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Biao Ding Wins Triton Cyprus $30,000 Mystery Bounty Title

The China Native Defeated Player of the Year Leader Nacho Barbero Heads-Up To Secure His First Major Live Victory


Biao Ding is the latest champion to be crowned at the 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus. The Chinese player defeated a field of 155 entries in the $30,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em mystery bounty six-max event to earn $540,500. Ding had plenty of tough competition to deal with along the way, including 2023 Card Player Player of the Year race points leader Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero, who he ultimately defeated heads-up to capture his first major live tournament title.

Ding earned 1,008 POY points as the champion, enough to move him into 15th place in the overall POY standings presented by Global Poker. While this was his first title, it was his fifth final-table finish of the year. He has now cashed for nearly $2.1 million in POY earnings so far in 2023, accounting for the vast majority of his $2.3 million in recorded lifetime cashes.

Nacho BarberoBarbero earned 840 POY points for his 10th final-table finish of the year, adding to his lead in the overall standings. With 6,075 total points, he now sits 1,206 points ahead of second-ranked Ren Lin. He has won two titles so far in 2023, including taking down the $15,000 buy-in event at the Triton Vietnam festival earlier this spring.

The big turnout to the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel & Spa in North Cyprus for this event created a total prize pool in excess of $4.6 million, with half set aside for the mystery bounties and half being awarded through the traditional prize pool. The bounties are set to be awarded during a special ceremony on Sunday, May 14, a day after Ding came away with the title.

The top 20 finishers made the money in this event, with 39 still in contention by the end of day 1. By the time the field combined onto a single table, David Yan had claimed the top spot on the leaderboard while Ding sat in the middle of the pack.

Henrik Hecklen went out on the official final table bubble, earning $92,100 as the seventh-place finisher. Bracelet winner Danny Tang soon followed when his pocket queens were outflopped by the A-2 suited of Yan.

This event saw Isaac Haxton record his 13th final-table finish of the year, the most of any player on the circuit. Haxton’s A-2 was unable to hold up against the 9-6 of Yan and he was eliminated in fifth place ($160,500). He now has nearly $5.8 million in to-date POY earnings and 4,762 POY points, good for third on the leaderboard.

Artur Martirosian was just one day removed from a sixth-place finish in the $20,000 seven-max event. He survived to the top four in this tournament but was sent to the rail with $200,000 when his A-3 ran into the A-Q of Ding. With eight final tables, a title, and nearly $3 million in POY earnings, Martirosian is now the sixth-ranked player in the 2023 POY race standings.

Ding’s A-K was beaten by the A-9 of Barbero during three-handed action to see him fall below ten big blinds, but he managed to double up through Barbero to get out of the danger zone. Barbero then made a straight against the top pair of Yan and got all of the chips in on the river to set up the heads-up showdown for the title. Yan earned $244,200 as the third-place finisher. The New Zealander now has nearly $4.6 million in recorded earnings after this latest deep run.

Barbero held roughly a 3.5:1 chip lead to start, but Ding managed an early double-up with pocket tens outracing Q-J to narrow the gap. He then doubled again with J-10 besting A-2 to move ahead in the counts.

The final hand of the tournament saw Barbero move all-in from the button for just shy of 19 big blinds with QSpade Suit9Spade Suit. Ding called with ASpade Suit5Diamond Suit and the board ran out QHeart Suit10Club Suit5Heart SuitAClub Suit2Club Suit to give him aces up and the title. Barbero was awarded $366,200 as the runner-up, bringing his POY earnings for the year to more than $3.6 million.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Biao Ding $540,500 1008
2 Nacho Barbero $366,200 840
3 David Yan $244,200 672
4 Artur Martirosian $200,000 504
5 Isaac Haxton $160,500 420
6 Danny Tang $124,400 336

Photo credits: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.