Jason Koon Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in Event #11: $25K Heads-Up Championship ($243,981)
The 2021 World Series of Poker crowned a new gold bracelet winner at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Thursday as one of poker's biggest names finally joined the elusive winner's club. Out of a field of 57 entries in Event #11: $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship, American poker pro Jason Koon came out on top of hard-fought duel with Hungary's Gabor Szabo to get the monkey off his back.
"I am another level of tired, honestly. The wife and everybody have been doing so much to help with the baby. We were up at 8:30 a.m. today taking him to a doctor’s appointment," said the brand-new GGPoker ambassador, who welcomed his son, Calum, into the world just two weeks ago. "Then I came here and played a couple of studs. Heads-up is so intense, but yeah, we got it."
‘Do you have a bracelet?’ I’m just like, ‘Nope.’ At least I can finally say yes to that.
Koon, who was at his third final table of the series after finishing ninth in the $25,000 NLH High Roller and sixth in an online event the same day, admitted to a small bit of relief after finally capturing WSOP gold.
"It’s one of those things when you’re on an airplane and a person is like, ‘Do you have a bracelet?’ I’m just like, ‘Nope.’ At least I can finally say yes to that," he explained. "I love coming here. I think I’ll play poker forever, and when it’s all said and done I think it’s inevitable I’ll have several of them."
Event #11: $25,000 Heads-Up Championship Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Jason Koon||United States||$243,981|
|4||Daniel Zack||United States||$89,787|
|6||Bin Weng||United States||$36,280|
|7||Benjamin Reason||United States||$36,280|
|8||Jake Daniels||United States||$36,280|
The top eight finishers out of the 32-player bracket earned a portion of the $721,625 in prize money while all those who won their match in the round of 64 also had their buy-ins refunded.
Eventual winner Koon was among them and came out on top of six heads-up matches to claim a top prize of $243,981. For Szabo, the runner-up finish came a consolation prize of $150,790 while the semi-finalists Henri Puustinen and Daniel Zack received $89,787 for their efforts.
"My expectations were low," said Koon. "The fatigue set in, but at no point was I feeling that fear of it might be another time I take second place like I have felt in the past for sure."
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Prior to his final duel with Szabo, Koon said "I don't vlog, I don't stream, I just play the game," and that's exactly what he did throughout the three-day tournament. The freshly minted GGPoker global ambassador defeated Chris Brewer, Nicolai Morris, and Johannes Becker to reach the money stages.
In the round of eight, he only needed 13 minutes to eliminate Jake Daniels and then came out on top versus Finnish heads-up specialist Henri 'buttonclickr' Puustinen en route to the final heads-up match.
|Road to the Final||Jason Koon||Gabor Szabo|
|Round of 64||Chris Brewer||Bye|
|Round of 32||Nicolai Morris||Johan Guilbert|
|Round of 16||Johannes Becker||David Peters|
|Round of 8||Jake Daniels||Mikita Badziakouski|
|Round of 4||Henri Puustinen||Dan Zack|
After getting past Brewer and Morris in the opening two rounds, Koon found himself on the ropes against German mixed game specialist and former heads-up player Becker. He needed multiple double-ups to remain in contention before closing out the duel with a superior ace. The next obstacle was Daniels and the duo built pots very early on, which then culminated in a successful flip with queens for Koon against the ace-king suited of Daniels.
In the semi-final, 21-year-old Puustinen put up a fierce fight and Koon once more needed some fortune on his side to remain in contention. He got it in with a double gutshot and flush draw versus two pair to then spike another diamond on the river. Puustinen doubled once but ultimately hero-called at the wrong time to bow out in the semi-finals.
The duel on the other side of the table between Szabo and Zack ended just moments prior. After a careful start, Szabo steamrolled to victory and won numerous big pots to decimate the stack of the only former gold bracelet winner in contention. The Hungarian turned broadway to leave Zack drawing dead and set up the duel with Koon for poker's most sought-after prize.
Koon's final duel was a roller coaster ride in which the lead changed several times. Fortune was on his side when he won a flip with pocket fives versus ace-queen suited and he then also came out on top with ace-queen against the ace-jack of Szabo for the vast majority of the chips in play. It was over soon after to finally get the monkey off his back. From now on, Koon's name will no longer be mentioned among the "best players without a WSOP bracelet."
Hey, we won one. https://t.co/LdSPFzhr4i— Jason Koon (@JasonKoon)
As for what's next for Koon, his immediate plans were to get some rest and spend time with his family. Of course, getting back to the felt was already on his mind.
