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WATCH: Gut-Wrenching Bad Beat Helps Decide Elite Triton Series Poker Event

Anyone who’s ever played a game of poker has likely experienced a bad beat at some point or another.

There are very few players, however, who can attest to losing to a one-outer at the final table of a $64,000 buy-in event with a tournament-leading stack on the line.

After this weekend, poker pro Mikita Badziakouski is one of them.

The Belarusian pro lost the hand in question to Devan Tang during the high-stakes Triton Series festival currently taking place in Jeju, South Korea. The pair collided in the $64,000 buy-in Short Deck Hold’em event with just seven players left and over $1.2 million up for grabs for first place.

You can watch the hand above (starting at the 3:17 mark) but we’ll also break it down below.

The SetUp

The second event of the 2019 Triton Series in Jeju, South Korea is down to just seven players.

The event in question is the $64,000 buy-in Short Deck Hold’em. Short Deck Hold’em is a relatively new addition to the poker world. It’s also known as 6+ Hold’em because it eliminates 2, 3, 4 and 5 from the deck.

Because the Short Deck Hold’em deck is only made up of 36 cards, there’s a better chance of getting premium hands and that tends to lead to more action. It’s actually starting to be offered by more and more online poker sites. You can learn the basics in our Short Deck Hold’em Strategy guide.

The final table includes some notable players with high-stakes North American pros Isaac Haxton, Peter Jetten and Jason Koon out in full force. There’s also a solid contingent of Asian pros Devan Tang (China) and Chan Wai Leong (Malaysia).

Finally, Europe is also on display with Belarusian Mikita Badziakouski and French pro Arnaud Romain.

Romain is currently leading the tournament with 6.1 million. Badziakouski and Tang are both near the middle of the pack with approximately three million chips.

The next player to bust will receive $210,237 but the payouts scale all the way up to $1.23 million for first place.

The Action

Mikita Badziakouski limps from middle position and Arnaud Romain, Devan Tang, Jason Koon and Peter Jetten come along for the ride.

There’s 360,000 in the pot and the flop comes Ks-Qd-6c.

Badziakouski checks but Romain fires 180,000 into the pot. Tang and Badziakouski both call. Everyone else folds.

The dealer puts out the 8c for the turn and once again Badziakouski checks but Romain fires 625,000 into the pot. Tang calls but Badziakouski goes deep into the tank pondering his decision.

Finally, after thinking for nearly two minutes, Badziakouski announces he’s all-in for 3.34 million.

Romain folds and it is now Tang’s turn to tank. He thinks for a good couple of minutes but eventually makes the call. The pot now has 7.9 million chips as the players reveal their hands.

Tang: 6d-6s (bottom set)
Badziakouski: Qc-Qs (top set)

It appears that Tang will be eliminated from the tournament and starts taking off his mic. The hand isn’t over, however, and a miracle six will technically save Tang.

As luck would have it, the dealer puts out the 6h on the river and Tang ships the massive pot with quad sixes.

In nearly any other situation, there would be joyous shouting or expletives but players at the final table barely react.

Even Tang didn’t notice he won the pot until Jason Koon pointed it out. The rest of the table (including Badziakouski) are quiet but clearly stunned by the game-changing river card.


Devan Tang was down to just a single out and had a slim four percent chance to hit.

That’s exactly what happened when the last six in the deck hit the river. Most people don’t even play pocket sixes because it’s the worst pair in Short Deck (like pocket deuces in regular Hold’em).

The hand is a good example of how fast the landscape can change in No-Limit (especially Short Deck). If Badziakouski wins that hand, he’s the heavy favorite to win the tournament.

Instead Tang spikes his six and actually went on to beat Canadian pro Peter Jetten heads-up to take down the tournament for $1.2 million.

Badziakouski busted on the very next hand and had to settle for seventh place and $210,237. Not bad but definitely shy of the $1.2 million for first place.