Local Hero Dao Minh Phu Grabs Triton Title and $1,670,000 Ahead of Elite Field in Vietnam

March 8, 2023
Andrew Burnett

There was unexpected local success at the Triton Poker Vietnam stop, 42-year-old Dao Minh Phu toppling a field of the world’s finest highroller MTT players to lift the $50k SHR title and pocket $1,670,000...

Phu, who had only $93k lifetime live earnings prior to this week, was among 139 entries (88 unique players) who combined to produce a $6,950,000 prizepool.

Adrian Mateos, Jonathan Jaffe and Ike Haxton were among the players to bow out before the paid spots on day two, while Fedor Holz’s exit was particularly brutal...

The money bubble burst when Viktor Kudinov’s pocket nines couldn’t improve against Lun Loon’s queens, meaning the remaining 20 players were guaranteed $90,400.

Steve O’Dwyer, Stephen Chidwick, Chris Brewer, Bryn Kenney and Nick Petrangelo all fell before the final table, but Sam Greenwood made it to 9th spot for a $166,800 payout.

Linus Loeliger’s bustout at the hands of Dan Smith was as dramatic as poker hands get, the Swiss pro out in 8th with $215,500 as consolation.

Chinese player Biao Ding then accounted for Heath and Chappe-Gatien and then Phu took over to send Patrik Antonius tumbling out when K♦ J♥ couldn’t improve against the Vietnamese player’s pocket sixes.

Buldygin exited in 4th place, a painful runout for the Russian...

Ding: Q♦ J♠
Buldygin: K♥ K♣

Board: 10♦ 2♥ Q♣ 8♦ 9♠

...and when Dan Smith’s shortstack fell, it was heads-up between two almost complete unknowns in one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

Ding had already improved on his 6th spot finish in event 5, but he couldn’t add a title to it as the cards fell in Phu’s favour...

Final results


Dao Minh Phu



Biao Ding



Dan Smith



Viacheslav Buldygin



Patrik Antonius



Karl Chappe-Gatien



Ben Heath



Linus Loeliger



Sam Greenwood


“I just learnt poker three years ago,” Phu said afterwards, his pregnant wife among the rail cheering him on to success. He added: “This is the first time I have played a big tournament, and I’m so happy.”

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