"I’ll play the $50Ks, the $100K and the $250K. I might play the Main Event, but that’s even pretty unlikely," he said when asked about his WSOP plans. "I’m going to hang out with the baby, and I think there’s a guy coming into town this weekend that wants to play between a $100K-$250K at ARIA, so I will oblige."
Congratulations to Jason Koon, winner of the 2021 WSOP Event #11: $25,000 Heads-Up Championship.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.
In this Series
- 1 Caesars Palace Dealer Jimmy Barnett Crowned Casino Employees Champion
- 2 Jesse Klein Tilts Hellmuth on Way to 2021 WSOP $25K H.O.R.S.E. Win for $552,182
- 3 Jeremy Ausmus Wins First Gold Bracelet of the 2021 World Series of Poker
- 4 Long Ma Tops Near 13,000-Player Field to Win The Reunion and First WSOP Bracelet
- 5 Connor Drinan Wins Second Bracelet in Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
- 6 Tyler Cornell Gets Signature Victory in 2021 WSOP Event #6: $25,000 High Roller ($833,289)
- 7 Jaswinder "Jesse" Lally Wins 2021 WSOP Event #7: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed ($97,915)
- 8 Aces in the Final Hand as Zhi Wu Wins Event #8: $600 Deepstack ($281,604)
- 9 Ari Engel Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Championship; Hellmuth Fifth
- 10 Michael Perrone Wins 2021 WSOP Event #10: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em ($152,173)
- 11 Jason Koon Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in Event #11: $25K Heads-Up Championship ($243,981)
- 12 Yuval Bronshtein Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold'em
- 13 Harvey Mathews Wins Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($371,914)
- 14 Lebron Captures Gold; Wins 2021 WSOP Event #14: $1,500 7-Card Stud
- 15 Bradley Jansen Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em ($313,403)
- 16 John Monnette Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet in Event #16: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($245,680)
- 17 Daniel Lazrus Wins 2021 WSOP Millionaire Maker for 2nd Bracelet ($1,000,000)
- 18 Vladimir Peck Wins 2021 WSOP Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($134,390)
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Denied 16th Bracelet as Anthony Zinno Wins His 3rd in the $10K Stud Championship
- 20 DJ Alexander Captures 1st WSOP Bracelet in Event #20: GGPoker Flip & Go ($180,665)
- 21 Dylan Linde Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Event #21: $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo ($170,269)
- 22 Lara Eisenberg wins 2021 World Series of Poker Ladies NLHE Championship
- 23 Ryan Leng Wins Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed for $137,969
- 24 Michael Prendergast Wins Maiden Bracelet in Event #24: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack ($127,428)
- 25 Scott Ball Celebrates First WSOP Bracelet in Event #25: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
- 26 Czech Pro Dalibor Dula Becomes First European Bracelet Winner at the 2021 WSOP
- 27 Anthony Zinno Wins Fourth Gold Bracelet in Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
- 28 Dylan Weisman Wins WSOP Event #28: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha for First Bracelet ($166,461)
- 29 Chance Kornuth Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Event #29: $10,000 Short Deck ($194,670)
- 30 Michael Noori Captures First WSOP Bracelet and $610,437 in the Monster Stack
- 31 Phil Hellmuth Wins Record 16th World Series of Poker (WSOP) Gold Bracelet
- 32 Jim Collopy Wins 2021 WSOP Event #32: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. for Second Gold Bracelet ($172,823)
- 33 Ran Koller Wins WSOP Event #33: $800 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold'em Deep Stack ($269,478)
- 34 David "Bakes" Baker Wins Third WSOP Title in Event #34: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw
- 35 Anthony Koutsos Wins First WSOP Bracelet In Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em ($167,272)
- 36 Adam Friedman Defeats Phil Hellmuth to Win WSOP $10k Dealer's Choice for Third Straight Year
- 37 Karolis Sereika Wins First WSOP Bracelet in Event #37: $1,500 Super Turbo ($195,310)
- 38 Michael Addamo Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #38: $50K High Roller ($1,132,968)
- 39 Josh Arieh Wins Third Bracelet in Event #39: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha ($204,766)
- 40 Kevin Gerhart Wins Third Career Bracelet in Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
- 41 "Hobby Player" Carlos Chang Wins First Bracelet in $2,500 NLHE Freezeout
- 42 Bradley Ruben Dazzles in the $1,500 Razz; Wins Third WSOP Bracelet
- 43 Dreams to Win a WSOP Bracelet Come True for Anthony Denove in the $1K Double Stack
- 44 Ryan Hansen Wins First WSOP Bracelet in Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em ($109,692)
- 45 Tommy Le Wins WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship For Second Time
- 46 Chad Norton Wins A Bracelet in His First-Ever WSOP Event!
