Nacho Barbero became the first South American winner of a Triton Poker event by steamrollering his way to the $15k NLHE event #2 of the SHR Series Vietnam stop, a victory worth $600,000 to the Argentinian pro who recently lost a fortune in crypto...
The field of 172 entries set a new record for a Triton event, which had already been smashed by event 1, won by Webster Lim the previous day.
Only 37 players made it through to day two, and of those only 23 would make it to the paid spots, Sam Greenwood, Artur Martirosian and Danny Tang among those missing out.
Scotland’s Andrew Leathem would be the unfortunate bubble-boy, getting his last few chips in with 9♣ 4♥ only to be splatted by Kiat Lee’s K♥ Q♠.
There was still plenty of work to be done to reach the final table, highstakes crushers Stephen Chidwick and Steve O’Dwyer unable to advance much further.
Those who did make it included Linus Loeliger, Seth Davies and Jens Arends, with Nacho Barbero hoping to recover a chunk of the money he says he lost in recent cryptocurrency scandals!
Despatching Loeliger and Malaysia’s Kean Wei Tan, Barbero then took out Seth Davies...
It was becoming a one-man show by this stage, the 40-year-old Argentinian unable to do any wrong and winning a race to send Ponakovs out in 5th spot.
That still left $1.5million of the $2.58million prizepool to be decided, Lee taking $222k of it for 4th spot, and then Barbero facing off with Kim.
The US pro was ahead but at risk, holding A♥ 10♣ against Barbero’s A♣ 9♥ but the river brought a nine and Kim had to be content with 3rd spot and $271,000.
Heads-up between Barbero and Arends came down to a triple-barrel bluff from the Netherlands pro...
Barbero: A♣ 2♦
Arends: 7♣ 6♣
Board: 8♦ 4♦ 4♣ A♥ 3♣
...but Barbero eventually called and received the great news – he was officially a Triton Poker champion.
Kean Wei Tan