Ash cloud

The Triton Poker livestreams are a seasonal delight for poker fans, particularly those who love to rail the procedures of those at the upper echelons of our beautiful game. This week, poker’s high stakes roadshow has taken up residence in Jeju, the South Korean island famed for its white sand beaches and stunning volcanic landscape. For the next fortnight, however, the only ash cloud will be the one emanating from the torched buy-ins of unlucky poker players.

Event 1 is already in the books and it is German Wunderkind-turned-Übermensch Fedor Holz who won his fourth Triton title and the lion’s share of the Triton bucks, having stilettoed his way through a record-breaking 269-entrant field. Down the home stretch, he had to fend off challenges from the hyper aggressive Dominykas Mikolaitis, the dangerous Dimitar Dancyev, end-boss Nick Petrangelo, and the unpredictable Seth Gottlieb.

signaled that his hunger and passion for the game has been reborn

Holz won $786,000 for his efforts, a drop in the veritable ocean of his live career earnings but, interestingly, in his post-match interview with Ali Nejad, he signaled that his hunger and passion for the game has been reborn. In 2016, he announced his retirement from poker, but that didn’t stop him from adding to his riches as a part-timer. In fact, this result has brought his tally to $21m in live winnings since his retirement, exactly half of his lifetime total.

269 to 1

47 of the 269 players cashed in this $15,900 buy-in opener in Jeju, suggesting that we are in for yet another record-breaking stop on poker’s most luxurious travelling circus. Notables who made the money included Espen Jorstad (46th), Timothy Adams (40th), Michael Soyza (37th), Jesse Lonis (28th), Daniel Dvoress (25th), Lewis Spencer (21st), Aleksejs Panakov (17th), and ACR CEO Phil Nagy (13th) who may or may not have raised the buy-in at Schiphol Airport en route to South Korea.

The final table was set when the in-form Isaac Haxton 4-bet shoved his A-J and failed to improve versus the A-K of then chip leader Gottlieb. Pieter Aerts was the short stack and he snap-busted in 9th. Ken Tong and the unlucky Josh McCully were not far behind, busting in 8th and 7th, respectively. Lun Loon played out of his skin all tournament, but he was next to go, bowing out in 6th place.

From there, Gottlieb busted both Mikolaitis (5th) and Petrangelo (4th), while Holz eliminated Danchev (3rd). Heads-up would be a dramatic encounter as the amateur Gottlieb, who is a Digital Marketing executive, fought doggedly in pursuit of his second Triton title. In a key hand, Holz cracked his Aces and never looked back.

Five ingredients

Speaking to Nejad after the win, Holz paid tribute to the organizers at Triton for putting on a great tournament. The huge number of entries in Event 1 certainly bodes well, both for this festival and for the expectant audience for whom these livestreams are a quarterly treat. But why are the Triton Poker livestreams so good? There are a few ingredients.

First and foremost, the players on the show are the best of the best, willing to cannibalize one another because the tour pampers them and because there is a nice amount of marbling in the form of VIPs. Secondly, the staff on and off the felt are the cream of the crop. The events managers understand the needs of their idiosyncratic clientele while the dealers and floor staff run a smooth seamless game.

the Triton app is a landmark invention in poker coverage

Thirdly, the coverage is produced by ShareHand, the best livestream team in the business. Working alongside these guys and seeing their attention to detail up close, I am always impressed by their hard work, innovation and creativity. Fourthly, the Triton app is a landmark invention in poker coverage, augmenting the viewing experience and allowing railbirds to widen the lens beyond what is being depicted on the feature table. It has brought poker coverage into the interactive TV era.

Last, but certainly not least, the organizers hire top notch talent – commentators who bring their wealth of playing and analytic experience. This element contributes enormously to Triton’s polished boutique brand of nosebleed poker action.

VegasSlotsOnline News spoke to Nejad who broke down the formula as he sees it: “When it comes to live poker streaming, the winning recipe is simple: elite pro fields seasoned with wealthy vips, wrapped in top notch production quality. As a Triton commentator or casual viewer, the boxes are checked and the ingredients just all there.”

Dempsey praises Triton talent

To ensure that high broadcast standards are met, Triton’s secret weapon is talent producer James Dempsey, an excellent commentator and top player in his own right. He knows what the viewer wants to see and hear. He was the voice of partypoker for many years and has been on the mic for WPT, WSOPE and Merit Poker streams. He also possesses a playing resume that includes a WSOP bracelet, a WPT title, and victory in the Brighton Summer Shaker. VSO News reached out to Dempsey ahead of the festival:

“We never sit still at Triton and it’s great to be able to welcome Nick Schulman and Brian Rast back to the booth, two guys who are respected in the high stakes world both as players and commentators. Also joining us for the first time is Will Jaffe, a man who has been making waves in the poker world. We are very much looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the coverage as Triton is always looking to nurture up and coming talent.”

possesses a unique ability to keep commentary sounding fresh day after day”

Dempsey also praised the reigning GPI Global Poker Award-winning broadcaster Nejad for his quality and consistency on the mic:

“Ali leads the team once again and we are lucky to have him. His broadcasting experience is second to none in our industry and he possesses a unique ability to keep commentary sounding fresh day after day.”

There is no doubt that Nejad’s quintessential smoothness is synonymous with Triton livestreams as he ties together each and every frame with the unlikeliest of segues. He is simultaneously slick, playful, and mischievous and his “night shift” repartee with Schulman is the apex of poker commentary. I suspect we are in for a fun couple of weeks.

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