Rui Cao Wins Triton Poker Montenegro Short Deck Main Event for $3,350,728

Rui Cao Wins Triton Poker Montenegro Short Deck Main Event for $3,350,728

Rui Cao

Rui Cao outlasted a field of 98 entrants including 51 reentries to win the Triton Poker Montenegro HKD 1,000,000 Short Deck Main Event at the 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro for HKD 26,300,000 ($3,350,725).

The win nearly doubled Cao’s lifetime career earnings to $7.5 million and pushed him from tenth to fifth place on The Hendon Mob’s France All Time Money List past the likes of Sylvain Loosli (6th – $7.4 million), Fabrice Soulier (seventh – $6.4 million), Roger Hairabedian (eighth – $5.2 million), Jean-Noel Thorel (ninth – $5.1 million), and Julien Martini (tenth – $4.1 million).

Cao had two close calls last year to win his first Triton Poker title. The victory was not only his first Triton Poker title but also his first time he hoisted the winner’s trophy in any live poker tournament.

"First time I ever won a tournament, and this is a good one," Cao told Triton Poker after his big win. "So I’m happy."

2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro HKD 1,000,000 Short Deck Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (HKD) Prize (USD)
1 Rui Cao France HKD 26,300,000 $3,350,725
2 Paul Phua Malaysia HKD 17,100,000 $2,178,608
3 Romain Arnaud France HKD 11,800,000 $1,503,367
4 Daniel Dvoress Canada HKD 9,070,000 $1,155,554
5 Kenneth Kee Singapore HKD 7,200,000 $917,309
6 Ming Zhong Liu Hong Kong HKD 5,620,000 $716,010
7 Tong Siow Choon Malaysia HKD 4,400,000 $560,578

The final day began after the eliminations of Isaac Haxton (eighth – HKD 3,400,000/$433,174), Timofey Kuznetsov (ninth – HKD 2,630,000/$335,073), Mikita Badziakouski (tenth – HKD 2,300,000/$293,029), and Guang Pu Lu (eleventh – HKD 2,300,000/$293,029) took place on Day 2 to create a seven player final table for the final day.

Tong Siow Choon was the first player eliminated at the final table when he got his last 20 antes in with ace-jack only to run into the big slick held by Kenneth Kee. The seventh-place prize of HKD 4,400,000 ($560,578) was his second largest with his biggest coming when he took third place in the Triton Poker Super Series Jeju HKD 1,000,000 Short Deck Main Event in March for HKD 6,260,000/$797,494.

Ming Zhong Liu was the next to go in sixth place for HKD 5,620,000 ($716,010) for his only The Hendon Mob cash. Liu jammed jack-ten and didn’t get there against the big slick held by Daniel Dvoress.

Kenneth Kee also notched his only The Hendon Mob cash after bowing out in fifth place for HKD 7,200,000 ($917,309). Kee jammed queen-jack suited and was outmatched by the king-queen held by Dvoress.

Despite Dvoress being responsible for the last two eliminations, he was the next to go in fourth place for HKD 9,070,000 ($1,155,554). He got it all in with jack-ten against the ace-queen held by Triton Poker Co-Founder Paul Phua. It was looking good for Dvoress to double as he flopped trips after two tens paired the flop.

Phua asked for a jack and a king and got his wish as these were the cards to run out on the turn and river to give him a straight to eliminate Dvoress.

Romain Arnaud then got it all-in on the turn with third pair and a flush draw on the turn holding king-seven suited against Phua’s two pair with big slick. The flush draw was the only thing live and the river didn’t complete it to eliminated Arnaud in third place for HKD 11,800,000 ($1,503,367).

Despite Cao not eliminating a single player at the final table he entered heads-up play with a small lead against Phua with both players seeking their first Triton Poker victory. Cao was able to chip-up before his pocket jacks were good enough to beat Phua’s ace-queen.

Phua, who now has nearly $11 million in lifetime poker earnings, didn’t walk away empty-handed as he collected a formidable runner-up prize of HKD 17,100,000 ($2,178,608) for his biggest poker cash.

Rui Cao Wins Triton Poker Montenegro Short Deck Main Event for ,350,728 101
Triton Poker Super Series Montenegro Short Deck Main Event Final Table

Photography by Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive


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  • Rui Cao notches his first live tournament victory in a big way in Montenegro.

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