Earlier this month, poker pro Jason Koon had no problem taking down Phil Hellmuth when they met in a High Stakes Duel match. But Koon didn’t use up all his talent on that heads-up battle, as he had enough left over to now win the PokerGO Tour (PGT) Championship.
Making its second run this year, the high-stakes PGT included 175 events that saw over 24,998 combined entries and $426 million in the pot. Shaking things up as it made its return, the PGT introduced the PGT Championship this year.
The event is a winner-takes-all freeroll – no cash for anyone but the victor. When the final hand played out, it was Koon who was standing on top of the biggest stack. This earned him the entire $500,000 that was up for grabs.
Texas Hold’em With A Twist
The PGT Championship was, in a few ways, different than most tournaments. In addition to giving the prize pool to one player, as opposed to the top finishers, all players had different chip stacks as they sat down at the tables.
The stack sizes were determined by the number of points each player won during the PGT. The higher the ranking on the leaderboard, the more chips the player started with.
Stephen Chidwick was at the top of the list, sitting down with 342,000 in chips. Koon wasn’t far behind, with the third-largest stack, but started with a clear disadvantage.
The freeroll was open to the top 21 players of the PGT, and the action moved at a steady pace until the very end. Koon closed out Day 1 as the chip leader, controlling about 57% of the pile.
On Day 2, he continued to work his magic to take home the trophy and the money. Now, according to Hendon Mob, the West Virginia native has amassed over $41.9 million in live tournament money and one WSOP bracelet.
Koon finally ran into Sean Winter to determine the winner. The two would go at it for almost two hours, exchanging the lead several times along the way. Finally, with Koon up 6:1 in chips, the death blow came.
Koon had 10-8 when he forced Winter, almost out of chips, to go all-in with his J-8. When the board ran out 10-6-5-3-3, it was all over. Winter still has plenty of reasons to celebrate – he cashed in several PGT tournaments and has over $21 million in live action winnings.
Online Poker Gets A Boost
Online poker in the US has been stifled for many years because of archaic laws that no one seems willing to address. The Wire Act of 1961 has made it virtually impossible for online gaming operators to conduct activity across state lines. But that’s changing.
As a result, online poker is finally making a return. There’s still a lot of work to do, but PokerStars is going to help push the issue forward. It announced last Friday that, beginning January 1 of next year, it will start pooling its players in Michigan and New Jersey.
Multi-state online poker (MSOP) will transform the gaming segment. It will create the ability to have larger tournaments with greater prize pools and guarantees, as well as fuel interest in the game.
Not since Chris Moneymaker won a WSOP bracelet in 2003 after gaining entry through an online satellite has anything had the ability to alter the poker space like MSOP. It’s taken almost two decades and poker’s Black Friday, which saw the sudden and controversial killing of online poker by the Department of Justice, to make it happen.
Michigan entered the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) this past May, opening the door for expanded MSOP deals. The agreement, which covers online poker and certain online casino games, now includes Delaware, Michigan, Nevada and New Jersey.
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