A lot of poker players would consider the World Series of Poker Main Event to be the can’t miss event of the summer. Jason Koon was supposed to miss the 2023 WSOP Main Event though.
His wife Bianca was expecting the couple’s second child with a late June due date. This meant Koon had some time to play some of the bigger events before the baby’s arrival. The baby had other ideas.
On July 17, Koon registered for the $250,000 Super High Roller with every intention of running deep in what he thought was going to be his Main Event. Shortly after bagging, Bianca went into labor and Jason asked WSOP officials if he could withdraw from the event. As he had more than a starting stack and registration was still open, they were able to oblige.
Cole Koon arrived a few hours later.
Over the past few weeks, the Koon’s, including newly minted big brother Calum, have been adjusting to the new addition.
“It’s been crazy, but great. My wife killed it. Our baby is doing great. All is well,” Koon said.
Things have been going so well that Bianca gave Jason the greenlight to head back over to the Horseshoe and fire the Main Event.
“Everything is settled at the house and my wife said why don’t you go play it, ya know since I didn’t get to finish the $250K, maybe I can come over here and play a couple of tournaments,” Koon said on the first break of Day 1B.
As anybody who has had kids will attest, the first few months present some real challenges for the parents. Getting enough sleep becomes an issue. Anybody who runs deep in the WSOP Main Event will also confirm that getting enough sleep becomes an issue. Koon’s prepared for dealing with both thanks to his wife and the support system at home.
“I’m ready to rock and roll. We have a big house, we have a lot of help, my wife is a superhero and she’ll make sure that I get enough sleep to be good in this thing,” Koon said.
Part of that support system is 21-month old Calum, the Koon’s first son. Since Cole’s arrival, Calum has been adapting to life as a big brother.
“He loves it. He started off kinda like ‘who is this?’ and a little jealous, but now everything is about the baby brother,” Koon said. “Since he’s here he wants to hold him all the time, he wants to show him things.”
Jason is considered by most of his peers to be one of the best players in the world. While that is a distinction that almost every poker player strives to achieve, Jason is more focused on being a good father and husband.
“(This) was kind of part of the plan, I definitely wasn’t in a position to be a family man 15 years ago, I had a lot of self work and I needed to get my shit together,” Koon said. “I think the grand goal was where I’m at and I think I can’t believe the situation that my life has become. Yesterday I was playing with my son in the pool and I’m just thinking to myself, this is crazy. I just can’t believe how good it is.”