Jason Koon has come a long way since playing live satellites in desperate hopes to make it to the final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. This weekend, Koon won first prize at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas 2017, taking home a massive $1.6 million score and finally realizing his lifelong dream.
“Sitting there with the trophy in front of me was kind of a surreal moment,” he told PokerNews after placing first.
The final table wasn’t a cakewalk for the West Virginian. He went up against Charlie Carrel, who cashed for over $2 million in 2016, and defending champion Bryn Kenney. Carrel and Koon looked close to making a deal when the final table began, but decided to leave it to fate and play for the original payouts.
Carrel entered heads-up with a 2-1 lead and it wasn’t long before he moved into a 3-1 lead over Koon. Fresh off a big win at the European Poker Tour Prague in the Super High Roller, it looked like the British player had the win in the bag, but Koon check-raised a K♤, K♢, 6♢ flop and continued playing big bets on the turn and river (5♢, 9♢). After his opponent shoved all in, Carrel folded.
Who knows what we had?” Koon said.
From there, it was just a matter of time before Koon secured the win. He didn’t relinquish his lead again, and after a little over an hour he was named the champion.
“He seems like a really incredible guy,” Koon said of his opponent. “Whenever I was that age, I was a total train wreck. It looks like he’s figured some stuff out that took me a decade longer to figure out.”
Koon adds this victory to a long list he’s amassed in the last six months, including a $1,000,000 score at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. The Bahamas win brought his career total winnings to $8,143,080.
“I think it’s really important to keep my eye on the rail, stay grounded and realize that I’m having a mini-Fedor moment and that’s awesome,” Koon said. “But at the same time, there’s a bunch of guys that are more talented than I am so I need to work hard and stay on top of it.”
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: Neil Stoddart
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