Jason Koon leads the final table stacked to win Triton Poker’s record seventh title


Jason Koon stands alone as the most accomplished Triton Poker all time player. Koon already held the record for the most high-stakes tour titles with six, having added to that total a win in the $20,000 seven-max event as of 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series North Cyprus festivals on May 12. Just ten days later, Koon was able to extend his lead even further when he emerged victorious in the $100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event of the series, earning a record seventh title and top cash of over $2.4 million. He is now three titles clear of second-placed Mikita Badzakiakouski, who has four victories on the tour.

“This is a dream come true for me. When I first started playing these [Triton events], it was a dream to even be in them. I don’t know why I was able to ride so well in these important points, but I definitely don’t take it for granted. I feel blessed, and it’s something I will never forget,” Koon said Triton journalist Ali Nejad after coming out on top.

Koon has now grossed nearly $21.8 million in Triton events, also making him the second highest-earning player on the tour. It follows only Bryn Kenney, who secured nearly $20.6 million of his $30.6 million in total tour earnings when he struck a heads-up deal in the biggest buy-in tournament ever held: the £1,050. 000 Triton London Charity Invitational.

This latest victory brought Koon’s overall tournament winnings to $46.9 million, enough to see him surpass David Peters for fifth place on the all-time poker list.

In addition to the title and money, Koon also received 1,200 Card player Player of the Year points for winning. This was his third title and eighth final table of the year, with over $5 million in cash POY extension earnings accrued along the way. As a result, it now sits in seventh place in 2023 POY extension race classification presented by Global Poker.

This tournament took place over the course of three days. With 101 entries, the prize pool rose to $10,100,000. Only the top 15 finishers cashed, with players like twice Triton winner Chris Brewer (15th – $175.00), two-time bracelet winner Fedor Holz (13th – $190,000), four-time bracelet winner Michael Addamo (12th – $190,000), current POY extension race leader Nacho Barbero (11th – $215,000) and two-time bracelet winner Aleksejs Ponakovs (10th) all made money but failed to make the final table.

The final table was undoubtedly one of the most successful in poker history. The nine contenders who took seats had more than $266.8 million in combined winnings from previous tournaments, for an average of $29.6 million per player. Three of the nine players (Koon, Stephen Chidwick and Dan Smith) were already in the top 10 on poker’s all-time cashes list, with two other top 20 players in Steve O’Dwyer and Sam Greenwood.

The first to go was recent $50,000 Seven Max Event champion Viacheslav Buldygin. The Russian player lost a large chunk of his stack against a full house held by Greenwood. He then moved all-in with A-9 and found himself up against two opponents, with Koon finally showing KQ for top pair to win the pot and bust out Buldygin in ninth place ($263,000).

Chidwick was next to fall. The twice Card player POY extension the prize winner moved all-in with middle pair and ace kicker behind O’Dwyer’s top pair. Chidwick got no further help on either the turn or river and was eliminated in eighth place ($358,500). He now has more than $48.5 million in lifetime earnings following this latest deep run, keeping him fourth in career earnings. With three titles and eight final tables in 2023, he has moved up to 13th place in the POY extension standings as he tries to come back after winning in 2022.

Twice European Poker Tour sample and Poker World Tour Main event winner Michael Watson’s run ended in seventh place on a preflop coin flip. His pocket sevens weren’t able to get past Henrik Hecklen’s suited AJ, who fired a jack to take down the pot and narrow the field to sixes. Watson earned $469,500 for his sixth final table of the year, with three titles secured along the way. He moved up to eighth place in the POY extension as a result, boosting his career earnings to nearly $20.7 million.

Koon overtook the chip lead during six-handed action, winning a race with AK against O’Dwyer’s pocket sixes. He then took A-10 and raised from the button, prompting Sean Winter, with a critical stack, to call all-in for less than the big blind with 8-4. Neither player connected, and Winter was eliminated in sixth place, earning $595,000. He now has more than $26.6 million in tournament prize money registered to him in his name following this accomplishment.

The lead continued to grow for Koon, who then found pocket tens against Smith’s AQ. The pair held up and Smith was sent off in fifth place ($762,000). The bracelet winner now has more than $43.1 million in lifetime tournament prize money, placing him ninth on the all-time money list.

Just a couple of hands later, Koon found himself in a big all-in again. This time his AQ suited wasn’t a flip though, as Henrik Hecklen was dealt pocket queens. Koon hit an ace on the flop to take the lead, and held on from there to bust Hecklen in fourth place. The Danish pro earned $946,000 for his efforts, boosting his career to over $11.4 million in the process.

O’Dwyer doubled up Koon early in three-handed play, but lost a showdown with the same pair and worse kicker not long after to drop back to about 20 big blinds. O’Dwyer was soon drawn into another huge pot against the eventual winner.

Sam GreenwoodThe hand in question began with O’Dwyer limping in from the small blind with QHeart dress. Koon checked with 6Heart dress3Heart dress and the pair saw a flop of 9Heart dress4Club dress2Diamond dress. O’Dwyer check-called Koon and the turn brought the 5Club dress. O’Dwyer check-called again, this time for a bet of about two-thirds of the pot. The 8Club dress completed the board and O’Dwyer checked. Koon moved all-in, putting O’Dwyer testing for his last seven big blinds. O’Dwyer thought for a while before calling with his fourth pair, just to see the straight. He earned $1,171,000 as the third-place finisher. He now has $37.7 million in lifetime earnings after this podium finish.

With that, Koon built an approximately 4:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Greenwood. The two reached an agreement to redistribute the remaining prize money, leaving $84,000 and the title to play while securing $1,923,918 for Greenwood and $2,367,082 for Koon.

The heads-up battle only lasted one hand. Koon limped in from the button with QSuit in spades10Diamond dress and Greenwood moved all-in for 21 big blinds with ADiamond dresskClub dress. Koon called and the board ran QHeart dressjClub dress9Heart dressjSuit in spades7Heart dress to give Koon queens and jacks for the win. Greenwood increased his career earnings to over $34.2 million due to his second-place finish in this event. The Canadian has won two titles and made six final tables so far in 2023, and as a result he’s just one spot below the top 20 in the standings POY extension classification.

Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY extension Points
1 Jason Koon $2,451,082 1200
2 Sam Greenwood $1,923,918 1000
3 Steve O’Dwyer $1,171,000 800
4 Henrik Hecklen $946,000 600
5 Dan Smith $762,000 500
6 Sean Winter $595,000 400
7 Michael Watson $469,500 300
8 Stephen Chidwick $358,500 200
9 Viacheslav Buldygin $263,000 100

Photo credit: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.

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