Alex Kulev Wins 2024 Triton Event #8 $100K NLH

Champion Alex Kulev
Alex Kulev has emerged as a top contender in high-stakes live poker tournaments over the past few years. The 29-year-old Bulgarian professional’s ten biggest paydays have all occurred since the beginning of 2023, including his largest win to date: $2,566,000 as the champion of the 2024 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro $100,000 no-limit hold’em eight max event. Kulev triumphed over a field of 102 entries at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro, securing his first Triton title and the multi-million-dollar top prize.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed, to be honest,” Kulev shared with Triton reporters after his victory, which was witnessed by his parents who traveled six hours to support him. “This means a lot to me. To accomplish this in front of my family is very special. I will cherish this for a long time.”

The event’s $10,200,000 prize pool was distributed among the top 17 finishers, with a minimum cash prize of $160,000 and seven-figure payouts for the top three. Notable players who made deep runs included Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero (14th), Stephen Chidwick (11th), Sean Winter (10th), and Bryn Kenney (9th).

The official final table began with five-time Triton champion Danny Tang in the lead and Kulev in the middle of the pack. Two-time bracelet winner Aleksejs Ponakovs (8th – $342,000) was the first to exit, his A-8 suited losing to the pocket jacks of bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Dylan Linde.

Linde doubled up Maher Nouira during seven-handed play but lost a significant pot to Kulev, ending up on the short stack. His final chips went in with A-5 suited against Liang Xu’s A-10, and after both paired their side cards, Linde was eliminated in seventh place ($454,000).

Shortly after Linde’s departure, two-time bracelet winner and two-time Triton champion Daniel Dvoress went all-in with A-Q against Thomas Santerne’s pocket queens. Santerne’s hand held up, knocking Dvoress out in sixth place ($594,000), which pushed Dvoress’s career earnings past $34.2 million.

Santerne briefly took the lead but was soon overtaken by Kulev, who won a key hand with pocket aces against Tang’s pocket jacks.

The next major confrontation saw Tang’s pocket queens lose to Kulev’s A-K in a classic preflop race, with Kulev hitting an ace on the flop. Tang finished in fifth place ($752,000), bringing his career tournament earnings to over $26.1 million, with more than $16.5 million from his 34 in-the-money finishes in Triton events.

Maher Nouira was eliminated when his pocket queens met Santerne’s pocket aces. The money went in on the turn, and with no queen on the river, Nouira finished fourth ($933,000).

Liang Xu’s final hand saw his pocket sevens lose to Kulev’s K-Q, with Kulev flopping trip kings. Xu exited in third place ($1,127,000).

Heads-up play began almost evenly, with Kulev holding 10,250,000 to Santerne’s 10,150,000. Early action favored Santerne, but Kulev doubled up with pocket queens against Santerne’s top pair of jacks to close the gap.

Kulev then gained the lead and maintained it until the final hand. Kulev limped in with ADiamond Suit10Club Suit, and Santerne shoved with 7Diamond Suit7Club Suit. Kulev called and won with trip tens, as the board ran out 10Spade Suit6Spade Suit2Club Suit10Heart SuitQHeart Suit.

Santerne earned $1,735,000 as the runner-up. The 25-year-old French player now boasts over $3.5 million in recorded tournament earnings.

Triton Event #8 – $100,000 – 8-Handed Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Alex Kulev Bulgaria $2,566,000
2 Thomas Santerne France $1,735,000
3 Xu Liang China $1,127,000
4 Maher Nouira Tunisia $933,000
5 Danny Tang Hong Kong $752,000