A Fun Challenge: Jason Koon on Playing an Unfamiliar Poker Variant

Jason Koon
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  • @JasonKoon on short deck hold'em: "Like the early days of NLHE, we're just trying to figure it out."

  • PokerNews talks with @JasonKoon about short deck hold'em, Jungleman, the future of poker & more.

The ongoing 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series in Montenegro has earned headlines over recent days thanks to the star-studded line-up of players taking part.

Following victories by Phil Ivey in the HKD $250,000 Short Deck Ante-Only event and Richard Yong in the HKD $250,000 6-Max, the HKD $1,000,000 Main Event is currently in action with live updates, chip counts, photos, and more from the PokerNews live reporting team.

You might have heard about that "short deck ante-only" preliminary event featuring no blinds (only the button posting a double-ante each hand) and a 36-card deck from which the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s have been removed.

Occasionally used in high-stakes cash games, the "short deck" format had only been employed in a tournaments a couple of times previously with this week's event the first live streamed instance.

Being such a new format, "short deck" poker presents obvious challenges to those who are new to it. Jason Koon was among the participants in the event he described as "kind of a test run" for most involved. Koon spoke to PokerNews about the challenge of trying to play an unfamiliar poker variant.

"There are so many spots I have no idea what's happening, but that's the fun part," explained Koon. "It's like the early days of no-limit hold'em. We're just trying to figure it out."

Koon spoke about other topics, too, including Dan "Jungleman" Cates, playing super high rollers, and the future of poker. Take a look:

There's another, even bigger "short deck, ante-only" event on the Triton Super High Roller Series schedule starting Thursday, one which like the Main Event sports a big HKD $1,000,000 buy-in (worth approximately $127K USD).

Players like Koon who already possess a solid grounding in both no-limit hold'em and tournament strategy are in a good position to develop winning strategies in short-deck hold'em.

Indeed, one of the best ways to succeed when playing a new poker variant is to apply lessons learned in the games with which you already are familiar. Thus in his article "Four Steps to Success in Unfamiliar Poker Variants" does Robert Woolley recommend getting a grounding in several different games in order to position yourself well to handle a variant you've never encountered before.

Later this week we'll share some specific short-deck hold'em strategy advice here in advance of Thursday's big HKD $1M event. Meanwhile stick close to PokerNews for comprehensive coverage of all the action from Montenegro.

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