Meet the Final Table of the Triton Poker Series Monte-Carlo Main Event
Big money has already been won in the opening few days of the Triton Poker Series in Monte-Carlo, with Dan Smith taking home $3.87 million in the opening $200,000 Invitational tournament. By the end of the night on Saturday, one fortunate player will take home an even larger prize in the Triton Monte-Carlo Main Event, with the champion set to take home $3,925,000.
The overwhelming favorite heading into the final day of play is Adrian Mateos. The 28-year-old from Spain, already a four-time World Series of Poker champion, EPT champion, and accomplished High Roller player, looks to add his first Triton title with an eye-popping chip lead. He’s the only player with an above-average stack among the final nine and holds just a hair shy (3.96x) of four times as many chips as his nearest competitor.
There’s a catch, of course, when it comes to that competition. Among the other eight are a trio of highly decorated Americans – Chris Brewer, Nick Petrangelo, and Justin Bonomo, with Bonomo setting his sights on regaining the No. 1 spot on poker’s all-time money list with a top-two finish.
Ahead of Saturday’s Triton Poker Series Monte-Carlo Main Event final table, let’s get to know each of the nine challengers for the title.
Seat 1: Ken Tong | 1,900,000(19 big blinds, 9/9)
Hong Kong Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $3,833 Biggest Live Cash: $3,031, 38th, 2018 Macau Millions Main Event
Ken Tong, who enters the Triton Monte-Carlo Main Event final table as the short stack, is one of two hard-to-pin-down entities among the final nine. This appears to be Tong’s first-ever Triton event, and with only a handful of live poker results, his cash in this tournament will multiply his live tournament earnings by several orders of magnitude with a minimum guaranteed payout of $391,000.
Tong went through some significant swings on his way to this final table. He lost two-thirds of his stack to Matthias Eibinger when Eibinger flopped a set of nines against Tong’s pocket aces. Then, after winning a coin flip, picked up pocket aces yet again, and doubled through Leonard Maue’s pocket kings. Late in the day, Tong fell victim to Adrian Mateos’ surge to a massive chip lead when he yet again ran into a flopped set – this time, sixes for Mateos.
Seat 2: Aleksejs Ponakovs | 2,675,000(27 big blinds, T-6/9)
Latvia Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $12,763,516 Biggest Live Cash: $2,540,000, 4th Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London $262,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em
Aleksejs Ponakovs surged into the poker spotlight in 2022, when he defeated 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey heads-up to win the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the 2022 WSOP. It was his second career WSOP bracelet victory, following an online victory in 2021, and since that point Ponakovs has posted consistent results across the board in high roller events. Back in August, Ponakovs scored a career-best $2,540,000 payout for a fourth-place finish at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in London – tied for his best career result in a Triton event.
As he looked to make a push towards his first Triton title, Ponakovs subsisted on a short stack for most of the day. He made a late surge over three hands in succession; after picking up a pair of pots without showdown, Ponakovs hit his peak when his pocket 10s held against Lewis Spencer’s all-in with to knock Spencer out in 11th place. Like most of the other players at this final table, Ponakovs lost a chunk of his stack to Mateos, but as it stands, the bunching of stacks gives Ponakovs just as good a shot as anyone.
Seat 3: Justin Bonomo | 2,675,000(27 big blinds, T-6/9)
United States Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $62,395,482 Biggest Live Cash: $10,000,000, 1st, 2018 WSOP $1 million Big One for One Drop
There’s not a lot to be written about Justin Bonomo’s career poker accomplishments that hasn’t already been committed to print. Bonomo has three separate victories worth at least $4.8 million, nine career seven-figure cashes, and a career-best $10 million win in the 2018 WSOP $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop. He’s spent most of the last few years at either No. 1 or No. 2 on poker’s all-time money list, trading that spot back and forth with Bryn Kenney. With a second-place finish, Bonomo would clear $65 million in lifetime live earnings and retake the No. 1 spot from Kenney – with a difference of less than $16,000 between them. A win would give Bonomo considerably more clearance.
In this Triton Main Event, Bonomo picked up a pair of crucial come-from-behind double-ups. The first came through his close friend Isaac Haxton, when Bonomo’s cracked Haxton’s pocket tens on a nine-high flop. The other, wilder double came through Chris Brewer. In a blind vs. blind hand, Bonomo ran into Brewer’s pocket aces, all in preflop. Bonomo proceeded to flop two diamonds, and then turn and river runner-runner diamonds to score the improbable double.
Seat 4: Chris Brewer | 3,150,000(32 big blinds, 2/9)
United States Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $18,271,234 Biggest Live Cash: $5,293,556, 1st, 2023 WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller
Chris Brewer is enjoying a breakout 2023 in every sense of the word. Brewer took home a pair of WSOP bracelets over the course of the summer, including a $5,293,556 windfall in the $250,000 Super High Roller. Brewer also added his second career Triton title back in May, in Cyprus. He’s won the third-most money in live tournaments of any player in the world, behind only WSOP Main Event champion Daniel Weinman and current world-beater Isaac Haxton. Brewer would jump to No. 1 on that list with a finish of second or better.
