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Triton TD Luca Vivaldi Talks About the Super High Roller Series

03 Apr 2024
Jonathan Raab 03 Apr 2024
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  • Triton Poker Series starts 2024 season in Jeju
  • 17 super high roller events on the schedule
  • Triton TD Luca Vivaldi discusses life working at Triton and the upcoming Jeju event
Pictures courtesy of Triton Poker Series, photographer: Joe Giron
The Triton Poker Series is one of the most exclusive series of live poker events in existence. Only the PokerGo Tour comes close to matching high stakes buy-ins that Triton events are famed for. The series began in Manilla in 2016, but it was in 2019 that Triton really marked its territory as the premier live high stakes poker tour, with the running of the Triton Millions in London. At that event, 54 players, comprised mainly of upper echelon pros and amateur but wealthy “businessmen” poker players all coughed up £1m (plus an additional £50,000 charitable donation) to play in luxurious surroundings at the Hilton on Park Lane.

Triton Poker Series 2024

The tour is now entering its 8th season, with the Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju set to take place from 5-21 March in South Korea. There were four Triton festivals in 2023 and more of the same is expected in 2024, with each stop of the tour featuring 15-20 tournaments. The Jeju festival schedule features 17 events, with the first 10 of these all being Hold’em tournaments, including a $26,500 GG Millions Live event and $100,000 Main Event. The smallest buy-in tournament on the entire schedule is the opener, which costs a mere $15,000 to enter. After the Hold’em events are out of the way, the next three tournaments are Omaha while the final four events are played as Short Deck Hold’em games. The splitting up of the festival into distinct Hold’em/Omaha/Short Deck Hold’em sections is the hallmark of the Triton’s unique scheduling.

Jeju Schedule of Events

DateEvent #Event Buy-In
Tuesday March 5th1NLH - 8 Handed$15,000
Wednesday March 6th2NLH - 8 Handed$20,000
Thursday March 7th3NLH - 8 Handed - Silver Main$25,000
Friday March 8th5NLH - 8 Handed$30,000
Saturday March 9th6GG MILLION$$25,000
Sunday March 10th7NLH - 7 Handed - Mystery Bounty$40,000
Monday March 11th8NLH - 7 Handed$50,000
Tuesday March 12th9NLH - 8 Handed$150,000
Wednesday March 13th10NLH - Turbo - Bounty Quattro$50,000
Thursday March 14th11NLH - Main Event$100,000
Friday March 15th12PLO - 6 Handed$25,000
Saturday March 16th13PLO - Bounty Quattro - 6 Handed$30,000
Sunday March 17th15PLO - 6 Handed$50,000
Monday March 18th16Short Deck - Ante Only - 2 Bullets$25,000
Tuesday March 19th17Short Deck - Main Event$50,000
Wednesday March 20th18Short Deck - Ante Only (Non TV)$100,000
Thursday March 21st19Short Deck - Ante Only$20,000
Note that although there are 19 events listed on the schedule, there are actually only 17 events om the Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju festival, as there is no event number four or 14, due to negative superstitions surrounding the number four in some Asian countries. Even in Las Vegas hotels this superstition is evident, many not having a floor 4 or floors 40-49 in their towers.

Triton Tournament Director Luca Vivaldi Talks to PokerWired

PokerWired caught up with Triton Series tournament director (TD) Luca Vivaldi ahead of the Jeju event, to find out more about the series and his role managing the tour with the most expensive buy-ins on the planet.
Luca Vivaldi and Triton Champion Jonathan Jaffe
Luca Vivaldi announces another Triton Champion, Jonathan Jaffe
PokerWired: How long have you been a TD ? 

Luca Vivaldi: I began my career in the gaming industry at the age of 18, working as a croupier for traditional American and French games on cruise ships. It was there that I was first introduced to poker. Shortly after, In Bruxelles, I met Toby Stone, as we joined the same casino. In 2005 I began working as a freelance dealer for EPTs; my career saw the most growth (from Dealer all the way to TD) with
PokerStars, while working initially for WPT, WSOP and other circuits. The pivotal year for me was 2018, when I started working exclusively for Triton, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been a rewarding journey, moving from casino floors to running the most prestigious events in the world. There is still a lot more to evolve (for me) in this new home, and I’m very excited and hungry for It.

PokerWired: How do Triton Poker Series events differ from events you have worked in the past and what in particular stands out about them?

Luca Vivaldi: What sets Triton apart is not just the obvious difference in buy-ins, but the meticulous attention-to-detail in every area that counts towards the player experience. From the intricately crafted rules that set us apart from other circuits (although some are incorporating them now) to the personalized VIP service provided to each participant; every facet of a Triton event is designed to exceed expectations and the whole company is relentlessly working towards improving and innovating all of the above.

PokerWired: Apart from Jeju, do you have any details of further 2024 events, or if not yet, when will these be made public?

Luca Vivaldi: We will be in Jeju soon and we will have another stop in Europe in May that will be unveiled shortly. For the remainder of 2024, our team is tirelessly working to finalise dates and venues, with the difficult task of ensuring that each Triton festival surpasses the last one in terms of prestige, experience and excitement for our players and viewers.

PokerWired: In 2023 the live GGMillion$ event was introduced and held at every Triton festival, will that also be the case for the 2024 Triton Events?

