Championship: Jason Koon Beats Former Roommate Seth Davies Heads-Up to Win $1 Million

2016 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
Event #22
$5,250 SHRPO Championship
Entries: 847
Prize Pool: $5,000,000
August 13-16, 2016

2016 SHRPO Main Event Champion Jason Koon
2016 SHRPO Main Event Champion Jason Koon

“It’s something that I reminded myself to burn into my brain, so on rough days I can think about this awesome day.”

That’s how Jason Koon felt about the final table of the SHRPO $5,250 Championship after defeating one of his closest friends heads-up to win $1 million.

The Championship event of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open is one of the biggest events of the poker year, something players from all over the world look forward to playing at the end of each summer. This year, the freeze-out event (no re-entries) attracted 847 players, including some of the biggest names in the poker world. The final 150 players each took home a piece of the guaranteed $5 million prize pool, though they all had their eyes on the first prize of $1 million.

Only the final nine would play on Tuesday as part of the Seminole Hard Rock’s The Big 4 — four tournament final tables playing simultaneously in the Hard Rock Live arena in front of TV cameras for Poker Night in America, and livestreamed around the world.

Koon began the day third in chips at a tough final table, followed by his close friend Seth Davies, who started the day fourth in chips. They were hoping to make it heads-up against each other for the title, and that’s exactly what happened. Said Koon, “[Seth] and I were laughing about the opportunity, and the next thing you know, we’re sitting across the table from each other with the trophy sitting in between us, so it’s a really surreal moment.”

The two former roommates have known each other for more than five years, and their friendship extends beyond poker. According to runner-up Davies, “Jason is very much a mentor to me in poker, and in life. […] I’ve learned so much from him, just about how to grow as a person and as a poker player.” Davies has apparently learned well, because he won a WPT title back in May and won SHRPO Event 17 ($1,100 Six-Max NLHE) just last week.

But this final table belonged to Koon, who took a big lead when his pocket kings held against Paul Balzano’s pocket queens to knock out Balzano in seventh place. That hand catapulted Koon to more than 10 million in chips, and he held onto the chip lead all the way to victory.

“I feel fantastic. I mean, it’s a great result, it’s a lot of money, and I got to play heads-up with my buddy … It’s a special moment.”

Final table results:

1st:  Jason Koon  –  $1,000,000
2nd:  Seth Davies  –  $575,000
3rd:  Tim Burt  –  $310,000
4th:  Roman Valerstein  –  $220,000
5th:  Tom Midena  –  $180,000
6th:  Joe Serock  –  $150,000
7th:  Paul Balzano  –  $125,000
8th:  Ryan Fair  –  $100,000
9th:  Zo Karim  –  $75,000

Download Final Results (PDF)

Championship: Jason Koon Wins the SHRPO $5 Million GTD Championship! ($1,000,000)

SHRPO $5 Million GTD Championship
Level 32: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 847

2016 SHRPO Main Event Champion Jason Koon
2016 SHRPO Main Event Champion Jason Koon

Hand #154  –  Jason Koon raised to 900,000, Seth Davies moved all in, and Koon called with Ad8d. Davies turned over QcJh, and needed to improve to stay alive.

The board came As7s3c3h8c, and Koon paired his ace on the flop and his eight on the river to win the pot — and the SHRPO title — with two pair, aces and eights.

Seth Davies finished as the runner-up, earning $575,00.

Jason Koon wins the SHRPO $5 Million Guaranteed Championship, earning $1,000,000, and a SHRPO trophy. Congratulations to Jason Koon!

1st:  Jason Koon  –  $1,000,000
2nd:  Seth Davies  –  $575,000
3rd:  Tim Burt  –  $310,000
4th:  Roman Valerstein  –  $220,000
5th:  Tom Midena  –  $180,000
6th:  Joe Serock  –  $150,000
7th:  Paul Balzano  –  $125,000
8th:  Ryan Fair  –  $100,000
9th:  Zo Karim  –  $75,000

Championship: Seth Davies Doubles Thru Jason Koon

SHRPO $5 Million GTD Championship
Level 32: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 847

Hand #151  –  Seth Davies folded, giving Jason Koon a walk.

Hand #152  –  Jason Koon folded, giving Seth Davies a walk.

Hand #153  –  Seth Davies limped for 400,000, and Jason Koon checked his option. The flop came 6h4c3h, Koon checked, Davies bet 900,000, and Koon check-raised all in.

Davies called all in for 3,300,000 with 10c6c for a pair of sixes. Koon turned over 6d5c for a pair of sixes with an open-ended streaight draw. Davies needed his hand to hold to stay alive.

The turn card was the Kd, the river card was the As, and Davies won the pot with his pair of sixes and ten kicker.

Seat 1.  Seth Davies  –  7,500,000
Seat 5.  Jason Koon  –  17,900,000

Championship: Hands #144-150

SHRPO $5 Million GTD Championship
Level 32: 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 847

Hand #144  –  Jason Koon limped for 400,000, Seth Davies raised to 1,400,000, and Koon folded. Davies took the pot.

Hand #145  –  Seth Davies limped for 400,000, and Jason Koon checked his option. Both players checked to the turn on a board of KsQh6dAh, Koon checked, Davies bet 400,000, and Koon folded. Davies took the pot.

Hand #146  –  Jason Koon raised to 900,000, and Seth Davies called. Both players checked to the turn on a board of KhQh6dQs, Davies checked, Koon bet 1,500,000, and Davies folded. Koon took the pot.

Hand #147  –  Seth Davies raised to 1,000,000, and Jason Koon called. The flop came Ac5c5h, Koon checked, Davies bet 400,000, and Koon called. The turn card was the Jc, and both players checked.

The river card was the 7h, and they check again. Koon showed QsQh to win the pot.

Hand #148  –  Jason Koon limped for 400,000, Seth Davies raised to 1,400,000, and Koon folded. Davies took the pot.

Hand #149  –  Seth Davies folded, giving Jason Koon a walk.

Hand #150  –  Jason Koon raised to 900,000, and Seth Davies called. The flop came Kd10d6s, Davies checked, Koon bet 700,000, and Davies called. The turn card was the Ad, Davies checked, Koon bet 1,400,000, and Davies folded. Koon took the pot.

Seat 1.  Seth Davies  –  3,750,000
Seat 5.  Jason Koon  –  21,650,000