High stakes pro Jason Koon continues his attack on Triton by winning the final event in the High Roller series. The World Poker Tour looks to entice player participation with a sweetener to their Tournament of Champions. And we’ve got more and more developments from the sports betting world and how it effects poker. It’s here and much more in the weekend edition of the Hit and Run.
Koon Wins $3 Million, Ivey Finishes 3rd
For years now, the poker community has been hearing whispers and rumors about the monster games happening in Asia and southern Europe. And this month the world finally got to see some of those games after both the big tournaments and cash games were broadcast and streamed around the world. The 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro played host to these games, and in the final event Jason Koon walked away with the trophy and the cash when he won the $1,000,000 HKD Short Deck Ante Only Event for $28 million HKD. That’s about $3.5 million in US Dollars in case you were wondering.
Koon defeated a (not surprisingly) stacked final table that included Winfred Yu, Peter Jetten, and Phil Ivey.
A field of 103 entries created a prizepool of almost $100 million HKD, which is um a lot. After an action-packed couple of days, it was fan-favorite Tom Dwan who would eventually fall as the bubble boy when he couldn’t come from behind against Koon. The final table played quickly down to heads-up with Winfred Yu placing 4th for $9.2 million HKD and Phil Ivey placing 3rd for another 13 million HKD. Heads-up was a long hard battle as Koon faced a very tough opponent in Xuan Tan.
Koon was very humble after his victory over Tan saying, “I was playing a player that was much better than I am, at least short-handed, much more experienced, and really talented in cash games. I just coolered him to win the tournament, and I am glad it worked out that way because it could have been a really long night.”
The score is now the largest of Koon’s career and a great start to his summer. Congrats to all the big winners.
The WPT Adds USD to the TOC
-The World Poker Tour re-branded their season-ending tournament a couple of years ago with mixed results. Instead of a $25k Championship, the tour began hosting a Tournament of Champions that only previous winners could play in. The turnout however has been somewhat disappointing with field sizes of only 64 and 66 out of the literal hundreds of winners that the tour has produced.
Well, this season the WPT has sweetened the deal by adding loads of incentives. To start with the WPT is adding $100,000 straight to the prizepool. The tournament is already rake free, so that should provide some added value. In addition, an extra 50k is being added to the first place prize.
The tournament was held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino the first two years after its inception. This year the tournament is going back to where it all started – Las Vegas, although this time at Aria instead of the Bellagio. WPT CEO Adam Pliska had this to say about the upcoming event, “This event would not be possible if it were not for the WPT’s wonderful partners and all of their significant contributions to the Season XVI WPT Tournament of Champions, as they have allowed the WPT to provide incredible value for our loyal players… If we invest in the TOC, every tournament we have gains equity. We will continue to invest in this, and build this up.”
The Tournament of Champions kicks off May 24 in Las Vegas. Fans are welcome to attend.
-Over at Cardplayerlifestyle.com, they take a look at “The Top 10 Reasons You Should Consider Getting Staked to Play Poker.” Several of the biggest players in the game are either staked or sell pieces of themselves when the play. And if you’re not into taking risks, staking may be the way to go.
-The repeal of PASPA has thrown the gambling world into a tizzy with everyone asking when sports betting will come to their state. But more importantly, those people want to know when they can expect online poker to be up and running once again. PartTimePoker’s own David Huber wrote an excellent piece about some hope of online poker coming to New York. In this article, David looks at New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s push for online gaming in the state. New York bill A 5250 would carve out a special nitch for poker and not have it labeled as gambling. Pennsylvania was a tremendous gain for online poker supporters. Could New York be next?
-And while we’re on the subject of sports betting, if you needed a quick update on how your state is doing in that department, head over to ESPN. They have an excellent write-up on the status of each state.
-You want more Triton High Roller Series action? OK, you got it. Pokernews was able to piece together some of the best clips from the two week series. Enjoy.
– And finally, while the Las Vegas Golden Knights don’t have too much to do with poker, the whole city has seemed to embrace them on their run at the Stanley Cup. So with that in mind, let’s leave you this tweet, which is pretty strong.
ON THIS DATE IN GOLDEN KNIGHTS HISTORY
Actually, not much happened. We didn't have a team yet. Probably just had some meetings
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 19, 2018
Photo Credits: Pokernews.com, WPT.com, Cardplayerlifestyle.com, PartTimePoker.com, ESPN.com
Keith Woernle is a writer, comedian, and semi-pro poker player based out of New Jersey. He was a producer for season 10 of the World Poker Tour. Keith won a WSOP circuit ring in 2011. He likes poker a lot. Follow or contact him on Twitter @WoernlePoker.