Luca Vivaldi: The partnership with GG Poker has been a resounding success and you can expect It to endure, maintaining this event as a staple in our schedule.
PokerWired: This the fourth time that GG Poker has run online satellites to a Live GGMillion$ event at a Triton Series festival. How many online qualifiers do you expect to get for the $26,500 buy-in tournament at Jeju?

Luca Vivaldi: We’re expecting around 5 to 10 qualifiers and while this seems a modest number, its reflective of this event’s prestige/buy-in and that it is a relatively short qualification period.

PokerWired: Do you run any live satellites at Triton Poker festivals?

Luca Vivaldi: While Triton does not directly run live satellites, we consult and collaborate closely with our partners when they seek to organize steps into our festivals. Our goal in this is to give the experience of our ‘golden brand’ to a few players and poker enthusiasts who would otherwise not be able to play without satellites.

PokerWired: Are there more pros or non-pros taking part in Triton events and what do you do to keep this in balance?

Luca Vivaldi: Despite the prevalence of pros drawn by our schedule, Triton events always keep a good balanced mix with non-pros, businesspeople and enthusiastic amateurs. We are most likely the operator with the most non-pros at our price range. This equilibrium is achieved through a combination of different factors, from enticing event formats and scheduling (like the Invitational events where the field is balanced 50/50), to the VIP services we provide for participants and their companions, to charitable initiatives.
PokerWired: Which charities are benefitting from the Jeju event this year?

Luca Vivaldi: At Triton, we consider philanthropy to be an integral part of our purpose. While specific details regarding charitable initiatives at the Jeju event are still being finalized, our commitment to giving back to the community remains unwavering.

PokerWired: In the last year, which Triton players have impressed you the most?

Luca Vivaldi: I know it sounds like an easy answer, but Jason Koon won six titles last year and the Player Of The Year award, alongside Stephen Chidwick who was neck-to-neck with him until the very last event of the last festival settled It!

From the non-pros (and yes, this would be an easy answer too!) Mr Paul Phua and Santosh Suvarna are the only non-pros that got close to the top of the POY, so they’ll be my honourable mentions. I’m a sucker for consistency!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all participants that keep supporting us, the real stars of our events, they all really deserve recognition.
Triton Player of the Year Jason Koon
Triton Player of the Year 2023, Jason Koon
PokerWired: Are there any breakthrough players who you expect to shine in Triton Poker Series events in 2024?

Luca Vivaldi: I’ve had this discussion recently with a colleague and I think 2024 will be full of surprises for us on this side of things. While our usual superstars (pros and non-pros) will definitely leave a mark, we anticipate witnessing a slow new wave of Next Gen shining at the Triton Poker Series.
PokerWired: Your bosses Paul Phua and Richard Yong both regularly play in Triton events. Have you ever had to make a ruling involving either of them and how did (or would) you feel about doing that?

Luca Vivaldi: While my interactions with Mr. Paul Phua and Mr. Richard Yong for rulings have been minimal, their respectful demeanour and adherence to fair play principles are indicative to their integrity of the game, understanding that once that registration ticket has been printed, they are players and will be treated alike. Should a ruling involving either of them arise, I would approach the situation with impartiality and integrity as usual. You’ve known me for most of my professional career, and I’m not exactly known for being lenient!

PokerWired: What security measures do you take at the events?

Luca Vivaldi: At the Triton Series we put security and integrity at the top of our list, While I’m unable to divulge specific protocols (for obvious reasons), our team remains vigilant in monitoring and preventing any irregularities and ensuring a safe and secure environment for all participants.

PokerWired: How much can you see the Triton events growing over the next few years and what are your ultimate ambitions for the series?

Luca Vivaldi: There really is no ‘ultimate ambition’, the sky’s the limit! We’ve seen steady growth of the Triton Series in terms of field, live stream numbers, socials and visibility in general. With each passing season we aim to elevate Triton to new heights, welcoming new players from around the globe, innovating, growing and improving. This is the vision of our CEO Andy Wong and the entire team works hard towards ensuring this can happen.

PokerWired: Will there be another Triton Million?

Luca Vivaldi: I can’t say much at the moment, but even saying this will give you the spoiler that you’re looking for.

PokerWired: Where can people watch the Triton Jeju event and who is in the commentary booth?

Luca Vivaldi: Our livestreams will be available on our Youtube & Twitch channels. As for our extremely talented commentators, Triton is always looking for the brightest and most creative minds to join our team. Fans will just have to tune in to see what we have in store for everyone!

PokerWired: Thank you Luca, it was a pleasure to speak to you, good luck with the Jeju event!

Qualify Online for $26,500 GGMillion$ Live in Jeju

The buy-in for Triton events is simply not affordable for the vast majority of players. But remarkably, it is possible to qualify for the $26,500 GGMillion$ Live events for as little as $25! As of February 21st, 8 online players have qualified and satellites on GG Poker are still running for the event, with direct qualifiers taking place at 6pm (UK time) on Sunday evenings, with a buy-in of $2,625. Even the cost of this direct satellite is out of reach for most people, which is why there is a three step feeder system that enables players to start with a $25 step 1 satellite in order to win a seat into a $250 step 2 satellite, which in turn feeds into the $2,625 step 3 satellite that awards seats into the actual event. Simples!

A GG Poker account is required in order to participate in satellites to GGMillion$ Live at Triton events. If you have not already opened an account, use the GGPoker promo code WIRED when joining to get started with a welcome bonus worth $600.

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