Jason Koon won Event #6: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2021 PokerGO Cup on Monday, taking home a score of $324,000. He topped a field of 36 entries to win the title. It was Koon’s first victory inside the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas.

“My career is kind of funny, because the first maybe eight to 10 years of it I was kind of floating around in purgatory, not really having a direction, and just knowing that I like to play and think about the game,” Koon said of his evolution within poker. “But once I learned what worked for me and how to learn about the game in a theoretical sense, it kind of all came together because I had 10 years of just kind of guessing and feeling people out — just using feel. Once I got stronger with theory, it felt like everything came together.”

Koon is known for his work ethic both on and off the felt. Off the felt is where he believes a lot of work is put in, and he spoke a bit about how important it is to prepare yourself for competing at such high levels.

“I think it’s everything,” Koon said of the importance of preparation off the felt. “It might not necessarily matter day to day, but in the long run it’s easy to burn out in poker. Even if you’re winning, your body goes, your mind goes. Even me having the endurance from playing live poker in a long time, I’ve definitely made some mistakes this week. I bubbled a tournament acting when a guy was waiting to act in front of me, and obviously it was the worst case scenario as I ended up bubbling as a result, but it was just a sign that I needed to get focused, build my stamina back, and slow down.”

To relive all of the action from the final table, check out the replay of the event on PokerGO.com.

Steve Zolotow was the first player to bust at the final table, taking home $45,000 for the result. On the river of a jack-seven-three-queen-nine board with three diamonds and the pot at 260,000, John Riordan put Zolotow all in for 140,000 holding the ace-ten of diamonds. Zolotow, who had king-queen for top pair, thought about it and then called. Upon seeing the bad news, Zolotow was off to the payout desk to collect his $45,000 in winnings.

Cary Katz was the next player to hit the rail, falling at the hands of Jason Koon. With the blinds at 15,000-25,000 with a 25,000 big blind ante, play folded to Katz in the small blind and he limped in holding pocket kings. Koon checked his option in the big blind with king-jack. The flop came jack-high and Katz fired 95,000. Koon jammed, putting Katz all in for 355,000 total, and Katz quickly called. The turn was a jack to vault Koon into the lead and he held from there. Katz earned $72,000 for the run.

Anuj Agarwal busted in fourth place in what was one of the most exciting hands of the 2021 PokerGO Cup. On the button with the blinds at 20,000-40,000 with a 40,000 big blind ante, Agarwal went all in for 155,000 with jack-nine of diamonds. Koon was in the small blind and three-bet the minimum to 270,000 with pocket aces. Riordan was in the big blind and looked down to find king-ten of hearts. At the start of the hand, Riordan had a little more than 2 million in chips and Koon had just over 1.6 million. Riordan shoved all in and Koon quickly called. The flop was a sweaty one, coming queen-jack-eight. A six on the turn and a three on the river followed, scoring Koon the elimination of Agarwal and a double up through Riordan. Agarwal picked up $99,000 for his fourth-place finish.

Riordan busted next, hitting the rail in third for $144,000. His ace-ten of clubs lost out to Koon’s queen-nine after the money went in preflop. Koon hit a nine on the turn to win the hand and get heads up with Thomas Winters.

Koon had a commanding chip lead entering the final duel with Winters, and it didn’t take long for Koon to finish things off. On the final hand, Koon limped on the button with pocket nines and Winters raised all in from the big blind with king-six of clubs. Winters shoved for 375,000 and Koon quickly called. Koon flopped top set and held from there, securing his first-ever victory inside the PokerGO Studio. Winters earned $216,000 for the runner-up finish.

The final table payouts are as follows.

2021 PokerGO Cup Event #6: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Place Name Country Payout PokerGO Tour Points
1 Jason Koon USA $324,000 240
2 Thomas Winters USA $216,000 158
3 John Riordan USA $144,000 105
4 Anuj Agarwal USA $99,000 75
5 Cary Katz USA $72,000 60
6 Steve Zolotow USA $45,000 45

“Whenever I was talking to Cary and Bobby about this thing potentially happening, I thought it was a fantasy,” Koon said when asked about competing in the PokerGO Studio for high stakes against elite competition. “I didn’t think there was a chance. There aren’t a ton of reasons behind starting a poker studio. It doesn’t make sense for a casino, right? But when it happened, it’s just the most amazing place in the world to play and it’s right in our backyard. It’s quiet, all of the staff are our friends — it’s amazing. We know all of the floor people, all the dealers, , it’s just a really comfortable, safe place to play and I love it.”

In addition to the $324,000 he’ll be adding to his bankroll, Koon picked up 194 points for the PokerGO Cup series leaderboard. He’ll add that to the 122 points he earned for finishing second to Ali Imsirovic in the second event of the series, giving Koon 316 total. That moves Koon to second on the series leaderboard behind only Imsirovic.

2021 PokerGO Cup Top 10
Rank Name Country Earnings Points
1 Ali Imsirovic Bosnia and Herzegovina $423,000 423
2 Jason Koon USA $446,000 316
3 Dylan Linde USA $255,000 255
4 Alex Foxen USA $253,200 253
5 David Coleman USA $255,000 197
6 Jake Schindler USA $324,000 194
7 Daniel Weinand Canada $181,900 182
8 Sam Soverel USA $168,200 168
9 Jordan Cristos USA $157,800 158
10 David Peters USA $235,800 150

As for the PokerGO Tour leaderboard, the top 10 remains unchanged as a result of this event. Ali Imsirovic still leads by a decent margin with 2,320 points.

Updated PokerGO Tour Top 10
Rank Name Country Total Earnings PokerGO Tour Points
1 Ali Imsirovic Bosnia and Herzegovina $2,882,460 2,320
2 Sean Perry USA $2,206,378 1,553
3 Andrew Moreno USA $1,460,105 1,200
4 Clayton Maquire USA $1,443,757 1,200
5 Toby Lewis UK $1,235,204 1,200
6 Sean Winter USA $1,795,790 1,193
7 Sam Soverel USA $1,336,896 1,020
8 Alex Foxen USA $927,786 855
9 Chris Brewer USA $1,194,850 843
10 David Peters USA $1,068,750 796

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Steve Zolotow, Jason Koon, Cary Katz, John Riordan, PokerGO Cup, Anuj Agarwal, Thomas Winters