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£1-Million Buy-in Poker Tournament Poised to Break Records in London

Triton Million in London
Triton Series

The world’s biggest poker series ended a mere two weeks ago but another record-breaking tournament is right around the corner.

The Triton High Roller Series is headed to London later this week for a series of super high-stakes events from July 31 to August 8, including one tournament that will become the biggest buy-in event ever held.

The Triton Million for Charity in London will feature an eye-popping £1.05-million buy-in. When converted to USD, that equals $1.2 million, which is enough to set the record as the biggest buy-in tournament ever held. £50,000 from each buy-in will go toward charity.

Some of the world’s best poker players including Tom Dwan, Jason Koon and Dan “Jungleman” Cates are expected to play the No-Limit Hold’em tournament.

Previously the world’s biggest buy-in tournament was the €1-million buy-in Monte Carlo Extravaganza, which took place in 2016. Chinese-Canadian Elton Tsang won that event for €11 million but the Triton Million first-place prize will likely be even bigger.

Field Will Be 50% Amateurs, 50% Pros

The Triton Million for Charity will feature an innovative invite-only structure in an effort to give wealthy businessmen better odds to win the tournament.

Essentially, organizers invited a number of businessmen who’d shown interest in playing the tournament. Each businessman who was invited has the option of choosing one professional player to join the competition.

For instance, Malaysian businessman Paul Phua chose Tom Dwan so that the fan-favorite cash-game pro could take part in the tournament.

Limiting the overall number of pros isn’t the only way that the Triton Million has been juiced up for amateur players. The tournament will feature a segregated player pool for Day 1 where the pros will compete only against pros and the businessmen against each other.

The segregated player pools should make for fascinating strategy as the best poker players in the world will be forced to go toe to toe with each other while the amateur players will get at least one day to sharpen their game before facing off against elite competition.

How $1m Buy-ins Became Normal

For years the biggest poker tournament was the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.

Then with the online poker boom of the mid-2000s, the goalposts started to get moved back further and further.

The WPT Championship tried a $25,000 buy-in tournament and the popular Aussie Millions in Australia pioneered the high roller concept with $100,000 and $250,000 challenges.

Super high rollers were particularly popular in Asia where wealthy businessmen loved to battle it out in luxurious casinos in Macau or Manila.

Finally, the WSOP changed the game in 2012 when it leapfrogged the competition with the first-ever $1-million buy-in tournament: The Big One for One Drop. The event attracted the attention of wealthy businessmen by giving away $111,111 of the buy-in to charity. It also had the added prestige of offering a WSOP gold bracelet to the winner.

Since then the WSOP has hosted three $1-million buy-in tournaments in Las Vegas but decided to break its own record in 2016 with a special Monte Carlo Extravaganza that featured a €1-million buy-in. That event took place outside of Vegas and didn’t award a gold bracelet to the winner.

In the past few years, the Triton High Roller Series, which is based in Macau, has emerged as the leader in the super high roller space. The series has awarded tens of millions to participants in its short history.

Here’s a look at every $1-million or higher buy-in tournament that has ever taken place:

YearEvent nameEntrantsWinnerPrize (US$)
2012$1,000,000 Big One for One Drop48Antonio Esfandiari$18.3 Million
2014$1,000,000 Big One for One Drop42Dan Colman$15.3 Million
2016€1,000,000 Monte Carlo One Drop Extravaganza28Elton Tsang$12.2 Million
2018$1,000,000 Big One for One Drop27Justin Bonomo$10 Million

Tournament to Be Broadcast on PokerGO

The entire Triton Million for Charity will be broadcast on poker-streaming service PokerGO so that everyone can get some first-hand insight into how the best poker players go about their business when millions are at stake.

Popular poker commentators Nick Schulman, Ali Nejad, Randy Lew, Lex Veldhuis and Jeff Gross will be in the booth for the tournament.

The entire Triton Super High Roller Festival in London, which includes eight different events, will take place at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

At the time this article was published, there were 41 players confirmed for the event with organizers estimating 45 players as a realistic target.

With 42 players, the Triton Million would offer a prize pool of $40 million. With that prize pool, first place would be worth well over $10 million, which would make it one of the top five biggest payouts ever.

Here’s a list of the 41 currently confirmed players:

  • Paul Phua – Tom Dwan
  • Richard Yong – Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates
  • Stanley Choi – David Peters
  • Wai Kin Yong – Rui Cao
  • Bobby Baldwin – Jason Koon
  • Cary Katz – Bryn Kenney
  • Kiang Yu – Mikita Badziakouski
  • Ivan Leow – Timofey Kuznetsov
  • Rob Yong – Sam Trickett
  • Alfred De Carolis – Stephen Chidwick
  • Chin Wei Lim – Wai Leong Chan
  • Chow Hing Yaung – Christoph Vogelsang
  • Pat Madden – Nick Petrangelo
  • Talal Shakerchi – Igor Kurganov
  • Sosia Jiang – Sam Greenwood
  • Wang Qiang – Elton Tsang
  • Zang Shu Nu – Tan Xuan
  • Tony G – Fedor Holz
  • Leon Tsoukernik – Martin Kabrhel
  • Orpen Kisacikoglu – Matthias Eibinger
  • Rick Salomon – TBA

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