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Phil Ivey (cover image) has just staged a grand return to the poker felts by collecting his first tournament score since 2016 and he did that in style, as the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner snagged the first prize of HK$4,749,200 (~$604,992) in the HK$250,000 No Limit Hold ‘em (NHLE) Short Deck Ante Only 250K event at the ongoing Triton Super High Roller Series.
The high-stakes series began on May 12 at Maestral Resort & Casino Montenegro in Montenegro and will carry on till May 18. The event won by Ivey was the first-ever short-deck tournament that generated a prize pool of HK$14.34 Million.
The tournament had a 61-player field and for Ivey who was facing a chip deficit of 1-4 right before the heads-up duel against Dan Cates, it was determination and strategy that won him the title.
For Ivey who has been off the poker felt for almost 2 years now, this might as well be a great warm up before the big grind at the WSOP 2018 begins in a few weeks.
Final Table Recap
Alan Sass was leading in chip counts at the start but within the first 30 minutes that changed. Gabe Patgorski won a big pot from Dan Cates and took the lead while Mikhail Smirnov got eliminated in ninth place in the same hand.
Dan Cates then doubled up via Wai Kin Yong and jumped higher in stacks and in subsequent moves, Wai Kin Yong (8th place) and Alan Sass (7th palce) busted in a huge three-way pot.
The double elimination was followed by intense action and within minutes Ivan Leow (6th place) and Furkat Rakhimov (5th place) walked out to leave only four players in the running.
By now Jason Koon had built a good stack but soon he three-bet shoved with an ace-jack combo and found Gabe Patgorski calling with the ace-king. A king opened on the flop and with that, Koon was forced to join the rail in fourth place.
Next to fall was erstwhile chip leader Patgorski. He three-bet all-in with ace-queen and Cates called with pocket kings. Cates’s hand held up and Patgorski hit the railing setting up the heads-up match between Ivey and Cates.
Ivey strategically kept the pots small and though he was trailing in chip count at first, he managed to gain the lead and towards the end, Cates got it in holding ace-seven for a gutshot straight draw and a flush draw on a king-high turn and Ivey called with his straight tabling queen-jack. Finally, Ivey dodged the river to eliminate Cates and win the title.
"It still feels good, I am looking forward to the events with bigger prize pools and hope to win some more”, said Ivey who is now looking forward to the remaining events of the ongoing poker festival.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Phil Ivey – HK$4,749,200
2. Dan Cates – HK$3,199,000
3. Gabe Patgorski – HK$1,937,000
4. Jason Koon – HK$1,334,000
5. Furkat Rakhimov – HK$918,000
6. Ivan Leow – HK$689,000
7. Alan Sass – HK$560,000
8. Wai Kin Yong – HK$488,000
9. Mikhail Smirnov – HK$473,000
Keep following all the updates from the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Seriesright here on PokerGuru!