The Body & Brain Optimization Strategies Of A Pro Poker With Jason Koon


My friend and today’s podcast guest Jason Koon is a professional poker player. As of August 2021, he is the 10th highest earner in history, with nearly $32,000,000 in winnings. 

Originally from West Virginia, Jason Koon was raised outdoors, spending much of his childhood fishing, hunting, and playing sports. Jason Koon attended West Virginia Wesleyan College on a track scholarship where he competed as a sprinter. He would go on to graduate with a finance undergraduate degree, as well as an M.B.A.

Jason Koon found poker in college after suffering a severe hip injury. Within months, he was winning money by simply playing on the internet. By the time Jason finished university, he was winning at high-stakes poker games online. After taking a finance job in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jason almost immediately quit and decided to give playing poker for a living a chance.

Jason lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife Bianca and his newborn son Calum.

After you listen in to the discussion with me and Jason, you’ll then get a bonus goodie: a guest lecture by my friend Lucas Aoun, designer of the Nootropics Masterclass, 30 Days To Higher Testosterone, and Optimizing Sleep Masterclass, and previous guest on this podcast. (Save 10% on Lucas’s nootropics courses with code BENG10.)

Lucas is also the author of the popular article Hair, Hormones, Icing Your Balls & 6 Other Little-Known Strategies To Boost Testosterone, Balance Your Hormones & Reclaim Your Rightful Man & Womanhood. In the second half of this special two-part podcast, Lucas discusses how nootropics work, nootropics for optimal brain functioning, how professional poker players can benefit from specific nootropic compounds, and more.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Jason Koon is preparing for a second wind as a sprinter…08:15

  • He seriously injured his hip in college as a sprinter; started playing poker in 2005
  • Was challenged by people within the poker community to run 100m under 11 sec.
  • Recovery-based training; much better nutrition than while in college
  • Deep tissue massage 2~3 times a week
  • Sauna and cold plunge every day
  • 40-minute warmup, 2 minutes of 90% exertion
  • The Quick And The Dead by Pavel Tsatsouline

-The mental and physical grind of becoming and remaining an elite poker player…14:45

  • Earned the freedom to be more selective with how energy is expended
  • Best players are Chinese entrepreneurs who play at very high stakes ($4 million hands)
  • Not uncommon to play over 24 consecutive hours with a high roller who’s good at losing
  • Sleep deprivation; smoke in your face; whatever the rich guy wants to do
  • Jason plays his best poker while fasted, sipping bone broth and MCT oil, in ketosis
  • AI is used to study and practice the craft

-How to excel at poker without getting into the trap of gambling…21:45

  • Two types of games: cash and tournaments
  • Ben will play, win a few bucks, and walk away
  • Jason hates gambling, even though he’s a professional poker player

-Foods and/or supplements Jason Koon uses to perform at a very high level…25:40

-Nootropics and smart drugs that assist with focus…35:30

-Managing bright lights at night and the circadian rhythm with a career that requires odd hours…41:08

-How to deal with toxins in a casino environment…49:40

  • Be in steam for a really long time
  • Intense sweat or steam shower

-How to stay in shape while traveling…51:15

-Meditation and keeping the mental game optimized…54:50

  • A reactive mind doesn’t work well in the world of poker
  • Must let go of things you can’t control
  • Mini-meditations at the table
  • Don’t make plays out of fear of losing

-The growing awareness of health and biohacking within the poker world…56:30

  • A massive fitness movement is just starting in the poker community

-Specific nootropics for optimal brain function with special guest Lucas Aoun…1:02:47

  • Lucas Aoun’s Nootropics Masterclass (use code BENG10 to save 10%)
  • BGF podcast with Lucas Aoun:
  • BGF article by Lucas Aoun:

-Nootropics defined and how they work…1:03:15

  • Works through a variety of mechanisms in the brain
    • Increases and modulates neurotransmitter release
    • Modulating neurotransmitter receptor sites
    • Modulating neurotransmitter enzymes
    • Reduce oxidative stress
    • Act as a precursor to various neurotransmitters

-Executive functions and cognitive domains required by pro poker players…1:06:55

  • Greater emotional control is beneficial under extreme stress
  • Rational vs. emotional decisions
  • Good tolerance for financial risk
  • Emotional intelligence and body language
  • Improving working memory
  • Have a good degree of forward-thinking

-Nootropics that may be useful for professional poker players…1:14:40

-And much more!

Upcoming Events:

Resources from this episode:

Jason Koon:

– Lucas Aoun:

– Podcasts And Articles:

  • Is There One Single Diet That Is Best? (And Why Something Called The “Perfect Health Diet” Heavily Influences Most of Ben Greenfield’s Dietary Decisions).
  • Episode #152: If You Could Eat Fat All Day, Would You?
  • Modafinil: Is This Wildly Popular Smart Drug Safe And Effective? (& What It Can Do For Your Sleep Cycles & Brain Health).
  • The Ultimate Guide To Nootropics: How To Safely Use Better Living Through Science To Get The Most Firepower Out Of Your Brain – Part 2
  • The Ultimate Guide To Nootropics: How To Safely Use Better Living Through Science To Get The Most Firepower Out Of Your Brain – Part 1
  • The Shocking Truth About High-Dose Melatonin, Does Melatonin Supplementation Shut Down Your Own Production, How To Use Melatonin To Enhance Fasting & Much More With Dr. John Lieurance.
  • 1 Cheap & Easy Underground Training Method For Growth Hormone Release, 5 Biohacks to Increase Strength in 60 Seconds, 7 Exercises for the Eyes to Radically Enhance Stamina & Speed
  • The Official KAATSU Episode: Everything You Need To Know About How To Use Blood Flow Restriction For Muscle Gain, Injury Recovery, Testosterone, Growth Hormone & Much More!
  • An Interview With “The Smartest Physician On The Planet”: Crazy Biohacking Stacks For Cognitive Function, Microdosing CBD, The Rolls Royce Of Jet Lag Hacking & Much More.

– Books:

– Gear:

– Food, Supplements, And Nootropics:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Clearlight Saunas: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF and ELF Shielding and their Lifetime Warranty. Mention BEN GREENFIELD and you’ll receive an extra discount on your purchase.

Vuori: Activewear and athletic clothing for ultimate performance. Vuori is built to move and sweat in, yet designed with a West Coast aesthetic that transitions effortlessly into everyday life. Receive 25% off your first order when you use discount code BEN2020.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Jason or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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