PCA 2015: The Jason Koon nutrition plan
Picture the iconic poker player: jowls hanging over a western shirt, chin resting upon chin resting upon heaving chest, cigar ashes casting a light snow over an old rounded mountain the player calls his stomach. Words come out in grunts. Everything comes out in grunts. His chances of a heart attack are as good as his chances of making queens full before the end of the night.
Jason Koon is not the iconic poker player.
Jason Koon plays tournaments that cost $100,000 per entry. Jason Koon is polite, friendly, and well-spoken. Jason Koon can jump higher than you. Jason Koon can do backflips. Jason Koon is currently among the chip leaders in a tournament with a first prize of $1.8 million.
And Jason Koon is what my dear wife would call..."a physical specimen."
Right now, you might be in the middle of some deep reflection about your New Year's resolutions. You might have skipped your day at the gym. You might have re-found that self-loathing you sent packing on January 1. You might be sitting in front of your computer with Ben and Jerry's dripping down an open pajama shirt (I might be projecting...). Point is, you might just need a little bit of Jason Koon in your life.
Earlier today, reader ajgour11 asked if we wouldn't mind chatting with Koon about how he handles his nutrition during a major event. Koon seemed a little busy with $1.8 million on the line, but true to his reputation, he didn't mind taking a little time today to run through it with us.
On intermittent fasting and "breakfast"
"I eat through a ten-hour block. I wake up, and for the first two hours of the day, I'm completely fasted. I have a light workout, morning routine, come back, and then I have a bunch of water to start my day until I start feeling kind of sharp. And then I have a Bulletproof Coffee."
How Jason Koon makes his Bulletproof Coffee
MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) Oil
"I generally have 400 calories worth of that, so I have a big one."
Before you try this at home
"I would start off light if you're not used to doing MCT Oil. Make sure you start off very, very easy, because it can upset your stomach.The butter won't bother you, generally."
Eating during "playtime"
"I don't eat big meals the entire time I'm playing. Ever. I snack on a lot of high-fat stuff. I'll generally pack avocados with me. I'll have almonds. Lots of nuts. Lots of water. Lots of fat. Then if it's a long day, I'll re-up on the Bulletproof Coffee."
What about those protein bars we hear so much about?
I hate having protein bars, but I always bring a box of Quest Bars with me. I wouldn't advise getting in the habit of having protein bars every day. They're really not good for you. My general advice is if something doesn't spoil in a couple of weeks, you probably shouldn't be eating it all the time."
When it's time for more calories...
"The most calories I take in is from a ketogenic kale shake, which is kale, Brazil nuts, full-fat coconut milk, some cinnamon, and two scoops of grass-fed whey protein powder."
Before you try this at home redux
"If you're going to eat a bunch of kale, make sure you drop it in boiling water, because it releases oxalic acid, something that can be poisonous to you if you have too much of it."
When "playtime" is over...
"At the end of the day, I'll go have a meal. We cheat out here a little bit. Yesterday I had dinner with Erik Seidel. I had a potato with seared salmon and black bean soup. At the end of the day, I'll go to Mesa Grill or Nobu and get some sushi or something like that."
So that (and working out harder than most of us ever will) is how Jason Koon remains the physical specimen he is.
Now it's just a question of how much kale he could buy with $1.8 million.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging