Talal Shakerchi won 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam $100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, overcoming a stacked field of 135 entries to secure his first Triton Poker title and the $3,250,000 first prize. This score was the highest yet for the 59-year-old British investment manager and frequent high-stakes poker player. He now has more than $12.8 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name, but insists that he’s still more of a businessman than a poker player.
“Poker is my hobby and I want to play with the best players. This is how you get satisfaction from any activity you engage in. Challenge yourself and try to do the best you can” Shakerchi said Triton reporters after coming out on top. “I’m not a professional player. I spend a lot of time playing poker. It’s my main hobby. But I’m definitely not a professional.”
In addition to the title and cash, Shakerchi also landed 1,320 Card player Player of the Year indicates as the champion of this event. This was his third final table of the year, having finished third in a $1,050 turbo event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and sixth in the $25,000 turbo event earlier in this series. With 1,696 total points and more than $3.4 million in revenue POY extension earnings to date, Shakerchi now sits at #32 in 2023 POY extension ranking presented by Global Poker.
This event took place over the course of three days at the Hoiana Resort & Golf in Quang Nam, Vietnam. The turnout of 135 entries, the highest ever in a Triton main event of the series, resulted in a prize pool of $13,500,000. The top 20 finishers made money, with big names like Poker World Tour AND European Poker Tour champion Michael Watson (20th), bracelet winner Sam Greenwood (19th), nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel (18th), runner-up Bryn Kenney (17th), and 2022 Coin Rivet Invitational champion Sam Grafton (16th ) all in the money but not at the final table.
Day 2 ended with just nine contenders left, with Shakerchi leading the way and heavyweights like four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos and two-time bracelet winner Fedor Holz sitting on above-average stacks.
Roman Hrabec (9th – $324,000) and Winfred Yu (8th – $418,400) were both eliminated during the first hour of final table action, with the former losing a game preflop and the latter holding A-10 against AK by Michael Soyza and pocket kings by Holz. Soyza took down the huge pot when an ace fell on the flop, consequently moving into a virtual tie for second place in the standings.
Two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo found himself on the wrong side of a preflop cooldown with pocket jacks colliding with pocket aces for Soyza. Petrangelo earned $566,800 as the seventh-place finisher, bringing his career earnings to more than $29.5 million in the process.
Six-handed play continued for about an hour before the next elimination occurred. Bracelet winner Timothy Adams raised all-in from the small blind against Shakerchi’s under-the-gun opening, which he called with pocket jacks. Adams was flipping with AQ and saw an ace in the window, but there was also a jack on the flop for five Shakerchi a set and a huge lead in the hand. The turn and river changed nothing and Adams was eliminated in sixth place ($756,000).
Holz again found pocket kings in important position and, unfortunately for the German, his premium starting hand was once again unable to beat his opponent’s big ace. Daniel Smiljkovic’s AQ suited improved with pocket aces on the turn after all chips went all-in preflop, and Holz couldn’t find a king on the river. Holz earned $965,000 as a fifth-place finisher, surpassing $40 million in career tournament earnings from this deep run. He became just the tenth player in poker history to reach this milestone and now sits in 10th place on the all-time money list with $40,212,911.
On the next hand, Mateos raised all-in for just over 12 big blind with K-7 in the small blind. Soyza, the short stack at the time, called all-in with A-5 and made pocket fives to win the pot. Mateos was down to less than two big blinds and was quickly eliminated by Shakerchi. The Spanish superstar earned $1,201,000, which was her eighth career seven-figure mark. As a result, she now has more than $33.5 million in total earnings.
Smiljkovic’s run in this event ended when he moved all-in with a 762 flop with 76. It was against 53 by Shakerchi for a flush draw and a gutshot. The 10 time and K the river gave Shakerchi the winning hand and Smiljkovic was eliminated with $1,450,000 for his third place finish.
Shakerchi entered heads-up play with just under a 2:1 lead over Soyza. In the first hand of the match Shakerchi spun against Soyza’s top pocket aces. Soyza held the A with three clubs on the board, and managed to make a bold move on the river, moving all-in on Shakerchi’s value bet on the river. Shakerchi ended up folding his straight and losing the chip lead. He was able to get back the lead soon after and then took down a big pot with a straight on the turn against second pair Soyza.
Soyza was left with 10 big blinds after that fight. He picked up a couple of blinds before the final hand of the tournament was dealt. Shakerchi accidentally announced all-in out of turn before he was told the action was indeed on Soyza. With this information, Soyza decided to enter on the button with Qj and Shakerchi pushes with A7. Soyza called and the board ran 6657k to put in the safe dish and title for Shakerchi.
Soyza earned a career-high payday of $2,207,000 as a runner-up, bringing his total lifetime earnings to nearly $12.7 million.
Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points|
Photo credits: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.