Monday, May 20, 2024

Chris Moneymaker Wins Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro Kickoff Event

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Nearly 21 years after his win in the 2003 World Series of Poker main event helped set off the poker boom of the early 2000s, Chris Moneymaker once again found himself hoisting the hardware. This time around the 48-year-old topped a field of 163 entries to emerge victorious in the 2024 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro $25,000 GG Million$. He walked away with the trophy and the top prize of $903,000.

This was the third-largest payday on Moneymaker’s resume, trailing only the $2,500,000
he secured as the main event champion and the $2,030,000 he was awarded for a fifth-place finish in the 2023 $250,000 Triton London Luxon Invitational. The Poker Hall of Famer now has nearly $7 million in lifetime tournament earnings under his belt.

“I wasn’t going to lose today. I could have put it in with any hand and I would have won. I ran pure,” he told Triton reporters after coming out on top. “I hit a three-outer, a six outer. I thought to myself, ‘You know what, this is going to be 2003. I’m not going to lose any more hands today.’”

In addition to the money and the title, Moneymaker also scooped up 1,092 Card Player Player of the Year points with this win. This was his second POY-qualified score of the year, having also placed sixth in a $500 mystery bounty event at the Moneymaker Poker Tour Palm Beach stop in February. He also recently final tabled the ACR Poker Venom online event, finishing sixth out of a field of 5,045 total entries, earning $382,007 for that deep run.

The sizable turnout for this event built a prize pool of $4,075,000 that was split amongst the top 27 finishers. Plenty of big names made the money, including Aram Oganyan 923rd), Nick Petrangelo (21st), Patrik Antonius (17th), Phil Ivey (14th), Hossein Ensan (13th), Justin Saliba (12th), and Byron Kaverman (10th).

The final table began with Moneymaker in the lead and Biao Ding in second chip position. Isaac Haxton ran pocket nines into Ding’s pocket jacks to finish ninth ($91,300). Morten Klein then ran Q-J into the A-7 suited of Brian Kim to hit the rail in eighth place ($110,500).

The next two eliminations both featured pocket threes. Lewis Spencer held them against Moneymaker’s pocket nines in the first clash, with the larger pair holding to send Spencer packing in seventh place ($153,000). Four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos then got all-in with pocket jacks leading the pocket threes of Brian Kim. A three on the river gave Kim a set and the knockout.

Adrian MateosMateos earned $209,500 as the sixth-place finisher. This was already his seventh final-table finish of the year, with more than $2.3 million in POY earning accrued across those scores. The Spaniard now sits in seventh place in the 2024 POY rankings presented by Global Poker.

One hand after eliminating Mateos, Kim won another big all-in with A-Q racing against the pocket jacks of Danilo Velasevic. An ace on the turn was enough to send earn Kim another knockout, while Velasevic took home $272,000 as the fifth-place finisher.

Moneymaker doubled into the chip lead when his K-9 suited bested the pocket queens of Kim thanks to a king on the river. Kim bounced back a bit when his A-K held against the A-10 suited of Ding, who earned $341,000 for his fourth-place showing. This was his sixth final table of the year, with nearly $4.6 million in POY earnings and 2,870 points accumulated along the way. He now sits in 12th place on the POY leaderboard.

Igor Yaroshevskyy bowed out in third, getting his last four big blinds in with Q-3 facing Moneymaker’s A-8. Moneymaker held to enter heads-up play against Kim with roughly a 5:3 chip lead. Yaroshevskyy was awarded $419,000 for his podium finish.

It took just three hands for Moneymaker to close out the win. He opened with AClub Suit10Club Suit from the button and called Kim’s three-bet shove for just shy of 30 big blinds. Kim was in trouble with ASpade Suit8Heart Suit. The board ran out 10Spade Suit9Club Suit3Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit to give Moneymaker top pair, top kicker for the win. Kim cashed for $609,000 as the runner-up. This was his second final table of the year, having also placed third in a $50,000 event at the Triton Jeju stop in March for $954,000. He now sits inside the top 50 in the POY rankings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Chris Moneymaker $903,000 1092
2 Brian Kim $609,000 910
3 Igor Yaroshevskyy $419,000 728
4 Biao Ding $341,000 546
5 Danilo Velasevic $272,000 455
6 Adrian Mateos $209,500 364
7 Lewis Spencer $153,000 273
8 Morten Klein $110,500 182
9 Isaac Haxton $91,300 91

Photo credits: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.

 

 

 

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