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High-stakes pro Jason Koon has been playing poker for the last seven years and it's taken him from his tiny home town in West Virgina all over the world. Koon now lives in Vancouver, Canada where he plays online and focuses on living a balanced lifestyle. Right now he's in Paris competing at the World Series of Poker Europe where speaks with PokerListings.com about how he never saw this level of success coming.
My name is Jason Koon. I am from western West Virginia, a very small town. I ended up going to business school, got an MBA. I got a real job for a very brief period. By then I was already into poker and decided that I wanted to take a shot at it. So I quit my job, even though everyone was kind of telling me that I was an idiot. And here I am, seven or six years later.
I've messed a bunch of stuff up but the one thing that I've done right my entire life is kind of go with what my gut's telling me to do. I've always just kind of said, "If I mess it up, I can go do the things that I already had the shots at so might as well take a chance." I'm really happy it worked out.
I thought that I would end up being a pretty good player, but I never thought I would get to this level. It's just one of those things that you just keep doing what you do and one day you wake up and you are there. I guess it's surreal. It's pretty neat.
After Black Friday, I relocated to Vancouver with a couple of poker friends and moving there was quite different. It's a big city. I'm from a very small town, town of 5000 people or so. But Vancouver has a lot of outdoor activities. I can go and be active and hike and hang out on the beach, bike, and do all the things that I liked to do back home. It was nice to have some similar activities I could stick to. The city ended up working out quite well for me because I like the differences too. I like being able to walk out of my building and basically be anywhere that I need to be within five minutes. I'm around a great group of guys that I would have never had the opportunity to be around if it weren't for things just luckily or unluckily happening. Overall, yes. It's worked out wonderful.
I try not to take anything too seriously. I am very good at this game. I continue to work hard because I'm driven and motivated by competition but I am not necessarily sure if I'm gonna end up doing this before. I don't think I will but if I do, I'm sure I'll think that that's the right decision at the moment.
I just try not to put too much talk stock in worrying about my future. Just make a bunch of good decisions everyday and whatever happens I hope I'll just be focused on being healthy and happy.