Jason Koon
Jason Koon is confirmed as entering the 2023 Big One for One Drop - could the West Virginian be favorite to win?

With just 24 days to go until the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jason Koon has become the latest star name to confirm that he will be participating in the returning Super High Roller event. Along with four debutants, Koon has confirmed his intention to play ‘The Big One’ and joins some poker legends in the exclusive field.

Koon One of Five New Entrants

After eight players had confirmed their participation in the biggest buy-in event taking place in December, five new faces have alerted the poker media to throw their hats in the ring too. Jason Koon is the standout name, if only because he is the only one of those five to have competed in the event before.

Koon, a record-breaking Triton Poker winner of 10 titles on that particular high stakes tour, will be putting down $1 million as he takes on the intoxicating mix of big business owners and poker legends. Currently sitting in fourth place on the all-time money list with $52.6 million in live tournament winnings, a result for Koon in this event might catapult him tantalisingly close to the top two of Justin Bonomo and Bryn Kenney.

The other four players to put their names down are all debutants, with Latvia player and WSOP bracelet holder Aleks Ponakovs – who once beat Phil Ivey heads-up to win a World Series bracelet, Russian online and live crusher Artur Martirosyan, Turkish high roller Orpen Kisacikoglu and Indian emerging star Santhosh Suvarna all added to the field.

Big One Now a World Poker Tour Event

Taking place as part of the second year of the WPT World Championships, the Big One for One Drop will be taking place at the Wynn in Las Vegas as the World Poker Tour begins its hosting of the event. With a televised final table, the pressure will be one for anyone lucky enough to make it that far in No Limit Hold’em.

“The Big One is just over one month away, and exceptional entries continue to fill the seats of this one-of-a-kind event,” the World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska said this week. “Jason is a well-respected member of the high-stakes community. We were honored to hear of his commitment.”

As players gather to play, it’s worth remembering what good the ‘One Drop’ does. With 6% of each entry going straight to the One Drop Foundation, sustainable access to safe water, and sanitation will improve the hygiene of communities who are desperately struggling and who face down one-outer challenges in real life every single day.

“Our excitement grows each day as more entries come forward,” Alexandre Meunier, the One Drop Foundation’s Chief Marketing and Events Officer said. “It is amazing to welcome Aleks Ponakovs, Artur Martirosyan, Orpen Kisacikoglu and Santhosh Suvarna as first-time participants in the Big One playing a crucial role in supporting One Drop Foundation’s water mission. The best of luck to all.”

Who Else is Playing the Big One?.. and Who Might Join Them?

Along with Koon, Ponakovs, Martirosian, Kisacikoglu and Suvarna, eight players have already put their names down to take part in the life-affirming event. 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey will be tough to stop if he is on top form, as will wild card and High Stakes Poker regular Rick Saloman.

Business gurus and super high rollers David Einhorn and Talal Shakerchi will be nobodies fools when they sit down to play and Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates is expected to join the party too. We spoke to American double bracelet winner from the summer Chris Brewer, who told us how excited he is to be competing in his first-ever Big One for One Drop this coming December.  Brewer’s fellow American Nick Petrangelo and Belarussian poker crusher Mikita Badziakouski complete the field as it stands but we would expect to see some late entries from some other poker legends. Who would put it past Poker Hall of Famers Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu and Phil ‘The Poker Brat’ Hellmuth throwing down the gauntlet? Could German crusher Fedor Holz enter the fray? What about Isaac Haxton, who with $15.4 million has won more than anyone else in 2023?

Lastly, what about the chances of some of this year’s other big winners getting their names onto the list? We would tip WSOP Main Event champion Daniel Weinman, but others such as Stephen Chidwick, Nacho Barbero, Dan Smith and Adrian Mateos have all enjoyed years where they’ve earned close to or more than $10 million in tournaments.

Who’ll walk away with the Big One for One Drop title? We can’t wait to find out. The most recent ‘Big One’ winner was Justin Bonomo, who took the title in 2018 for a massive $10 million – the biggest result of his incredible career.