Las Vegas, NV
Pic by Flipchip
Joe Cada. Darvin Moon.
One of them will win their first bracelet and become poker's newest celebrity du jour as the next world champion.
Here's what they are playing for...
Final 2 Payouts:Here's the starting chip count...
1st - $8,547,042
2nd - $5,182,928
Final 2 Chip Counts:
Joe Cada - 135,950,000
Darvin Moon - 58,850,000
9:44pm... Christmas Eve
It's starting to smell like Christmas. Someone is about to find a fat $8.5M gift from Santa.
The crowds started to gather a couple of hours ago in the general admission line. A few clever fans dragged benches and chairs to sit on. A couple of guys played rummy while others passed the time drinking their favorite malt beverages. One super fan held a red WSOP hat and clutched a sharpie hoping to catch a glimpse of a poker celebrity.
The lower orchestra inside the Penn & Teller Theater quickly filled up with Moonheads while Cada's Yellow Submariners returned to their section in the Mezzanine.
The stage was packed with media, Harrahs suits, ESPN's crew, and security guards. Photographers elbowed each other trying to snap photos of the pyramid of money on the table while Cada and Moon's friends and family took their assigned seats in the bleachers.
The feeling in orchestra row is that this heads up match is going to be over faster than it started. I heard predictions of "four hands" or "fourteen minutes" and other suggestions that if you blink -- you might miss the final hand. Yep, the consensus here is that Moon will get demolished by Cada in a very short time like Marvis Frazier getting knocked the fuck out against Mike Tyson in 1986.
Me? I think it's going to take a little longer than people think. Cada's lucksack powers have to end at some point, right? Or maybe Moon will catch a break and outlucksack the lucksack. If Moon can double up early, then who knows what will happen.
10:22pm... The Last Bit of Hype
A couple of Cada's crew interrupted Commissioner Pollack as he tried to say a few words. They did the same when Jack Effel took the mic and shouted "Joey! Joey! Joey! Ship it!"
But it was the Moonheads who drowned out Cada's crew. Shocking.
"Where did thy come from?" asked Lance who was sitting next to me.
I had no idea. The mezzanine finally filled up and by the sounds of it, mostly everyone is rooting for the under dog. The majority loves the Luddite Logger.
10:32pm... Motley Crew
Motley Crue's Vince Neil uttered the famous tagline... "Shuffle up and deal!" He was flanked by two Vegas show girls with glassy eyes. I was disappointed that he failed to have a drink in his hand and did not snort a line of blow off the ass of the showgirl.
Vegas is so fuckin' sanitized these days. Frank Sinatra would have banged both showgirls on stage, drank a bottle of scotch, and decked Phil Hellmuth before he said, "Shuffle up and deal, Baby!"
Photo by Flipchip
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10:32pm... Early Cooler
Moon limped. Cada raised to 2.5M. Moon smooth called. The flop was Ks-3s-2d. Cada fired out 3.5M. Moon raised 10M. Cada called for 6.5M more. The turn was the Ad. Cada check-called a 10M bet from Moon. The river was the 9c and both players checked. Moon tabled pocket Queens which were better than Cada's 9-9. Moon picked up the pot and improved to 82M.
The Moonheads went nuts. The logger just sawed off a huge chunk of Cada's stack.
So, wow not only did both players have pocket pairs on the first hand... Moon limped with Queens to start, and had the testicular fortitude to raise Cada on the King-high flop.
And why did Cada called the turn when Moon raised him on the flop and bet 10M?
At any rate, it's not going to be Marvis Frazier and Mike Tyson like everyone predicted. All those giddy media reps who were talking smack about an early night just sunk a bit into their seats.
Darvin Moon has been closing the gap ever since the cards went in the air. He only trails Cada by 8M in chips. Time to chop?
10:55pm... Coughing Up the Lead
Joe Cada has officially lost the lead to Darvin Moon in less than 10 hands after Moon took down a hand with Q-8. Moon is up to 102M to Cada's 93M.
Four of Cada's crew painted letters on their bare chests. They took off their shirts to expose C-A-D-A. One of the A's is a girl who left her bra on. Slightly disappointed. But then again, those Michigan girls tend to have big boobies.
11:05pm... "Chase the Chicken, Rock!"
On a couple of instances, Joe Cada stood up and walked into the crowd to chat with his backer, Johnny Bax. The two chatted about who knows what, but it reminded me of a boxing match when the fighter is talking to his corner man after getting whooped in the first round. Cure the Rocky theme music.
11:11pm... Cada Lands a Blow
Cada regained the lead after he won his first sizable pot against Moon. Moon opened to 3M. Cada called. The flop was Jc-4h-2d. Cada checked-called a 4M bet. The turn was the Qh. Cada checked. Moon bet 6M. Cada raised to 16.75M and Moon called. The river was the 5c. Cada quickly bet 35M. Moon leaned back in his chair and exhaled. He eye his stack and counted down before he shook his head and folded. Cada's crew erupted and their hero re-gained the chip lead.
