It was strike one for the old-school poker pros as John Juanda fended off the challenge of Fedor Holz heads-up to lift the Triton Super High Roller Series Main Event crown in Macau – and with it US$2,872,299, far and away the biggest score of his poker career.
Immediately after his epic victory he told reporters:
"Well, obviously it feels great anytime you win a tournament of this magnitude. First, you have to play pretty well and you also have to get lucky."
The HK$1million buy-in event at the Galaxy Macau Hotel saw 83 entrants chasing the HK$ 78,086,400 (US$10,000,499) prizepool, with Juanda and Holz joined by some of the biggest names in poker, Isaac ‘Ike Haxton, Winfred Yu, Erik Seidel, Mustafa Kanit and last month’s Poker Masters runaway victor Steffen Sontheimer among them.
Only Haxton from among the latter group found his way to the money, and found himself as the only US player at the final table, Germany once again having a duo representing at the deep end of a High Roller with Dietrich Fast joining Holz in contention for the top spot.
Australian Kahle Burns was the only player who might have gone unnoticed, the Teasdale man only ever cashing in his native land and Macau, his 3rd spot today for over HK$10million (US $1,301,018) almost doubling his career tournament earnings.
Haxton was first to fall once play had been whittled down over 2 days from 57 unique entries and 26 re-entries to the official 8-handed final table on the third and final day of play, all eyes on wunderkind Holz – often an unstoppable force over the past couple of years in such events.
Once the 2nd level of play rid the table of Adams, Chidwick and Fast, play settled down for a long evening but eventually it was Juanda who disposed of both Mateos in 4th and Burns in 3rd entering heads-up with a 2:1 chip lead.
A marathon battle ensued, Holz coming back from the brink to even take the lead for a short time, but after more than 4 hours play Juanda finally overcame the younger man, Pokernews.com reporting the decisive hand…
‘John Juanda limped in on the button and Fedor Holz shoved from the big blind sending Juanda into the tank. Juanda got the count which totaled 6,875,000 and took a few moments before making the call.
Holz: A♠ 3♥
Juanda made the right call though half the time they would chop the pot. The flop fanned out 9♣ 10♥ 6♦increasing the chop outs. The 6♣ fell on the turn making it 90% likely they would chop. As the dealer patted the table one last time Juanda shouted "Five," and sure enough the 5♥ peeled out and John Juanda captured the $1,000,000 Macau Main Event.
Afterwards Juanda said:
"Playing against Fedor was really tough. He's a really awesome player and obviously, he's the guy winning all the super high rollers… it was a good long match and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it too."
Holz, for his part, tweeted…
Juanda's career tournament earnings now stand at $23,645,182 jumping him from 9th spot up to 6th in the All-time earnings list, ahead of Phil Hellmuth and only just trailing Phil Ivey.
Final Table Results
|1||John Juanda||$22,410,400 HKD||US $2,872,299|
|2||Fedor Holz||$16,398,000 HKD||US $2,101,674|
|3||Kahle Burns||$10,151,000 HKD||US $1,301,018|
|4||Adrian Mateos||$6,950,000 HKD||US $890,757|
|5||Dietrich Fast||$4,607,000 HKD||US $590,425|
|$3,436,000 HKD||US $440,380|
|7||Timothy Adams||$2,811,000 HKD||US $360,257|