Refugee Poker Pro Looking for Title Down Under

Jason Koon
Jason Koon

Jason Koon, one of the many online grinders forced out of his home country, is in the hunt for $1.6 million in Australia.

Koon, who is originally from Weston, West Virginia but lived in Las Vegas until this summer, used to play on Full Tilt Poker as the formidable NovaSky.

The West Virginian had over one million chips midway though Day 3 of the 2012 Aussie Millions and was looking dangerous in almost every hand he played.

Despite some close calls over the years, Koon has never won a major live tournament and while he was reluctant to say he was due he did mention he was ready to win in terms of ability, preparation and mindset.

“I do have the ability to dominate this tournament and I’m looking forward to playing the best that I can and going as deep as I can,” he said.

It’s been a life-changing 12 months for Koon who saw his ability to play online poker in the USA disappear with Black Friday. He also had a substantial amount of money stuck on Full Tilt Poker.

“It was a big hit financially and in terms of lifestyle,” he said. “I was back home in West Virginia hanging out with some friends and making a pretty great living grinding four or five days a week.”

Like many online pros Koon opted to move to poker player haven Vancouver, Canada, so that he could continue to ply his trade online.

At first the adjustment of moving from the USA was difficult but Koon eventually got into the rhythm of it.

“Vancouver’s a beautiful city and I lived in Coal Harbor and Yaletown, which are both nice areas,” he said.

Despite his good experiences in Vancouver, Koon is once again on the move and plans on living in Cyprus with Chris Moorman for the next while.

“I’ve been bouncing all over the place and it’s been a lot of fun,” he said.

Earlier this year Koon Tweeted that 2012 would be his year and so far he’s lived up to his promise.

At the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Koon made the final table of the $25,000 High Rollers event and ended up finishing in fourth place to take down $271,950.

The final table was no walk in the park with pros Jonathan Duahamel, Isaac Haxton and Randy Lew all competing for first place.

“I was first in chips heading into the final table I was obviously not completely satisfied with fourth but getting fourth in one of the toughest tournaments in the world is never a bad thing,” he said.

Right now Koon is firmly set on making a deep run in the 2012 Aussie Millions. He had nothing but good things to say about the signature Australian event.

“The value is good and the structure is great,” he said. “This is a fantastic tournament.”

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