11:20pm... Jack-High No Good
On a board of Ah-10d-3h-6c-4s, Moon bluffed on the river with a busted flush draw holding Jh-5h. Cada tanked for a couple of minutes while everyone sat in silence. He finally called and tabled J-10 for a pair of tens -- good enough to win against Moon's Jack-high.
"Sick call!" screamed one of Cada's faithful.
"Nice call, Baby!" shouted another.
Cada improved his lead to 128M while Moon slipped to 66M.
11:25pm... Level Up
Blinds are now 600K and 1.2M with a 200K ante. This is the highest the blinds have ever been in a WSOP Main Event according to Jack Effel.
11:40pm... Moon Hanging On; Cada's Pukers
Just when Cada tries to pull away, Moon tackles him. It might be his cheering section. The crowd seems to be pulling for the underdog. No way all those people in the upper deck actually know Moon. Unless there's a loggers convention int own and they bussed everyone over.
I overhead a couple of Cada's crew discussing the scene with a Moonhead in the bathroom.
"Everyone here is rooting for Moon," he said.
"Well, you kids are pretty loud," said the older Moonhead.
"Yeah, but there's so many of you. We're outnumbered."
Seconds later, another member of Cada's crew yaked in the toilet. Pace your self. This is going to be a long night.
11:50pm... Moon Four Bets to Even Chip Count
Moon opened to 3M. Cada raised to 10M. Moon four-bet to 25M. Cada tanked and fled. Moon won the hand to even the chip lead at 97M a piece.
12:12am... First Break
Welcome to the After Midnight edition. Who didn't think this would be over by the first break or Midnight? Alas, at the break, Moon has a 4M advantage over Cada... 99M to 95M.
12:27am... Moon Surge
Moon has been on a tear after the break. He must have had his Spinach or something because he picked up the first
12:40am... Moon Slaps Cada Around
Cada looks clueless like a rookie QB unable to handle an all-out blitz. If Dickey V was calling this game, he'd be screaming, "T.O. baby! You gotta call a T.O.!"
The last hand was a prime example of Cada unable to handle Moon's sudden aggression. The more chips Moon gets, the more confident he gets and the more scared Cada is playing. Cada opened to 3M and Moon smooth called. The flop was Ac-5d-3h and Moon fired out 5M. Cada raised to 13M and Moon reached down and slowly pulled out five stacks and announced a re-raise and Cada headed for the hills. Moon won the pot and pushed his stack over 145M while Cada slipped under 50M.
The tides have turned.
12:47am... Silencing the Frat Boys
Moon neutralized Cada's crew after taking the lead and pounding Cada. The more Cada's stack slips, the more that his crew remains silent. The "Joey!" chants and "Let's go Cada!" are a thing of the past. You hear the random, "You can do eeeeeet!" But that's about it.
12:52am... Cada Trying to Push Back
Moon opened for 8M. Cada insta-shoved for 67M. Moon tanked. Stood up in dramatic fashion and looked as if he was going to call, but he folded. Cada won the pot which woke up his fans for a brief moment.
1:11am... Cada Doubles Up; Seizes Chip Lead
On the 80th hand of heads up play, Cada finally drew blood. he doubled through Moon when he picked off Moon making a move with a draw.
The flop was 10c-9h-5d and both players checked. The turn was the 10d. Moon checked. Cada bet 3M and Moon check-raised all in. Cada tanked for several minutes before he made the call with Jh-9d and nines up. Moon tabled 8s-7s for just a draw. Everyone in the theatre rose to their feet. The dealer burned and dealt the river card... 3h. Cada faded the straight and doubled up. He seized the lead and his entire cheering section woke up from a deep slumber.
Cada increased his stack to 108M while Moon slipped to 86M.
1:22am... Darvin Moon Eliminated in 2nd Place ($5,182,928); Joe Cada Wins 2009 WSOP Main Event for $8,547,042
Wow. What a hand on the 88th hand of heads up play.
Cada opened for 3M. Moon raised to 8M. Cada shoved all in and Moon called.
Moon: Qd-JdThe flop was 8c-7s-2c. The turn was the Kh and Cada's crew almost shit a brick when they say paint. The river was the 7c. Cada's nines held up and Moon was eliminated in second place.
Just 30 minutes earlier, it looked like Moon was about to dismantle Cada, but the kid hung on tough, dug deep and waited for Moon to bluff off all of his chips in order to double up. And then he waited for Moon to make a mistake once again calling off his entire stack with Q-J sooted.
Cada won his first bracelet and became the youngest Main Event champion. He won 50% of $8,547,042 (minus taxes, of course) due to his staking agreement with the Bax/Sheets syndicate.
Moon had the hearts and minds of the majority of the spectators in the room, but in the end, all he could do was scrape together a second place finish for $5,182,928. He actually wins more than Cada! Not a bad payday for the Luddite logger from Maryland.
That's it for now. Stay tuned for a complete recap.
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