Chris Moneymaker Wins His First Triton Title For $903,000

The fan favorite Chris Moneymaker triumphed in his first-ever Triton Poker Series event, rekindling some memories of his legendary 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event victory. The poker community seems nothing but thrilled as Moneymaker took down the opening $25,000 GG Million event at the Montenegro Triton series, held at the Maestral Resort.

The event attracted a field of 163 entries, full of pros and high-stakes regulars, but in the end, Moneymaker’s presence and performance were the highlights. If two decades ago, he had to satellite into the $10,000 Main Event from an $86 qualifier, this time he directly bought into the $25,000 event and, with a $903,000 first-place money prize, secured the third-largest score of his illustrious career.

Fans on the livestream were (half-)joking, touting Moneymaker’s Triton victory as another poker boom catalyst—a poker boom 2.0, that is. And it really does feel a bit like 2003 again, Moneymaker himself agrees:“I wasn’t going to lose today,” Moneymaker said after the win. I could have put it in with any hand, and I would have won. I ran pure.”

Moneymaker was on the brink of elimination during the bubble phase when he pushed all-in with his one big blind stack against two players, but he survived, hitting a three-outer ace on the river for a nearly quadruple up.

“I hit a three-outer, a six-outer. I thought to myself, ‘You know what, this is going to be 2003. I’m not going to lose any more hands today,'” he recalled, drawing a parallel to his WSOP journey.

2024 Triton Poker Montenegro $25,000 GG Million$ Live Final Table Results

1Chris MoneymakerUSA$903,000
2Brian KimUSA$609,000
3Igor YaroshevskyyUkraine$419,000
4Ding BiaoChina$341,000
5Danilo VelasevicSerbia$272,000
6Adrian MateosSpain$209,500
7Lewis SpencerUK$153,000
8Morten KleinNorway$110,500
9Isaac HaxtonUSA$91,300

2024 Triton Poker Montenegro $25,000 GG Million$ Live Final Table Recap

Final Table

If, before the bubble, Chris Moneymaker was operating with a single-digit stack in terms of big blinds, he was already on top with 57bb when the final table formed, followed by Biao Ding with 31bb. Everyone else was in danger or at least in a tough ICM spot.

Isaac Haxton was the first to fall at the final table, squeezing against two players with pocket nines and crashing into Ding’s pocket jacks. Norwegian Morten Klein picked a bad spot to bluff against Brian Kim, as he lost half of his already small stack, just to lose the rest with queen-jack against Kim’s ace-seven a few hands later.

We’ve seen quite an exodus of players in rapid succession. First, Lewis Spencer exited in seventh place with pocket threes against Moneymaker’s pocket nines. In the very next hand, Adrian Mateos felt a cold shower as his pocket jacks didn’t survive against pocket threes of Kim, hitting a two outer on the river. And that was not the end of elimination as Danilo Velasevic hit the rail next. His pocket jacks also did not survive, this time in a classic coin flop against ace-queen of Kim.

Adrian Mateos

At this point, Brian Kim had almost twice the chips in play than the rest of the field, with Ding and Igor Yaroshevskyy being very short. It was Moneymaker who was in danger of being eliminated, though, as he called Kim’s al-in with king-queen, and Kim tabled pocket threes once again. Moneymaker hit his six outer on the river and leveled the playing field.

Kim eliminated Ding Biao with ace-king against ace-ten. Moneymaker knocked out Yaroshevskyy with ace-eight against Ukrainian’s queen-three, and we’ve got an all-American heads-up battle.

Brian Kim

Moneymaker had a slight lead, and it didn’t take long before he had all the chips in his possession. Chris opened the pot with ace-ten, and Brian shoved with ace-eight. The 2003 WSOP champion thought for a few seconds before making a call. A ten on the flop sealed the deal, and Moneymaker celebrated his first Triton title in Montenegro.

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