Jason Koon was already the all-time leader in high stakes titles won Triton Poker tours. Now, thanks to a record-breaking sixth win, he holds a two-win lead over his closest opponent in four strokes Triton champion Mikita Badziakouski.
Koon’s most recent win on the high-roller-focused tour saw him defeat a field of 138 entries in the $20,000 buy-in seven-max no-limit hold’em event at 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus Festival. For the win, the 37-year-old American poker pro received $663,000 in prize money, bringing his career total to just under $44 million. As a result, he now sits in seventh place on poker’s all-time money list, less than $45,000 behind current sixth player Erik Seidel.
“Obviously I rode well, but I have a lot of experience,” Koon said when asked about his incredible results on the Triton Poker event broadcast.” I think one of the biggest things is that I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I’ve been playing with the same pool of players for a long time. There are some new faces.” In this smaller event, but I’ve played with the same competition for years and years. You start downloading good information about people and you can make good decisions.”
Koon was awarded 792 Card player Player of the Year indicates as the champion of this event. This was his second title and fifth place final table of the year. With 1,835 total points and earnings to date in excess of $2 million, Koon climbed into the top 50 in 2023 POY extension race classification presented by Global Poker.
This event took place at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel & Spa in Northern Cyprus. It took two days to find a winner, with 28 contenders progressing to day 2 and only 20 making the money. Koon entered Day 2 in fourth chip position and worked his way up to third place as the field narrowed down to an official final table of seven.
Short stack Ian Bradley lost a flip with QJ to Artur Martirosian’s pocket fives to finish seventh ($115,900).
Despite getting that knockout, Martirosian was ultimately next out. The hand in question was a battle of the blinds between the second and third biggest stacks, starting with Martirosian raising from the small blind with pocket queens. Koon raised from the big blind with pocket kings and quickly called when Martirosian raised all-in. Neither player improved on a two pair board and Koon leapt to the lead while Martirosian slid to the bottom of the chip. Not long after that he moved all-in with pocket threes against Koon’s pocket fours and was eliminated with $154,400 for sixth place. Martirosian was catapulted to eighth in the POY extension standings after this, his seventh final table of the year. He won a title and grossed nearly $2.8 million POY extension earnings so far in 2023.
Adrian Mateos clearly remained the shortest stack after Martirosian’s bust. The four-time bracelet winner finally moved all-in with Q-6 suited and was called by two opponents. They ended up cutting the pot with top pair and a pair of short kickers that didn’t play, busting Mateos in fifth place. Mateos earned $197,300 for his latest deep run. This was his ninth final table of the year, with nearly $3.4 million in cash POY extension earnings accrued along the way. As a result, Mateos now sits 11th in the standings POY extension classification.
Eduard Barsegian’s run in this event ended when his flopped jack-high flush draw was unable to beat Kanan Taherkhani’s ace-high and gutshot. Neither player improved on the turn or river and Barsegian busted in fourth place ($245,500).
reigning Card player Player of the Year winner Stephen Chidwick faced Koon in a huge pot early in three-way play, turning underrepresented pocket tens into a bluff on a board with a pair with four hearts out. Koon had trips on the turn and rivered the second nut flush, though, and finally called Chidwick’s healthy river bluff leaving the British tournament superstar with only a few big blinds.
Chidwick soon committed all but 1/5 of the small blind preflop with A-7 suited. Koon called with pocket deuces and canceled a flush draw, straight draw and over cards in the check-down pot leaving Chidwick high. His last chip went all-in with Q-5 leading Taherkhani’s 5-4 suited, but an A-3-2 flop gave Taherkhani the wheel and a big lead in the hand. Chidwick was officially eliminated in third place for $298,000 after the turn and river failed to earn him a shot. The 34-year-old now has more than $48.1 million, good for fourth place on the money list. He also earned 528 POY extension points for his seventh final table of the year. With three titles and more than $2.9 million in POY extension earnings so far in 2023, Chidwick has moved up to 13th in the standings.
With that, Koon built an approximately 4:1 lead in chips into heads-up play against Taherkhani. Early action went largely Taherkhani’s way, but Koon still had a sizable chip lead when the final hand of the tournament was dealt. Koon limped in from the button with 65. Taherkhani raised from the big blind with queens4 and Koon called. The flop was K84. Taherkhani checked his bottom pair and Koon checked behind. The 7 the turn gave Taherkhani a flush draw to go with his pair and he bet 1,450,000 into a 1,800,000 pot. Koon called with his nut straight on the turn and the river brought a Q give up Taherkhani queens. He moved all-in for 5,950,000 and Koon called with his unbeatable eight-high straight to secure the record-breaking pot and title. Taherkhani received $451,200 as runner up.
Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points|
Photo credits: Triton Poker / Joe Giron.