The Merit Royal Diamond Hotel in North Cyprus is playing host to the Triton Super High Roller Series, and some massive prizes have found their way to some of poker’s brightest stars. Michael Soyza is one such player. He just helped himself to a $1,735,000 score, the second-largest of his illustrious career.
Only two months ago, Soyza finished second to British grinder Talal Shakerchi in the $100,000 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam Main Event. Soyza’s runner-up finish padded his bankroll with a career-best $2,207,000, with Shakerchi banking $3,250,000.
Soyza now has the fourth seven-figure haul of his career after coming out on top of the $75,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed event in Cyprus.
$75,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed Final Table Results
|4||Dan Smith||united States||$623,000|
|7||Dylan Linde||united States||$310,000|
Fifty-five unique players and 32 re-entries resulted in a $6,250,000 prize pool that the top 13 finishers shared. Denmark’s Henrik Hecklen was the unfortunate soul that popped the all-important money bubble, his pocket tens losing a coinflip against the suited king-jack of Dan Smith.
Ben Heath, Santosh Suvarna, Christoph Vogelsang, and Jose “Nacho” Barbero, crashed out, leaving only nine players in the hunt for the massive first-place prize.
Double Elimination on Hand #2 of the Final Table
Mikalai Vaskaboinikau‘s time at the final table was limited because he busted in ninth on the second hand of the final table’s action. Artur Martirosian min-raised to 160,000 from under the gun, Soyza flat called a couple of seats across, and Vaskaboinikau called from the big blind. A jack-ten-six flop saw Vaskaboinikau and Martirosian check, but Soyza fired a 200,000 bet. Vaskaboinikau check-raised all-in for 1,100,000, Martirosian shoved for 1,430,000, and Soyza called.
Vaskaboinikau showed ace-jack, Martirosian pocket queens, but Soyza revealed a pair of aces in the hole. The turn and river bricked, busting both Vaskaboinikau and Martirosian, while propelling Soyza to the top of the chip counts.
Dylan Linde‘s tournament ended in a seventh-place finish when his king-jack couldn’t get there against Michael Addamo‘s pocket queens, before Matthias Eibinger lost a coinflip with pocket tens against the hot-running Soyza’s ace-king.
Talal Shakerchi Wins Triton Vietnam SHR Main Event for $3.2 Million
The final five became four when Viacheslav Buldygin‘s short-stack shove with ace-jack was called by Soyza and his pair of black tens. The community cards provided no drams, and Buldygin bowed out. Buldygin banked $502,500 only a couple of days after taking down the $50,000 NLHE 6-Handed event for $1,342,000.
Dan Smith‘s elimination on fourth came with $623,000 in prize money. Smith had fewer than 10 big blinds when he pinned his hopes on an all-in bet with ten-eight of hearts. Unfortunately for Smith, Soyza’s sun-run continued, and he woke up with pocket queens! Soyza flopped a set, and Smith was drawing dead on the turn.
Heads-up was set when Addamo dusted off his chips, and it was Soyza again who benefited. Addamo may have flopped top pair with his ace-nine when he was all-in, but Soyza’s pocket jacks improved to a straight, leaving Addamo drawing to runner-runner quads, which did not happen.
A Title-Winning Hero Call
Soyza held a 14,800,000 to 2,600,000 chip advantage over Mikita Badziakouski, or 99 big blinds to 17 if you prefer. Badziakouski managed to level things up, but the night belonged to Soyza.
The final hand saw Badziakouski complete the small blind to 250,000 with seven-six before calling a raise to 1,200,000 from Soyza, which he made with ten-five offsuit. Soyza check-called a 800,000 bet on the ten-eight-jack flop. The turn brought another eight into play, and Soyza check-called a 2,100,000 bet.
Soyza checked again on the deuce river. Badziakouski moved all-in for 4,100,000 into the 8,450,000 pot, sending Soyza into the tank. After much deliberation, Soyza found a call, and he discovered his ten was good, busting Badziakouski, and claiming the $1,735,000 first place prize.
Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus Results So Far
Soyza was the seventh champion of the Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus so far. Although his event was numbered eight, there is no event four due to superstitions surrounding the number.
Santosh Suvarna took down the opening event, a $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em affair, which netted him $700,000. Jason Koon ($663,000), Gregoire Auzoux ($1,050,024), Viachelsav Buldygin ($1,342,000), and Anatoliy Zlotnikov ($496,100) are the other champions to date.
|#1: $25,000 NLHE GG Super MILLION$ Live||158||$3,950,000||Santosh Suvarna||$700,000|
|#2: $20,000 NLHE 7-Handed||138||$2,760,000||Jason Koon||$663,000|
|#3: $30,000 NLHE Mystery Bounty 6-handed||155||$2,325,000||Biao Ding||$540,500|
|#5: $40,000 NLHE 8-Handed||125||$5,000,000||Gregoire Auzoux||$1,050,024*|
|#6: $50,000 NLHE 6-Handed||104||$5,200,000||Viacheslav Buldygin||$1,342,000|
|#7: $25,000 NLHE Turbo 7-Handed||$2,075,000||Anatoliy Zlotnikov||$496,100*|
|#8: $75,000 NLHE 8-Handed||$87||$6,525,000||Christopher Soyza||$1,735,000|
*reflects a heads-up deal in the event
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Upcoming Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus Events
Next up is the eagerly anticipated $200,000 NLHE Luxon Invitational, a unique tournament that sees VIPs and professional poker players lock horns at high stakes.
Inspired by the Triton Million in London, the Luxon Invitational sees prominent VIPs play in a separate Day 1 to the seasoned pros, before the surviving players join together for an epic Day 2.
Tony G, Rob Yong, Elton Tsang, Phil Nagy, and Paul Phua are among the VIPs, while the likes of Justin Bonomo, Patrik Antonius, Timothy Adams, and Fedor Holz are representing the pro’s stable.
|Thu 18 May||#9: $200,000 NLHE Luxon Invitational|
|Fri 19 May||#10: $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha|
|Sat 20 May||#11: $100,000 NLHE Main Event|
|Sun 21 May||#12: $50,000 NLHE Turbo|
|Mon 22 May||#13: $30,000 Pot Limit Omaha|
|Tue 23 May||#14: $25,000 NLHE Short Deck Ante Only|
|Wed 24 May||#15: $50,000 NLHE Short Deck Main Event|
|Thu 25 May||#16: $20,000 NLHE Short Deck Ante Only|
Lead image photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive