Jason Koon has become the first player to bag five Triton Poker titles, the brand ambassador adding another trophy and $574,000 to his haul with victory in the $50k NLH Turbo event in Vietnam last night.
The smallest field of the Triton SHR Series Vietnam stop so far wasn’t unexpected, with the $100k buy-in Main Event in the spotlight, but the 24 players accounting for 31 entries still produced a $1,550,000 prizepool and therefore plenty of action.
Stephen Chidwick and Dan Smith fell just short of the five paid spots, but it was Triton newcomer Warwick Mirzikinian who took the most painful spot of all, on the money bubble.
Mirzikinian: A♠ K♣
Brewer: A♣ 8♥
Flop: A♥ 9♥ J♥
That secured $147,000 for the remaining quintet, with Brewer suddenly holding as many chips as the other four combined. However, Russian pro Artur Martirosian soon caught up when he KO’d Haxton and then took two big pots off Brewer.
Last year’s Triton Cyprus Main Event winner, Punnat Punsri, departed in 4th when his A♣ 8♣ couldn’t catch Koon’s pocket treys, and then it was Brewer who fell at the hands of the Triton Poker ambassador, looking for his fifth Triton win.
Koon’s explanation of the big hand that shifted heads-up in his favour befitting of the victory, Martorisian deep in the tank on the river but unable to get away from second pair...
Koon: Q♥ J♦
Martirosian: J♥ 10♠
Board: 4♣ Q♣ 6♥ J♠ 5♥
“I knew I had the best hand,” Koon explained afterwards. “It’s a situation where I made a gigantic bet on the river, and the reason why is that I overbet the turn and the river completed the five, which made seven-eight the nut straight. And I can have all the seven-eight that I was bluffing with that made the straight, and he can have none of it.
“And for that reason you get to make an enormous bet. So I bet over 2x the pot. Artur is a great poker player and he identified that he has to call a lot of hands that aren’t very good there, because I could be coming after him. I just happened to have it there.”
Koon’s victory edged him ahead of Mikita Badziakouski in the Triton lifetime wins standings, with five victories to the Belarus pro’s four.
Soon to become a father again, Koon revealed why he spends so much time at the highstakes tournament tables: “The motivation, at the end of the day, is that I’m earning a lot and I want to do that.”
“I’m leaving my family at home. I wouldn’t do that for prestige. I’m doing it because I know that there’s a short window of time where I have the energy and the passion to be good at this, and I want to make the most of it while I can.”