Jason Koon Is King Triton: 2023 Player of the Year Wins Ninth High Roller Event

Jason Koon extended his Triton Poker Super High Roller title lead to nine on the tour catered to the very rich and those who are very good at taking their very expensive buy-ins. And no one is better than Koon, who won Triton’s 2023 Player of the Year for dominating on the global tour in a way that looks too easy.

Jason Koon

Jason Koon in London. (Image: Triton)

His win in the $63,000 short-deck main on Thursday was his second at the London stop — and his fourth since May. He did it the same day as Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey won his second in London for his fifth overall, also in a short-deck event.

Koon won four of his nine Triton titles playing short-deck.

“There was a three or four-year span when I was off the grid playing the biggest short deck games in the world,” Koon told Triton poker reporters. “I don’t think that it’s just pure luck I’ve won four short-deck titles.”

(Off the grid — and now I can’t imagine anything but a bunch of high-rollers playing short-deck in a cabin in the mountains of Koon’s home state of West Virginia while a kerosene-powered fridge hums in the background, instead of the nosebleed games in the carpet-walled rooms in Macau and Las Vegas.)

And no, it’s not pure luck that Koon has played King Kong on the seven year-old tour. Pure luck doesn’t get you nine titles playing against some of the biggest sharks on the planet in the highest buy-in tournaments available. Pure luck doesn’t account for $51 million won in tourneys — which almost half came in Triton Super High Roller events.

No wonder Koon took it upon himself to verbally undressed Dan Smith during a tourney for being an unpleasant opponent on the Triton Poker Super High Roller circuit, claiming several of the tour’s amateurs complained to him about his tanking and table manners. The message was clear: Be nice to the whales.

Short but stacked

The short-deck main attracted 27 players who rebought 19 times, building a prize pool north of $2.7 million. The top eight were:

1Jason Koon$828,000
2Wai Kiat Lee$598,000
3Lun Loon$386,800
4Tan Xuan$292,500
5Chris Brewer$226,300
6Wai Kin Yong$176,700
7Masashi Oya$140,700
8Dan Dvoress$111,000
Short deck Main Event final table players (clockwise from back left): Lun Loon, Masashi Oya, Chris Brewer, Tan Xuan, Jason Koon, Kiat Lee, Wai Kin Yong.

Short deck Main final table players (clockwise from back left): Lun Loon, Masashi Oya, Chris Brewer, Tan Xuan, Jason Koon, Kiat Lee, Wai Kin Yong. (Image: Triton)

That’s a tough poker crowd.

Runner-up Wai Kiat Lee is still looking for his first Triton Poker Super High Roller trophy. This was his fourth second-place finish since 2022. He also has two third-places. All but one of those deep runs came in short-deck events.

Lun Loon was also hunting for his first Triton title. He was a runner-up in a short-deck event in March in Vietnam.

Another man looking for his first Triton who came as close as possible without winning is Tan Xuan, but his second-place finish in 2018 was worth $2,308,384, the largest lifetime cash for the $8 million tournament winner.

Chris Brewer is a two-time Triton champion who nearly got his third Aug. 8, but was stalled in second in a $31,800 short-deck event. His six cashes on the Triton tour since July pushed his lifetime win totals over the $17 million mark.

Brewer was runner-up to Wai Kin Yong, who won his fourth Triton title in London. It was his first since 2019 (his first two were won in 2016). He’s approaching $13 million in lifetime winnings.

Masashi Oya is still looking for his first Triton title, but he’s gotten close before. He also has a third-place finish in London.

Daniel Dvoress, the 2020 World Seies of Poker Milly Maker winner, won his first Triton title in May. He snuck in under the bubble for his eighth Triton cash since May. It’s his sixth final table since then.

Corrections, complaints, tips or kudos? CardsChatBob@gmail.com. 

Written by
Bob Pajich
Bob Pajich is a poker news reporter, creative writer, and poker player who never met suited connectors he didn't like. Tips, corrections, complaints and kudos should go to CardsChatBob@gmail.com.

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