was soon narrowed to the final two tables with the tournament hitting a stalemate with 15 players remaining. While a long period without any elimination followed, the end of level 14 triggered an eventful hour full of bustouts. The likes of Stephen Chidwick, Patrik Antonius, Steve O'Dwyer, Bryn Kenney, and David Peters were dismissed within one level of play. To top it off, the Greenwood brothers clashed in a fierce fight which saw Sam eliminate Luc in tenth place.

The nine remaining players continued on one table where Cary Katz lost his short stack with queens against Badziakouski's ace-queen and the Belarussian solidified his position as the tournament chip leader. With an $867,000 bubble looming, Peter Jetten was forced out of the door in a nasty cooler. Jetten raised and then four-bet shoved with ace-king suited only to run into Yong's aces.

The difference between seventh and sixth place was bigger than first-place prizes in most of the prestigious events in the world. But the remaining players were still willing to trade blows. Aido and Koon were the main heroes of two large pots. Koon scooped the first one after rivering the nut flush against a flopped bottom set. However, Aido was able to escape and refused to pay Koon on the river.

Then Aido flatted ace-king in the big blind and flopped a full house at the same time when Koon made trips with king-ten. Koon kept the betting lead all the way to the river and Aido called all three barrels. He skipped a check-shove on the river, preventing himself from a catastrophic loss should Koon hold aces.

Shortly afterwards, Koon himself took care of the key moment of the tournament. He bet-called on the turn with top pair and top kicker against Ivan Leow who had some kicker trouble. Leow was unable to catch up on the river and left the Triton Main Event empty-handed.

That was it for the day with the remaining players bagging their chips ahead of one of the biggest days in their respective poker careers. PokerNews will monitor the action on the final table so make sure to tune back to the live coverage on Wednesday, August 1 at 2 p.m. to see the high stakes action culminate in Jeju. Check the PokerNews Live Reporting section for Triton Poker Jeju live updates.

Sergio Aido
Sergio Aido - 2nd in chips
  • $5.2 million awaits the winner with Mikita Badziakouski in pole position. Sergio Aido in second.

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Jan Kores

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