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Joe Cada Becomes Youngest World Series of Poker Main Event Champ

Tue, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 12:00am

History was made early Tuesday morning in Las Vegas as 21-year-old Joe Cada outlasted Darvin Moon in heads-up play to claim the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet and more than $8.5 million.

Cada, a poker pro from Macomb, Mich., held onto just the 5th largest stack when the November Nine resumed play on Saturday afternoon in the Rio's Penn and Teller Theater. But as players fell by the wayside, including everyone's pick to win Phil Ivey (7th), Cada hung on long enough to catch a sick wave of cards players can only dream of catching while playing online, let alone the Main Event final table to be re-run on ESPN indefinitely starting Tuesday.

In a nutshell, just after getting five-handed... Treys against jacks preflop for all of it; flop a set. Moon bluffs K9 into your aces. Deuces against queens for all of it; flop a set. Bink a king on the river to bounce Saout and get heads-up.

Click here to read Saturday's epic LIVE coverage blog. You probably have to read about the rush to believe it.

The sun had been up for hours when Cada and Moon were finally dismissed from the Rio early on Sunday morning. The pair (as well as the media) were given Sunday off to refuel, then returned Monday night at 10 p.m. PT to play for the gold latenight style.

To begin heads-up play, Cada, primarily an online heads-up player, held a 2-1 chip lead over Moon, an unspeakable longshot with the exact same stack he had back in july, 58 million and change. The self-imployed logger from Maryland hadn't been on a commercial airline until being convinced to fly to Vegas and give it a try, rather than cash-in the Main Event seat he won. While most were predicting Cada to come out and hammer Moon, that wasn't the case. Darvin was doing most of the re-raising, and pretty soon the two were back and forth with the chip lead.

Moon actually had "The Kid" on the ropes, check-raising him all in after the turn on a T-9-5-T board. Cada tanked, and after five minutes, called to show J9 for two pair. Moon tabled 87 for and open ender, but would watch Cada double thru after a river brick. That lead would stretch after Cada showed tens and nines for another nice pot. Soon enough, there was an all in and a call.

Cada opened with what seemed to be the standard preflop raise of the night, 3 million. Moon pumped it up to 8 million, only to hear Cada say he's shipping it right over the top. Moon double checks his hole cards, shrugs as if to say "let's give it a shot," calls and turns over QdJd, lucky to be racing against Cada's pocket nines. The board misses both and the nines earn Cada a place in the history book.

Cada won't turn 22 until next week (November 18th), and after Phil Hellmuth's mark of 24-years-old lasted for nearly two decades, Peter Eastgate's reign as 'youngest Main Event winner ever' lasted only 12 months.

November Nine payouts:

  • 1st: Joseph Cada (Macomb, MI, USA) - $8,547,042
  • 2nd: Darvin Moon (Oakland, MD, USA) - $5,182,928
  • 3rd: Antoine Saout (Saint Martin des Champs, France) - $3,479,670
  • 4th: Eric Buchman (Valley Stream, NY, USA) - $2,502,890
  • 5th: Jeff Shulman (Las Vegas, NV, USA) - $1,953,452
  • 6th: Steven Begleiter (Chappaqua, NY, USA) - $1,587,160
  • 7th: Phil Ivey (Las Vegas, NV, USA) - $1,404,014
  • 8th: Kevin Schaffel (Coral Springs, FL, USA) - $1,300,231
  • 9th: James Akenhead (London, UK) - $1,263,602
  • Most in attendence were waiting for a Cada romp, but it just didn't happen that way. "For someone who does not play heads-up, he sure was a tough opponent," said Cada. "... I play heads-up all the time and he is one of the toughest guys I've played."

    And Cada claims he won't be pulling a hit-n-run on the poker world, instead saying he'll keep playing "all the big tournaments, and traveling, and continue to play professionally... I hope to help poker grow and represent it well."

    Click here to find the complete payouts list for the 2009 WSOP Main Event. All other bracelet events can be found here.

    Click here to read Monday's LIVE coverage blog of Cada and Moon's heads-up match from the Rio in Las Vegas.



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