WSOPIt’s been the question on the minds of poker players and fans alike since the WSOP went on hiatus in July – who would be the winner of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event? Now that question has an answer, and an unexpected one at that – Joe Cada.

Many people thought that 2009 would be the year that a seasoned pro took down the Main Event title, with Phil Ivey representing the best hope the professional community has had in several years. However, Ivey couldn’t overcome the fundamental handicap a short stack represents in tournament poker, and with his fairly early exit it became apparent we would have a different sort of champion.

For a while it appeared that the champion might not be such a different sort after all, as (admittedly lesser known) poker pro Eric Buchman positioned himself in the WSOP driver’s seat through excellent play and well-timed quad kings, but poker karma struck Buchman in a way many would consider disproportionate, sending him to the rails in 4th.

Instead of a pro, we got the Joe – not the “Average Joe” character that the media has painted Darvin Moon to be, but Joe Cada.

Most predicted that Cada’a experience and chip edge would result in a victory. Some speculated that Moon’s style would actually make the heads up match more competitive than expected, with the Maryland logger’s willingness to sling tons of chips in preflop complicating Cada’ path to the win, but that wasn’t the case in the heads up match for the WSOP title.

For his win, Cada takes home $8,547,042 and Moon takes home $5,182,928 (that’s about 306,000 New Orleans Saints hats). When all is said and done, Cada would probably have ended up taking home more than Moon from the WSOP overall even if Moon had won, as he’s got the benefit of ongoing sponsorship from PokerStars, while Moon chose (admirably or ignorantly, depending on how you look at it) to remain sponsor-free.

The final hand as we reported it:

3m raise from Cada, 8m total three bet from Moon.

Cada goes all in. Moon quickly calls

Moon [qd jd] Cada [9d 9c]

This is a weird one for Moon with that snap call. Moon is covered. Strange departure from Moon’s solid play so far. He started the hand with well over 60m.

[8c 2c 7s]

Cada is two cards from the title. He’s hugging Bax. He can’t even watch.


Nice try, dealer.


That’s it.

Hats off to Harrah’s and ESPN for a well-executed 2009 World Series of Poker Final Table.

Article by Chris Grove.