- 47 France's Alexandre Reard Wins 2021 WSOP Event #47: $5,000 Freezeout NLH ($428,694)
- 48 Poker Philanthropist Gershon Distenfeld Wins WSOP Bracelet, Pledges All Winnings to Charity ($204K)
- 49 Farzad Bonyadi Wins Fourth Bracelet in $10K 2-7 NL Single Draw, Ends Sixteen-Year Drought
- 50 Premonition Becomes Reality as Darrin Wright Wins First WSOP Bracelet
- 51 Brian Rast Wins Fifth Bracelet; Sets Sights on Poker Hall of Fame
- 52 Robert McMillan Wins 2021 WSOP Event #52: $1,000 Seniors Championship ($561,060)
- 53 Shaun Deeb Wins 5th Bracelet in WSOP Event #53: $25,000 PLO ($1,251,860)
- 54 Nicholas Julia Wins Event #54: $2,500 Nine-Game Mix 6-Handed ($168,608)
- 55 Anatolii Zyrin Defeats Massive Field in Colossus to Claim Second WSOP Bracelet ($314,705)
- 56 Ben Yu Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #56: $10,000 6-Handed NLH Championship ($721,453)
- 57 Brian Yoon Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #57: $10,000 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship ($839,350)
- 58 Jean-Luc Adam Wins First Bracelet and $255,623 in Event #58: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em
- 59 Team Ruter Crowned Event #59: $1,000 Tag Team Champions ($113,366)
- 60 Dan "Jungleman" Cates Takes Down $50,000 Poker Players Championship for First WSOP Bracelet
- 61 Cole Ferraro Comes From Behind to Win WSOP Event #61: $600 Deepstack Championship ($252,491)
- 62 Kevin Gerhart Earns Fourth WSOP Bracelet in Event #62: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($186,789)
- 63 Eric Zhang Wins 2021 WSOP Event #63: $500 Salute to Warriors ($102,465)
- 64 From Online Crusher to WSOP Gold: Eelis Parssinen Wins Event #64: $5,000 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha
- 65 "It Feels Amazing": Georgios Sotiropoulos Wins Mini Main Event for 3rd WSOP Bracelet
- 66 Josh Arieh Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #66: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
- 67 Koray Aldemir Wins 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for $8,000,000
- 68 Scott Ball Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in Event #68 $1,111 Little One for One Drop
- 69 Jermaine Reid Reschedules Flight Before Winning WSOP Event #69: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($113,459)
- 70 David Moses Wins Maiden Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #70: $888 Crazy Eights ($888,888)
- 71 Mourad Amokrane Dominates the Final Table On His Way to Winning Event #71: $1,500 Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha
- 72 Motoyoshi Okamura Wins Event #72: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha for $209,716
- 73 Brian Hastings Becomes 29th Player in WSOP History to Claim Five Gold Bracelets
- 74 Denis Strebkov Wins His Second WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #74: $2,500 Big Bet Mix
- 75 Chad Himmelspach Comes Back From a Single Blind to Win WSOP Event #75: $1,500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($270,877)
- 76 Romain Lewis Captures 1st Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #76: $10K Super Turbo Bounty
- 77 Paulo Joanello Makes Dream Come True After Winning First WSOP Bracelet in Event #77 $1,500 Fifty Stack ($321,917)
- 78 Benny Glaser Wins Event #78: $10,000 Razz Championship for 4th Gold Bracelet ($274,693)
- 79 Ole Schemion Breaks WSOP Duck; Wins Event #79: $1,979 Hall Of Fame Bounty No-Limit Hold’em For $172,499
- 80 Robert Cowen Wins 2021 WSOP Event #80: $3,000 6-Handed PLO ($280,916)
- 81 Jason Wheeler Wins First Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #81: $800 NLH Deepstack ($202,274)
- 82 Adrian Mateos Wins $250K Super High Roller for Fourth WSOP Gold Bracelet ($3,265,262)
- 83 Leo Margets Wins First Bracelet and $376,850 in Event #83: $1,500 The Closer
- 84 Ausmus Denies Hellmuth and Negreanu; Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in $50K PLO High Roller ($1,188,918)
- 85 Mikita Badziakouski Claims First Gold Bracelet in Event #85: $50,000 High Roller ($1,462,043)
- 86 Michael McCauley Wins Event #86: $1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold'em ($161,384)
- 87 Michael Addamo Wins $100,000 High Roller for His Fourth WSOP Bracelet
- 88 Boris Kolev Wins Maiden Bracelet and $511,184 in Event #88: $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold'em