Online Poker

World Series of Poker Champion 2009 - Joe Cada

by Poker Team

After 3 months of waiting, a new world champion of poker has emerged and his name is not Phil Ivey. When the November 9 converged in Las Vegas last weekend, many expected Ivey to storm back from being a short stack, and though he lasted for several hours, it just wasn’t meant to be for the poker icon as he just was never able to break the $16 million mark. The other well-known pro, founder of Card Player magazine Jeff Shulman, also failed to make the final two despite playing a solid tight style throughout.

Instead, when the dust had settled, the final two competitors were online heads up cash game specialist Joe Cada and a previously unknown mountain man, Darvin Moon who, no matter what happens will be talked about for years to come.

Cada’s Play at the Final Table

Both finalists made it to the final two in very different ways. Cada was aggressive from the very beginning, experiencing major swings. In fact, at one point fairly early on, he had only 2.5 big blinds left and his J4 enabled him to double up. Meanwhile, Moon arrived to the final table as chip leader with $58 million in chips and reached heads up with $58 million. Both players were extremely fortunate to say the least as they both benefited from remarkable suckouts that will never be forgotten.

For Cada, on three separate occasions he moved all in against opponents holding large pairs while he held pocket 2’s, 3’s and 4’s and each time he managed to flop sets to suckout and win enormous pots.

Moon’s play at the Final Table

For Moon, he was one of the most unorthodox, to say the least, players to emerge in quite for time as he consistently made gigantic bets to keep the pressure on while making some extraordinarily questionable laydowns. For example, he eliminated Ivey by running down Ivey’s AK with his rivered Queen while holding AQ. Meanwhile, he made a horrendous fold to Steven Begleiter about 5 plus hours into play. Moon raised preflop and Begleiter came back over the top and after contemplating for a short time, Moon made the call. The flop was 2-3-4 with two spades and Begleiter made a $5 million continuation bet. Moon re-raised to $15 million and Begleiter quicker moved all in for just $6 million more into the $40+ million pot. Inexplicably, Moon folded his hand to the stunned amazement of everyone in the room and likely everyone following on the internet or television. There simply was no way Moon could fold his cards in that spot, even if they happened to be blank.

Regardless of the manner in which they got to being heads up for the championship, there they were, and it took all of 88 hands to crown Cada as the winner and new champion, at 21, the youngest main event winner yet. With the chip stacks virtually even, Cada moved all in with pocket 9’s and Moon called off his remaining chips, a whopping $70 million in total, holding just the Qd-Jd. The pocket 9’s held up, and Moon was eliminated.

Though the feat of making in this far was a superb achievement for both, it is highly unlikely that the poker world will ever see Darvin Moon remotely come close to matching what he did at this year’s World Series.

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