Jason Koon stands as one of the top players in the modern era of poker. Few players can claim the resume that Koon has put together over the last decade-plus.
Koon is a fixture on the high roller tournament scene, and can often be seen at final tables in high-stakes tournaments both domestic and abroad. Koon serves as an ambassador for Triton Poker, an international poker tour that puts on some of the highest-stakes events in the world.
Let’s take a look at the career accomplishments of Jason Koon, truly one of poker’s all-time greats:
Jason Koon’s Tournament Results and Biggest Cashes
As of November 2020, Jason Koon’s career poker tournament earnings total $31,101,728. Koon’s five biggest tournament scores include:
- 2018 Triton Poker Montenegro HK$1,000,000 Short Deck Ante Only (1st – $3,579,836)
- 2019 Triton Poker Jeju HK$1,000,000 Short Deck Ante Only (1st – $2,840,945)
- 2018 Super High Roller Bowl Las Vegas $300,000 No-Limit Hold’em (3rd – $2,100,000)
- 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas $100,000 Super High Roller (1st – $1,650,300)
- 2019 Triton Poker London £50,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed (2nd – $1,099,834)
Check out Koon’s entire resume of tournament cashes on his Hendon Mob page.
Jason Koon’s Memorable Hands
Jason Koon’s regular presence at the Triton Poker high-stakes cash games puts him in a position to mix it up in some of the biggest pots in recorded poker history. One of those spots came against Elton Tsang at the 2018 Triton Poker Montenegro series, with more than €1.5 million going into the pot by the end of the hand.
Koon goes back through what he (not surprisingly) calls one of the most memorable pots of his career in this hand review on the Triton Poker YouTube channel:
Koon says he’s around 300 big blinds deep with the blinds at €2,000/€4,000 and a €10,000 ante. Koon raises to €13,000 under the gun with 6♥ 5♥, Paul Phua calls in the cutoff with 8♠ 6♠, Tom Dwan calls on the button with A♣ T♦, and Tsang calls in the big blind with K♦ 7♦.
A straight flush draw hits the board for Koon on the 8♥ A♦ 7♥ flop. Action checks to Dwan, who bets €24,000 into the €64,000 pot. Tsang calls, and Koon puts in a check-raise to €100,000.
Dwan decides his top pair with a ten kicker isn’t good enough to call Koon’s raise, making a fold. Tsang, with bottom pair and a backdoor flush draw, three-bets to €324,000. Koon, who mentions that this was one of the first times he played against Tsang, makes the call.
The pot is now €736,000 going to the turn, which falls Q♦ and adds flush draw equity to Tsang’s hand. Tsang bets €390,000, and Koon calls.
€1,516,000 is now in the middle going to the river, which comes 4♣ and completes the straight for Koon. Holding the nuts, Koon sees Tsang check, prompting Koon to shove his remaining €574,000. Koon is hoping for a call, but Tsang folds, sending the massive pot Koon’s way.
Another sick hand
Another hand from the 2018 Triton Montegro stop features an event bigger pot. Upswing Poker’s Doug Polk breaks down this hand involving Koon and Kane Kalas engaging in what was at the time the biggest cash game pot ever seen on television (hand starts at 1:27):
The stakes are €2,000/€4,000 with a €4,000 ante for this hand, which begins with Koon opening to €11,000 from the hijack with A♥ Q♣. Mikita Badziakouski calls with 9♣ 8♣ in the small blind, and Kalas squeezes to €55,000 from the big blind with T♠ T♥.
Koon four-bets to €120,000 with his offsuit ace-queen, and Kalas makes the call. The flop comes 5♦ 3♥ 6♠, Kalas checks, Koon bets €128,000 into the €263,000 pot, and Kalas makes the call.
Kalas improves to top set on the turn, with the T♣ hitting the board. Kane checks, and Koon, who’s drawing dead at this point, bets €160,000 into the €519,000 pot. Kalas calls, and the pot swells to €839,000 going to the river.
That card falls A♥, improving Koon to top pair. Koon moves all-in, committing his last €707,000 to the spot. Kalas snap calls, and a face of disappointment immediately comes over Koon’s face.
Kalas collects a total pot of €1,847,000, one of the biggest in the history of televised poker.
Note: Read an analysis of this crazy hand here.
Jason Koon’s Path to Poker
Koon grew up in West Viriginia, and aspired to be a baseball player in his youth. Koon’s athletic ambitions turned to track and field in high school, with the future poker superstar hoping to land an athletic scholarship to attend college.
Koon ended up attending college at West Virginia Wesleyan, and continued his track exploits until a hip injury forced him to take time off. During that hiatus from athletics, Koon started playing online poker.
College left Koon with massive student loan debt, and in the late 2000s Koon chose to make poker his profession. His tournament scores start appearing in the Hendon Mob database in 2008.
The first of many big scores in Koon’s career came at the 2010 Festa Al Lago $10k No-Limit Hold’em Championship in Las Vegas. Koon finished fourth in that tournament for a $225,680 payday.
That six-figure cash doesn’t even represent a buy-in for some of the high roller tournaments Koon frequents on the modern-day poker scene. The first seven-figure cash of Koon’s career game at the 2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, with Koon winning the $5,250 Championship event for $1,000,000.
The million-dollar payday from that tournament now stands as the eighth-biggest cash of Koon’s career. The two largest scores of Koon’s career both came in Triton Short Deck events ($3,579,836 and $2,840,945).
Koon’s $31.1 million in career earnings puts him at No. 6 on the Hendon Mob all-time tournament earnings list. Koon is regarded by his high-stakes peers as one of the best poker players in the world, with world-class results in tournaments and cash games across multiple poker variants.