Legends wrecked by Tsang as $200k Triton Invitational hits final nine

Elton Tsang at the 2023 Triton Monte Carlo
Dave Woods
Posted on: October 25, 2023 10:35 PDT

Elton Tsang must have a soft spot for Monte Carlo. He started day 2 of the $200k Triton Invitational as chip leader. He ended the day as chip leader. And this is the same French Riviera resort where he won $12,248,912 of his $15,715,600 in career winnings.

That monster payday came in 2016 at the Big One for One Drop. Now Tsang is looking to add another $3,870,000 to his Monte Carlo tally when he tackles the final table of the Invitational tomorrow.

This tournament came with a $200,000 buy-in and attracted 73 entries in total, and the aim for the massed ranks of high-stakes pros and high-roller amateurs was first to make the 13 paid spots and share in the $14,600,000 prize pool.

Phil Ivey couldn't mount a serious challenge in the $200k Invitational Joe Giron/pokerphotoarchive.com

Legends on the way out

Those who wouldn’t make that cut-off mark included several legends of the game, and Tsang did for some of them himself.

Phil Ivey was named among the casualties after he dared to tangle with the Hong Kong pro.

Ivey: Q♦️️ Q❤️
Tsang: 8♦️ 8

Ivey got his money in the middle in great shape, although the 2♦️️10❤️ 9❤️ flop will have started some creative thinking in Tsang's mind that took shape on the 6♦️️ turn. In the end, Tsang went the traditional way, spiking an eight on the river to eliminate one of the world's best.

Next up for Tsang was nine-time Triton title winner Jason Koon, who ended day 1 second in chips.

Koon stood up to Tsang’s big stack bullying with a pre-flop small blind shove against Tsang’s button raise, only to find himself facing the biggest of big hands, aces spelling the end for Koon. Chris Brewer also busted after running into the unstoppable force, Tsang again holding aces.

Chris Brewer at the 2023 Triton Monte Carlo Chris Brewer ran into the unstoppable force of Elton Tsang Joe Giron/pokerphotoarchive.com

Looks good but never wins

One of the recurring themes inside the Monte-Carlo Sporting Salle Des Étoiles today was the misfortune that fell upon those staking their tournament hopes and dreams on “big slick”.

The ever-tempting AK was brutally beaten in at least five bust-out hands, with Seidel falling to Murray Williams’ QQ and Tim Adams likewise losing to Paul Phua’s pocket ladies.  

With the money bubble at hand, 15th place Tim Busso found AK only to lose to Dan Smith’s pocket aces, and then we had the stone-cold bubble hand. The losing hand? Yep, you’ve guessed it.

Juan Pardo: A♦️️ K♦️️
Elton Tsang: A Q❤️

It was Tsang again who did the dirty, and it was a brutal way to bust on a $300k bubble for Pardo. The 5♦️️ 5 A flop looked good for the Spanish poker pro. The Q on the turn wasn't as welcome, and the river bricked to send him home.

Juan Pardo Joe Giron/pokerphotoarchive.com

That left the remaining 13 players in the money, with $300,000 locked up, but there was still the no-small matter of reaching the final table (incidentally, only that would allow players like Fedor Holz, who fired two bullets, to break even).

The final table bubble again came down to yet another AK confrontation, this time with Triton Poker co-founder Paul Phua holding the poisoned chalice. He lost to Alexander Shelukhin's pocket nines.

With the field down to just nine, play will resume tomorrow at level 19, with the blinds at 25k/50k/50k. With $406,000 locked up, all eyes will be on the $3,870,000 top prize, with the top 5 all paying out 7-figures.

Triton Monte Carlo $200k Invitational final table

Result Player Chips
1 Elton Tsang 3,690,000
2 Dan Smith                           3,585,000
3 Alexander Shelukhin         3,280,000
4 Jean Noel Thorel                2,735,000
5 Danny Tang                         2,370,000
6 Mario Mosböck                  1,995,000
7 Fedor Holz                           1,750,000
8 Haralabos Voulagaris        1,505,000
9 Ilkin Garibli                        970,000

Photos by Joe Giron/Triton Poker