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Patrik Antonius Wins Triton Mediterranean Kickoff Event For $825,000

The Finnish High-Stakes Star Defeated A Record Field of 131 Entries In The $25,000 Buy-In Tournament In North Cyprus

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The 2022 Triton Mediterranean Poker Party got underway on Monday, Sept. 5 with the first of 13 high-stakes events. The kickoff tournament was a $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. A total of 131 entries were made by the time registration closed, beating the previous record turnout for the high roller tour by one single entry. The huge turnout resulted in a prize pool of $3,275,000. After two days of nosebleed tournament action, Finnish poker star Patrik Antonius emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $825,000.

This was the fourth-largest payday ever earned by Antonius. The 41-year-old now has more than $13.4 million in lifetime earnings on the circuit despite primarily focusing on online and live cash games for much of his career.

In addition to the title and the money, Antonius also secured plenty of rankings points as the champion of this event. He earned 924 Card Player Player of the Year points for what was his fifth POY-qualified final-table finish of the year. With 1,630 total points and $1,629,171 in year-to-date POY earnings, he now sits within reach of the top 150 in the 2022 POY race sponsored by Global Poker.

He was also awarded 495 PokerGO Tour points for the win, enough to see him climb into 54th place on that leaderboard.

This event ran over the course of two days. The top 17 finishers made the money, with plenty of big names among those who cashed but fell short of the final table, including Paul Phua (16th), Selahaddin Bedir (13th), and Ivan Leow (12th).

Ebony KenneyBy the time the official final table of eight was set, Ebony Kenney was atop the leaderboard. Kenney has been a regular on the tournament scene for a while but had never before entered a high roller event. Just by making the final table, she guaranteed herself the largest live tournament score of her career. She also made history as the first female player to ever make a Triton Series final table.

High-stakes tournament regular and World Poker Tour main event winner Seth Davies was the first to fall, with his A-4 suited failing to outrun the pocket sixes of Fahredin Mustafov. Davies earned $109,500 for his deep run, increasing his career earnings to more than $15.5 million.

Antonius earned a crucial double-up with A-K holding against the A-Q of Kenney to take a chunk out of her stack. He then scored his first knockout at the final table when his pocket fives won a race against the K-Q of Thailand’s Kannapong Thanarattrakul (7th – $145,700). Viacheslav Buldygin soon followed, with his K-J running into the A-Q of a surging Antonius. Neither player improved and Buldygen was sent home with $190,500 for his sixth-place showing.

Having lost the previously mentioned bug hand to Antonius, Kenney found herself near the bottom of the leaderboard when five-handed play began. She ultimately got her last eight or so big blinds all-in with AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit facing the KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit of Mustafov. A king-high flop left Kenney in rough shape, and she was drawing dead after the turn. She earned a career-best $240,500 for her fifth-place showing, increasing her lifetime earnings to more than $592,000 on the live circuit.

Mustafov doubled through O’Dwyer during four-handed action to overtake the lead. He then extended his advantage when his ADiamond Suit10Diamond Suit held against the QSpade Suit9Heart Suit of bracelet winner Danny Tang, who shoved from the small blind for just more than 12 big blinds. Mustafov made a flush to take down the pot, eliminating Tang in fourth place ($300,000). The score saw his career earnings grow to more than $12.8 million in the process.

Just a few hands later, the hand of the final table was dealt. Mustafaov min-raised to 800,000 on the button with 10Heart Suit8Club Suit. Antonius called from the big blind with JHeart Suit2Heart Suit and the flop came down 7Heart Suit6Club Suit2Club Suit. Mustafov bet 700,000 with his gutshot straight draw and Antonius called with bottom pair. Atonius picked up a backdoor flush draw with the QHeart Suit on the turn. Mustafov fired another barrel, this time for 1,400,000. Antonius called again and the ADiamond Suit completed the board. Mustafov moved all-in. Antonius went into the tank for a few minutes while he debated calling off his last 3,500,000, and was down to his final few seconds of time bank before he announced a call with just bottom pair. Mustafov revealed his bluff and Antonius took down the massive pot with his pair of deuces to take a sizable lead.

Steve O’Dwyer’s run in this event came to an end when he shoved KSpade Suit6Diamond Suit for his last eight big blinds from the button. Antonius called with AHeart Suit7Spade Suit from the small blind and Mustafov got out of the way. The board ran out 10Heart Suit6Spade Suit3Heart Suit7Diamond Suit8Spade Suit to give Antonius a winning pair of sevens. O’Dwyer earned $362,000 and 616 POY points for his strong showing in this event. This was his eighth final table of the year, with three titles won and nearly $1.7 million in POY earnings accrued. He now sits in 14th place in the POY race as a result.

With that, Antonius took more than a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Mustafov. He extended that advantage even further in the first few deals of their showdown. In the final hand of the tournament, Mustafov limped in with JHeart SuitJClub Suit from the button and Antonius checked his big blind with 7Club Suit6Spade Suit. The flop came down 5Heart Suit4Heart Suit3Heart Suit, giving Antonius a straight and Mustafov a flush draw to go with his overpair to the board. Antonius checked and Mustafov made the minimum bet: 500,000. Antonius check-raised to 1,500,000. Mustafov shoved for 5,950,000 total and Antonius called. The 3Spade Suit turn and AClub Suit river locked up the pot and the title for Antonius. Mustafov earned a career-high score of $557,000 as the runner-up, increasing his lifetime earnings to more than $3 million.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Patrik Antonius $825,000 924 495
2 Fahredin Mustafov $557,000 770 334
3 Steve O’Dwyer $362,000 616 217
4 Danny Tang $300,000 462 180
5 Ebony Kenny $240,500 385 144
6 Viacheslav Buldygin $190,500 308 114
7 Kannapong Thanarattrakul $145,700 231 87
8 Seth Davies $109,500 154 66

Photo credits: Joe Giron / Triton Poker.