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· Published 12.10.2021 · last updated 12.10.2021

Before the start of the 2021 World Series of Poker, Jason Koon was probably one of the best poker players in the world without a WSOP bracelet. He entered the 2021 World Series of Poker as one of the top ten players on the all-time money list. Ever since his first tournament series in 2009, Jason Kool was able to accumulate over $33 million in tournament earnings and finish in the money 49 times throughout his career. But luckily for him, this drought was finally brought to an end during this year’s 2021 World Series of Poker. During this festival, Jason Koon was able to top a field of 57 players and win the 2021 WSOP Event #7: $25,000 Heads-Up Championship, taking home $243,981. 

Jason Koon was more than happy to get this trophy and said the following about his long-awaited win: 

“It’s one of those things when you’re on an airplane and a person is like, ‘Do you have a bracelet?’ I’m just like, ‘Nope.’ At least I can finally say yes to that. I love coming here. I think I’ll play poker forever, and when it’s all said and done I think it’s inevitable I’ll have several of them.”

These last couple of weeks have been quite eventful for Jason Koon. Not only was the poker pro able to get his first WSOP bracelet, but he and his wife Bianca had their first child just 15 days before his win. Here is what Koon said regarding his emotional state and the support he received:

“I am another level of tired, honestly. The wife and everybody have been doing so much to help with the baby. We were up at 8:30 a.m. today taking him to a doctor’s appointment. Then I came here and played a couple of studs. Heads-up is so intense, but yeah, we got it.”

Moreover, as covered in one of our previous articles, Jason Koon was recently signed by GGPoker and became their latest global ambassador. Besides his win in the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship, the US poker pro was also able to finish ninth in the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and sixth in the $5,300 Online High Roller on mobile. 

Thanks to his latest win in the WSOP, Jason Koon saw his name rise up in the global rankings. He was awarded 420 Card Player Player of the Year points for his triumph. This puts him in 42nd place in the 2021 Player of the Year race as he was able to accumulate over $1.5 million throughout seven POY-qualified tables. 

Now let’s take a closer look at Jason Koon’s victory and discuss some of the highlights of the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship. Undoubtedly, his road to victory was not easy as he was matched up against quite a few experienced regulars, including a heads-up specialist from Finland, Henri Puustinen. In order to get to the final stage, Jason Koon had to overcome the following opponents in the following order: Chris Brewer, Nicolai Morris, Johannes Becker, Jake Daniels, and Henri Puustinen. 

Final Heads-Up

Once Jason Koon was in the final stage of the heads-up tournament, he was matched up against a Hungarian regular Gabor Szabo. The pair traded leads back and forth for some time until Szabo has managed to get into a confident lead in the middle stage of the final. This happened when Szabo won a large pot with rivered pair of jacks which gave him a 2:1 lead. 

Szabo stayed in the lead until Koon decided to make a move with pocket fives. He raised 230,000 chips from the button and Szabo three-bet shoved to 700,000 from the big blind with A Q. As a response, Jason Koon went all-in and Szabo called without hesitation. The flop showed J 10 4 and J came up on the turn later. Even though Szabo had a royal flush draw, he was unable to the needed king and Koon got into the lead thanks to his pocket pair. 

However, the up and down roller coaster ride did not end there. Szabo has even managed to overtake Koon before the next large preflop showdown. Szabo bet 320,000 chips with a suited A J. Jason Koon went all-in with his suited A Q. The Hungaria poker pro quickly called once again. Both had strong cards and had a decent chance of winning. But the queen on the river solidified Jason Koon’s victory and put him in a confident lead as Szabo was left with just a few big blinds. 

The tournament was concluded when Szabo and his K 9 were unable to do anything against J 7 of Jason Koon as the board turned out to be J 6 5 8 6. With that hand, Jason Koon was able to snatch the pot and solidify his victory in the 2021 WSOP $25,000 Heads-Up Championship. Koon earned $243,981 for his first-place finish and Gabor Szabo went home with $150,790 for his second-place finish, which has become his largest payday. 

After this long-awaited victory, Jason Koon is focused on getting some rest and spending time with his family. However, he already has some plans regarding his return to poker:

“I’ll play the $50Ks, the $100K and the $250K. I might play the Main Event, but that’s even pretty unlikely. I’m going to hang out with the baby, and I think there’s a guy coming into town this weekend that wants to play between a $100K-$250K at ARIA, so I will oblige.”

Here are the Event #11: $25,000 Heads-Up Championship Results

Place Winner Country Prize 
1 Jason Koon United States $243,981
2 Gabor Szabo Hungary $150,790
3 Henri Puustinen Finland $89,787
4 Daniel Zack United States $89,787
5 Mikita Badziakouski Belarus $36,280
6 Bin Weng United States $36,280
7 Benjamin Reason United States $36,280
8 Jake Daniels United States $36,280

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