Brewer entered Day 2 of the Triton Monte-Carlo Main Event with some chips, but briefly dipped down after losing a coinflip to Jason Koon with against Koon’s pocket 10s. Brewer quickly recovered when his pocket aces held to bust Artur Martirosian, and Brewer remained steady for most of the day until running into his terribly unlucky clash against Bonomo that was reminiscent of his tough fortunes in big spots prior to his tremendous run this year. Brewer still enters the final table in second, atop the bunched-up pack of players chasing Mateos.
Seat 5: Matthias Eibinger | 2,800,000(28 big blinds, 4/9)
Austria Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $14,383,583 Biggest Live Cash: $1,008,000, 2nd, 2020 partypoker Millions Sochi Super High Roller Series $100K No Limit Hold’em
Matthias Eibinger has found significant success in High Roller tournaments over the last five years and has a pair of Triton titles to show for it in $50,000 buy-in tournaments. But this particular final table, in Monte Carlo, stands as a possibility for the Austrian pro to truly break out and secure his biggest career payout to date.
Eibinger’s run to this final table in Monte Carlo began in earnest with a key double-up through Ken Tong. Eibinger called a raise in the small blind with pocket nines, and flopped a set; Tong was more than happy to put Eibinger all in with his pocket aces. After trending downwards, Eibinger won a key race when his held on a flop against Sam Greenwood‘s , knocking Greenwood out in 15th place. From there, Eibinger maintained a fairly steady pace, and entering Saturday’s final table he’s near the top of the gridlock of stacks from 2nd through 8th.
Seat 6: Quan Zhou| 2,750,000(28 big blinds, 5/9)
China Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $19,985 Biggest Live Cash: $5,907, 27th, 2019 Tiger Poker Cup Beijing Main Event
Like Ken Tong, Quan Zhou enters this final table with a limited live poker resume and a world of potential to take down a substantial sum of money in his first major result. Zhou’s live poker results to this point were all recorded in China, most recently in August 2020, and this is Zhou’s first career Triton cash.
Zhao’s run to the final table was kickstarted when he won a coinflip with pocket nines against Richard Yong’s , eliminating the Triton co-founder in 12th.
Seat 7: Nick Petrangelo | 2,975,000(30 big blinds, 3/9)
United States Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $31,777,908 Biggest Live Cash: $2,910,227, 1st, 2018 WSOP $100,000 High Roller
Nick Petrangelo has won on almost every stage he’s played on in the world of poker. He’s a WPT Champions Club member, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, and he’s recorded multiple victories in High Rollers on the PokerGO Tour, among many other accomplishments. But one of the few places where Petrangelo hasn’t reached the winner’s circle is in a Triton Poker Series event, with his best finish being a third-place result in London back in August. He’ll look to remedy that gap, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Dan Smith, who did the same on Thursday in the $200,000 Invitational event in Monte Carlo.
Petrangelo was one of the shortest stacks in the room with 14 players left, but recovered nicely after taking a couple of pots off of Quan Zhou. Petrangelo dipped again after running into a rivered nut flush from Brewer, but put himself back into the pack with yet another pot off Zhou in the dying embers of Day 2, finishing the night in third place.
Seat 8: Adrian Mateos | 12,475,000(125 big blinds, 1/9)
Spain Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $35,507,639 Biggest Live Cash: $3,265,362, 1st, 2021 WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller
Mateos burst onto the live poker scene at the age of 18 when he won the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2013, almost exactly a decade ago. All he’s done since is continue to win in big spots, and he’s established himself as one of the best high roller players time and time again. He now has four career WSOP bracelets, including a win in the 2021 $250,000 Super High Roller, as well as an EPT Main Tour victory and other wins all over the world. Like Petrangelo, though, Mateos is still in search of his first Triton win, with a pair of fourth-place finishes to his credit.
Unlike Petrangelo, Mateos has the inside track to such a win with an outright gaudy chip lead heading into Saturday’s final table in Monte Carlo. From the moment Mateos eliminated Leon Sturm in 14th place, his stack went on a tremendous upward trajectory and never faltered as he put increasingly more pressure on his remaining opponents. From the time he eliminated Sturm, Mateos more than doubled his stack – ultimately ending the night by scoring a knockout of Daniel Dvoress in 10th place.
End of Day 1 chip count: 167,000 (44/408)
Seat 9: Santhosh Suvarna | 2,400,000(24 big blinds, 8/9)
India Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $3,775,493 Biggest Live Cash: $700,000, 1st, Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Cyprus $25,000 No Limit Hold’em
Over just more than a year of playing in Triton events, Sathosh Suvarna has recorded 11 cashes including his first major live win back in May of this year in Cyprus. Suvarna sits second all-time on India’s all-time money list behind only Vivek Rajkumar.
Suvarna started climbing the chip counts with 20 players left in the Triton Monte-Carlo Main Event, scoring a double-up through Timothy Adams by turning two-pair. Suvarna held serve for most of the night until just 11 players remained when he won a key coinflip against Dvoress with pocket tens against Dvoress’ . While starting a final table in eighth out of nine players is rarely ideal, the space between second and eighth is such that Suvarna could easily make that jump in a single hand.
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