Mikita Badziakouski became the first player to win four Triton Poker Super High Roller events when he bulldozed his way to victory in the Triton Super High Roller Series Madrid #7 €50,000 7-Handed event. The impressive victory came with a €1,340,000 prize, which takes Badziakouski’s live poker lifetime winnings past $34.3 million.
Badziakouski’s first Triton title came in May 2018 when he won the HK$1,000,000 event in Montenegro. The Belarusian walked away with HK$19,168,400 ($2,499,184) on that occasion.
He didn’t have long to wait to win his second Triton title because he came out on top in the HK$2,000,000 Super High Roller in Jeju, South Korea in July of the same year, a result that came with a colossal HK$41,250,000 ($5,257,027) addition to his bankroll.
Title number three came with a HK$13,300,000 ($1,694,397) payout, Badziakouski’s reward for taking down a HK$750,000 Short Deck tournament in Montenegro. Now the superstar has a fourth Triton title after navigating his way through a 111-strong field in Madrid.
Twenty-three of the 101 entrants progressed to Day 2 but only 13 of those returning players would see any of the €5,050,000 prize pool find its way to their wallets. Such luminaries as Patrik Antonius, Stephen Chidwick, and Erik Seidel fell by the wayside but it was Wiktor Malinowski who was the unfortunate 14th place finish and, therefore, recipient of the unwanted bubble boy title.
Brian Rast busted almost immediately after Malinoski popped the money bubble. Phachara Wongwichit and the legendary Phil Ivey joined Rast on the rail, with the Adrian Mateos’ exit left the field size in single digits. Danish grinder Henrik Hecklen bowed out in ninth, and the remaining eight players moved to a single table.
Badziakouski sat down at the final table with the chip lead, with Linus Loeliger finding himself sat behind the shortest stack. The two clashed early into the final table action, Loeliger jamming 13 big binds with ace-nine only to lose to Badziakouski’s king-queen courtesy of a king on the flop.
Norway’s Tom-Askel Bedell crashed out in seventh for €240,000, the fourth six-figure score of his career. Then came the elimination of Brazilian Bruno Volkmann, a player better known for his online poker prowess. Volkmann’s impressive sixth place finish came with €303,000.
The finalists gained a little more elbow room when Dutch player Kevin Paque was eliminated in fifth place. Paque crashed out when his ace-four lost to the queen-deuce of Danny Tang. The €389,000 Paque collected is a new career-high for the man from the Netherlands, surpassing the €260,878 he collected after winning the 2019 Master Classic of Poker Main Event.
The final four became three when Mike Watson and Tang clashed. Tang opened preflop before calling a Watson shove. Watson flipped over pocket fours but the hot-running Tang had a pair of aces in the hole. The five community cards provided no drama, but this deep run provided Watson with €482,300 payday.
Heads-up was set when Tang eliminated Fedor Holz from the tournament in a cooler of a hand. Tang opened with a raise to 300,000, Holz responded with a three-bet to 1,100,000 before calling off the 3,700,000 he had behind when Tang four-bet shoved. It was ace-queen for Holz but the dominating ace-king for Tang. Tang caught a king on the flop and Holz never managed to catch up.
That hand gave Tang the chip lead but a player of Badziakouski’s calibre is never out of the running so long as he has a single chip available. Tang had his opponent on the ropes and lead by 10-to-1 at one stage. However, the Belarusian fought back, prompting the pair to discuss the possibility of a deal for the remaining prizes. Those brief discussions failed to come to fruition, and the high-stakes duo kept battling.
Something had to give eventually and it did when both players held a mere 25 big blinds between them. Tang pushed all-in with king-deuce and Badziakouski called with pocket nines. The pair held, Tang busted, and Badziakouski claimed his fourth Triton title.