The 2022 Triton Series Madrid has seen multiple high-stakes events held over the past week conclude with seven-figure paydays going to the champion. The largest top prize yet at the high roller poker festival was awarded on Sunday, May 22, when Henrik Hecklen topped a field of 93 entries in the €100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event to take home €2,170,509 ($2,279,034 USD) after striking a heads-up deal with Orpen Kisacikoglu.
This was the 31-year-old Danish poker pro’s largest tournament score yet, topping the $1,284,260 he earned as the runner-up in the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,0000 buy-in high roller. He now has more than $7 million in lifetime earnings to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Hecklen was also awarded 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his first qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to move him into 116th place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
This event ran over the course of three days, with just nine contenders advancing to the final day. Four more players made the money but were eliminated late on day 2 prior to the final table being set. Sirzat Hissou and Brian Kamphorst both earned $195,300 USD as the 13th and 12th-place finishers, while Chris Brewer and Linus Loeliger took home $210,000 USD for finishing 11th and 10th, respectively.
Hecklen came into the final day in fourth chip position. World Series of Poker bracelet winner Sam Greenwood was ultimately the first player eliminated. He got all-in with pocket kings leading the pocket eights of Kevin Paque, who started the day atop the leaderboard. Paque spiked a set on the turn to win the hand and send Greenwood home in ninth place ($273,525 USD). He now has more than $24.6 million in recorded earnings, the second-most of any Canadian player behind only Daniel Negreanu ($45.2 million).
Eight-handed play continued for more than two hours. Alfred Decarolis, who started the day on the shortest stack, had rebuilt considerably before losing crucial all-in with A-K falling to the A-10 of Patrik Antonius to fall back to the bottom of the chip counts. He got the last of it in with a small-blind shove. His 9-6 suited was called by the A-9 of Bruno Volkmann in the big blind. Both players made a pair on the flop, but Volkmann’s ace kicker played in the end. Decarolis earned $361,200 as the eighth-place finisher.
Despite earning that knockout, Volkmann was the next to be sent to the rail. He lost a big all-in with A-Q against the pocket tens of Sam Grafton to plummet down the leaderboard. He got his last big blind in minutes later and was unable to come from behind, placing seventh for $462,525 USD.
A classic preflop race spelled the end of Patrik Antonius’ tournament. The Finnish high-stakes star called all-in with pocket sevens and found himself up against the A-10 of Aleksejs Ponakovs. A ten-high runout resulted in Antonius heading home with $585,900 USD for his sixth-place finish. He increased his lifetime tournament earnings to more than $12.3 million with the score.
Hecklen doubled up through Sam Grafton to overtake the chip lead, with his pocket kings holding against pocket threes for the poker pro from the UK. Grafton ended up getting all-in for the last time in this event when he shoved for just shy of 22 big blinds with pocket fives from the button. Kisacikoglu picked up pocket aces in the small blind and called. The superior pair held up and Grafton was eliminated in fifth place ($751,800 USD).
Prior to Grafton’s elimination, Aleksejs Ponakovs had lost a big pot with a turned flush against the aces full of Kisacikoglu to fall below ten big blinds. Ponakovs got the last of his stack in with 7-4 suited. His small-blind shove for less than six blinds was called by Hecklen, who had Q-9 in the big blind. Hecklen flopped a pair of queens and held from there to narrow the field to three. Ponakovs earned $932,400 USD for his fourth-place showing.
Kevin Paque’s final hand saw him three-bet shove for 15 big blinds with A-5. He ran into the A-J suited of Hecklen, who was the initial raiser. Hecklen made the nut flush on the river to scoop the pot and take the chip lead heading into heads-up play with Kisacikoglu.
Hecklen began with 12,625,000 to Kisacikoglu’s 10,625,000. The pair struck a deal that re-arranged the remaining prize money, with $2,195,034 USD locked up for Hecklen while Kisacikoglu secured $2,117,316 USD. The pair left the title, the trophy, the rankings points, and $84,000 USD to play for. The final battle didn’t last very long, though, with all of the chips getting in right away when Kisacikoglu limp-reraised all-in with 44. Hecklen had been dealt KK and made the quick call. The A108Q6 runout saw Hecklen secure the win, while Kisacikoglu went home with the career-best payday he had negotiated. He increased his lifetime earnings to nearly $9 million with the score.
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Photo credist: Joe Giron / Triton Poker.