After the No-Limit Hold ‘Em events had come and gone, a special breed of poker players took their seats at the Triton tables this week. Continuing with tradition, the exciting Short Deck events took over in the latter half of the festival.
Among these high rollers, there is some overlap of players that play both games. However, some No-Limit Hold ‘Em players flew home before the Short Deck began, while other Short Deck specialists arrived just for the finish of the series.
The Triton Vietnam schedule came to an end here at the Hoiana Resort & Golf with two events: the 100k Short Deck Main Event and the 20k Short Deck. Aaron Zang of China took down the Main Event, winning 1,544,000 and his second Triton title in the process. Sam Greenwood of the United States won the 20k event, netting 207,000 as well as his second Triton title. Below are the full final table results for both events.
100k Short Deck Main Event Results
|2||Michael Zhang||United Kingdom||1,115,000|
|4||Phil Chiu||Hong Kong||540,000|
|7||Jason Koon||Unites States||257,000|
20k Short Deck Results
|3||Isaac Haxton||United States||91,000|
|4||Seth Davies||United States||65,800|
|5||Wei Hsiang Yeu||Malaysia||53,200|
Typical Short Deck rules
If you’re unfamiliar with Short Deck, sometimes call 6+ Hold ‘Em, it’s a fun variant that you should include in your arsenal. Coming from No-Limit Hold ‘Em, you get to play more hands, gamble a bit more, and ride the variance that the game brings.
Short Deck removes the twos, threes, fours, and fives from the deck, hence the name 6+ Hold ‘Em. The new deck of 36 cards means any odds, percentages, and equities you might know from No-Limit Hold ‘Em go out the door. Additionally, there’s one key switch in hand rankings: a flush now beats a full house.
Also, most of the time the game is played “Ante-Only,” meaning there are no blinds. Each player posts an ante, and generally the player on the button posts two antes. Hence, you often get great pot odds to enter the pot preflop. Many players employ a limp-heavy strategy with said pot odds. Finally, in tournaments, you’re often given three “bullets,” each worth a starting stack. You may put all three starting stacks on the table from the start, or elect to add them on whenever you so choose.
I’ll share a few examples of equity changes that may be hard for a No-Limit Hold ‘Em player to adjust to. Preflop, 10-J suited is nearly a coinflip versus A-K suited. A set is actually a small favorite against a flopped straight. Also, if you like pocket aces, you get dealt the rockets once every 105 hands instead of once every 220. Obviously, it’s an action-inducing game.
Where to play
Triton was the first live tournament operator to host live Short Deck ante-only tournaments. So, if you want to play high-roller action against the best in the world, follow Triton to their next incredible venue. They’ve already announced they’re heading to Cyprus in May.
However, the WSOP has recently followed suit. This year, they’re offering Short Deck at two price points, a $1,500 buy-in and a $10,000 buy-in this summer in Las Vegas.
If you’re unconvinced, here’s what Sam Greenwood had to stay following his victory. “More people should give it a try,” shared Greenwood. “It’s a really fun game. It’s not as solvable as No-Limit because so many hands are multi-ways. It’s a much more social game because there are so many multi-way pots. At first, people might be intimidated, and if you’ve never played before you’re going to make some really big mistakes. But the good thing about Short Deck is any mistake you make can’t be that bad.”
As with most newer games, it attracts a lot of players who are still learning the strategy, so there can be great value if you put the work in. You can watch the Triton games on replay on their YouTube channel here, including Zang’s recent win. Study up, and you might find yourself loving the great game of Short Deck yourself.
All photos credit Joe Giron and Triton Poker.