Richard Yong wins $25,000 short deck in Cyprus for Triton’s second title


Richard Yong won the “2023 Triton Super High Roller Series North Cyprus “$25,000 short deck event,” a 38-entry field to earn $323,000 and his second title on the high-stakes poker tour he co-founded with Paul Phua.

“When we first learned to play poker, Paul and I liked to play tournaments everywhere,” she said Triton journalists after the victory. “So we started Triton and we’re very happy that Triton has grown so much.”

Yong is the first Triton the win came over five years ago when he won a $250,000 six-max event in Montenegro. Yong now has nearly $16.2 million in tournament earnings, despite her only recording 26 cashes. That means her average in-the-money finish was worth over $622,000.

The second and final day of this event began with only six players remaining, each guaranteeing at least $66,500 after the bracelet winner and two-time Triton champion Danny Tang busted on the bubble at the end of day 1. Recent pot-limit Omaha event winner Michael Watson took the lead for the day, with Yong in fourth place when the cards returned to the air inside the Merit Royal Diamante Hotel & Spa.

Despite starting atop the leaderboard, Watson was eventually the first player to bust on day 2. He lost four times all-in Triton champion Mikita Badziakouski early on, and then continued to slide down the leaderboard before moving all-in with pocket queens against Yong’s AK. A king-high flop left Watson in bad shape, and Yong then improved to an unbeatable nut flush on the turn to confirm Watson’s elimination in sixth place.

This was Watson’s eighth final table of the year, with four titles won along the way. With 3,968 Card player Points Player of the Year and over $3.2 million to date POY extension earnings, Watson is now the fifth-ranked player in 2023 POY extension race ranking.

Badziakouski’s run in this event ended when his A-7 seed collided with Anson Ewe’s AJ seed. Badziakouski flopped a straight flush draw, but Ewe made a queen-high straight late to secure the pot and narrow the field to four. Badziakouski earned $85,500 as fifth-place finisher. This was his sixth final table of the year, with more than $3.9 million in earnings accruing through those results. He is now 16th in the standings POY extension ranking, presented by Global Poker.

reigning POY extension award winner Stephen Chidwick was the next player eliminated in rough fashion. He moved all-in with pocket queens against Chris Brewer’s A-7 suited. and improved to a full house on a kingHeart dresskDiamond dressQSuit in spades flop. THEREHeart dress turn gave Brewer four outs for a higher full house, and the KSuit in spades he was one of them. That river card gave him kings full of aces and the pot, sending Chidwick home with $110,000 for his efforts. The British poker pro now has more than $46.8 million in total tournament earnings, a solid fourth on the all-time cashes list. Badziakouski and his $44.6 million are just a few places behind seventh place in that vaunted ranking.

The next big showdown saw Ewe go all-in with AHeart dressADiamond dress in front of JSuit in spades10Suit in spades, which had 37% equity thanks to the peculiarities of the short deck. Brewer flopped a gutshot straight draw and hit the required eight on the river to win the hand, eliminating Ewe in third place ($143,000).

Brewer took a solid chip lead in heads-up play with Yong, starting with 183 antes to Yong’s 102. It was a back-and-forth affair that lasted several hours, with several big all-in hands won by the shorter stack along the way to prolong the battle. The key showdown that saw Yong take a decisive lead saw his pocket queens beat the 10-9 suited of Brewer, who flopped two pair after the chips had gone preflop, only to see the running queens fold to Yong quads and doubling up.

Brewer finally moved all-in with JDiamond dressjClub dress in front of the AHeart dress7Suit in spades by Yong. The board is out of AClub dressQSuit in spadesQClub dress6Diamond dress9Diamond dress to see Brewer eliminated in second place ($222,000).

This was Brewer’s 11th final table of 2023, with three titles won and over $3 million in POY extension guaranteed earnings. It now occupies eighth place in the standings POY extension standings after this last excellent final.

Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings POY extension Points
1 Riccardo Yong $323,000 336
2 Chris Brewer $222,000 280
3 Anson Sheep $143,000 224
4 Stephen Chidwick $110,000 168
5 Mikita Badziakouski $85,500 140
6 Michael Watson $66,500 112

Photo credit: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.

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