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Richard Yong Wins $25,000 Short Deck In Cyprus For Second Triton Title

The Tour's Co-Founder Topped A 38-Entry Field To Earn $323,000


Richard Yong has won the 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series North Cyprus $25,000 short deck event, a field of 38 entries to earn $323,000 and his second title on the high-stakes poker tour that he co-founded with Paul Phua.

“When we learned poker, me and Paul liked to play tournaments everywhere,” he told Triton reporters after the win. “So we started Triton and we are very happy that Triton has grown so much.”

Yong’s first Triton win came over five years ago when he took down a $250,000 buy-in six-max event in Montenegro. Yong now has nearly $16.2 million in tournament earnings, despite only recording 26 cashes. That means his average in-the-money finish has been worth over $622,000.

The second and final day of this event began with just six players remaining, each of them guaranteed at least $66,500 after bracelet winner and two-time Triton champion Danny Tang was knocked out on the bubble at the end of day 1. Recent pot-limit Omaha event winner Michael Watson came into the day as the leader, with Yong in fourth chip position when cards got back in the air inside the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel & Spa.

Despite starting off on top of the leaderboard, Watson was ultimately the first player to be eliminated on day 2. He lost an all-in to four-time Triton champion Mikita Badziakouski early on, and then continued to slide down the leaderboard before getting all-in with pocket queens against the A-K of Yong. A king-high flop left Watson in rough shape, and Yong then improved to an unbeatable nut flush on the turn to confirm Watson’s elimination in sixth place.

This was Watson’s eighth final table of the year, with four titles won along the way. With 3,968 Card Player Player of the Year points and more than $3.2 million in to-date POY earnings, Watson is now the fifth-ranked player in the 2023 POY race standings.

Badziakouski’s run in this event came to an end when his A-7 suited ran into the A-J suited of Anson Ewe. Badziakouski flopped a straight flush draw, but Ewe made a queen-high straight by the end to secure the pot and narrow the field to four. Badziakouski earned $85,500 as the fifth-place finisher. This was his sixth final-table finish of the year, with more than $3.9 million in earnings accrued across those results. He is now 16th on the POY leaderboard, presented by Global Poker.

Reigning POY award winner Stephen Chidwick was the next player sent to the rail in brutal fashion. He got all-in with pocket queens facing the A-7 suited of Chris Brewer. and improved to a full house on a KHeart SuitKDiamond SuitQSpade Suit flop. The AHeart Suit turn gave Brewer four outs to a higher full house, and the KSpade Suit was one of them. That card on the river gave him kings full of aces and the pot, sending Chidwick home with $110,000 for his efforts. The British poker pro now has more than $46.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings, good for fourth on the all-time money list. Badziakouski and his $44.6 million are just a few spots behind in seventh place on that vaunted leaderboard.

The next big showdown saw Ewe get all-in with AHeart SuitADiamond Suit facing the JSpade Suit10Spade Suit, which had 37 percent equity thanks to the peculiarities of short deck. Brewer flopped a gutshot straight draw and found the requisite eight on the river to win the hand, eliminating Ewe in third place ($143,000).

Brewer took a healthy chip lead into heads-up play with Yong, starting with 183 antes to Yong’s 102. It was a back-and-forth affair that lasted multiple hours, with several big all-in hands won by the shorter stack along the way to prolong the battle. The key showdown that saw Yong take a decisive lead had his pocket queens beat the 10-9 suited of Brewer, who flopped two pair after the chips went in preflop, only to have running queens give Yong quads and the double up.

Brewer eventually got his remaining chips all-in with JDiamond SuitJClub Suit facing the AHeart Suit7Spade Suit of Yong. The board ran out AClub SuitQSpade SuitQClub Suit6Diamond Suit9Diamond Suit to see Brewer knocked out in second place ($222,000).

This was Brewer’s 11th final table of 2023, with three titles won and more than $3 million in POY earnings secured. He now occupies the eighth-place spot in the POY rankings after this latest strong finish.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Richard Yong $323,000 336
2 Chris Brewer $222,000 280
3 Anson Ewe $143,000 224
4 Stephen Chidwick $110,000 168
5 Mikita Badziakouski $85,500 140
6 Michael Watson $66,500 112

Photo credit: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.