PCA 2015: Self-defence tips for a captive audience

Bill Perkins walked around the tournament floor as though he'd lost something, maybe a contact lens or a lucky charm. In fact he had lost something, but it wasn't his ability to see clearly or summon good fortune. He'd lost his chips, all of them, and was quite clear in his intention to buy more. He just needed to find them man to give $100,000 to. Then he found him, and both parties in this deal were happy.

Perkins second coming was the only real activity in the Super High Roller at the time, in that early phase when the number of players goes up, never down. There was a lot of talk though, for this same early phase features only limited peril, in this case involving only Perkins, who seemed to be handling it well. Good-natured discussion fills the gap instead.

Isaac Haxton told one particular story about his father's efforts to put him off drinking for life.

Isaac_Haxton_pca2015_shr1.jpgClear headed and focused: Isaac Haxton

At the age of four Papa Haxton gave little Ike a shot of Jack Daniels. Only it didn't work. Instead the four-year-old Isaac, performing perhaps the first re-raise of his life, asked for another. Haxton didn't say if he was then locked in a cupboard with a pack of cigarettes.

Jason Koon had plenty he wanted to say, starting with how to perform a back flip. Koon, is both an affable and athletic type, someone who comes across as someone who tips his hat and calls women "ma'am". He made this feat sound tantalizingly easy. Most people worry too much about "not coming around", he said, commonly known to the layperson as "fracturing your spine". Fedor Holz listened intently, but went quiet for a while.

Koon proved a popular compare and, encouraged by the positive response, told more stories. One involved an altercation, and was delivered with graphic depictions of violence self-defence, slang, humour, and charm. Jason Mercier laughed his way through it with his 0-to-falsetto-in-under-three-seconds laugh, as Koon weaved in details of being rescued by a cage fighter, playing beer pong, his favourite leather jacket, and grabbing someone by the ears.

jason_koon_pca2015_shr1.jpgMaster story-teller: Jason Koon

He was even getting questions from the floor. How do you best perform a head butt, for example?

Koon, whether he had any experience of the subject or not, answered thoughtfully. It was like he was the man who had written the book on how to perform a head butt, being routinely invited onto TV news shows to provide analysis whenever a head butt made the headlines. So he made some suggestions, ensuring that if nothing else were to happen to these players today at least they'd have learned something. "Between the eyes is a good spot," he speculated, before warning everyone to aim away from the teeth.

"You're a remarkably nice guy for a man who gets into a lot of fights," said someone, which is the impression anyone might have towards the likable Koon. He laughed and finished his story, saying what I imagine he says every time he finishes a conversation.

"That's a true story, I swear to God."

Follow all the action from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at PokerStars Blog. Head to the Super High Roller page to see hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top of the page, with feature articles below. Action starts soon on EPT Live.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.