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When the 2018 Triton Jeju HK$2,000,000 Main Event opened to its final day with only the top six finalists left in the field, speculation was riding high as to who would win. Mikita Badziakouski (cover image) was undoubtedly one of the favorites but the race was still wide open with superstars like Jason Koon, Triton founder Richard Yong and Sam Greenwood, all in contention.
However, the pro from Belarus managed to outlast the competition and sent most of his rivals to the rail to claim the trophy and the impressive payday that is also his career-best score of HK$41,250,000 ($5,255,456)!
“I’m feeling great. Usually, you’re really tired after a hard tournament so the most joy is coming in the next days,” Badziakouski said, after his win.
Badziakouski was among the top stacks right from the beginning. He bagged big at the end of Day 1 and kept adding to his pile to enter the final table as the chip leader. With this win, he has added a back to back Main Event title after his victory in May at the Triton Montenegro Main Event, where he had pocketed $3.5 Million.
“This is obviously the biggest score but, at the same time, there is nothing special about it. It’s just about making good decisions, being a good player,” he went on to add.
The high buy-in event drew a number of elite high-roller regulars from the international poker grounds and 55 players entered with only the top six spots assured a payday. Since the event allowed for multiple re-entries, many players fired multiple bullets.
Day 2 went by at a brisky pace and by the time registration closed, only 19 players remained. The field soon whittled down to the final two tables and the last hour before the play concluded saw a series of bustouts with players like Stephen Chidwick, Patrik Antonius, Steve O’Dwyer, Bryn Kenney, and David Peters, all bowing out.
In the run up to the final table, Peter Jetten was eliminated in eighth place and Cary Katz in ninth place. Interestingly, Luc Greenwood was eliminated by his brother Sam in tenth place.
HK$500,000 Short Deck Ante Only event winner, Ivan Leow went out on the money bubble in seventh place.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Mikita Badziakouski – 3,065,000
2. Sergio Aido – 3,000,000
3. Jason Koon – 2,500,000
4. Richard Yong – 2,415,000
5. Sam Greenwood – 1,715,000
6. Chan Wai Leong – 1,055,000
Final Table Recap
As the action unwinded on the final table, it opened some epic high intensity moments between the six finalists, each a seasoned hand.
Sergio Aido had entered the final table with the second biggest stack but he lost a couple of crucial hands to then face the heat in a hand where he limped from the cut off with . Sam Greenwood over limped from the small blind holding . Koon who held now raised to 300,000 from the big blind and Aido disastrously shoved for 1,375,000 and only Koon called. The appeared on the flop and the turn sealed Aido’s fate. The was of no use for him and the Spanish pro left the final table in sixth place.
Jason Koon was knocked out in fifth place by Badziakouski in a hand where the latter raised to 120,000 from under the gun with . Koon 3-bet to 410,000 from the small blind with and was put at risk by Badziakouski, who made the call. The flop saw Koon tossing in another 230,000. Badziakouski moved all in with about 1,845,000 and Koon tank called. The and the meant that Koon had lost the pot and his chances to win the title.
Known to bring an unconventional style to the poker tables, Sam Greenwood was shown the door by Badziakouski who opened for 160,000 under the gun and called when Greenwood jammed his last 525,000 from the small blind. Greenwood held while Badziakouski tabled . Greenwood had two live cards but couldn’t improve on the rundown and hit the rail at fourth place.
Richard Yong was out next when he raised 165,000 from the small blind and Badziakouski retaliated by 3-betting to 500,000. Yong moved all in for 1,945,000 and Badziakouski instantly called. Yong tabled against Badziakouski’s . Yong was trailing and the flop didn’t help him. Though the turn had him drawing to a queen he wasn’t able to spike any of his outs on the final card i. e. on the river. With this, Yong`s Main Event run ended in third place.
Heads-up, Badziakouski clashed with Chan Wai Leong who was the only player who had managed to give him some sweat on the final table. However, Badziakouski regained his lead. The two kept at it right till the final hand where Leong moved all in from the big blind for 1,885,000, after Badziakouski raised the button to 175,000. Badziakouski called.
The flop gave Badziakouski the lead and he retained it on the turn and the river, eliminating Leong in second place while he claimed the title along with his career-best score!
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Mikita Badziakouski – HK$41,250,000
2. Chan Wai Leong – HK$25,520,000
3. Richard Yong – HK$16,720,000
4. Sam Greenwood – HK$11,550,000
5. Jason Koon – HK$8,470,000
6. Sergio Aido – HK$6,490,000