WSOP Main Event: Final table, heads up, the first hour

wsop2009_thn.gifThe opening hour of final table play was certainly tense but it was anything but tight. There was a huge pot on the very first hand, won by Moon, and the Maryland man ended up taking the chip lead after winning the first few.

But Cada won two decisive big pots to haul himself back into the lead, and the hour ended with the approximate counts as follows:

Joe Cada: 131,050,000
Darvin Moon: 63,750,000

Here are the major incidents from an hour where the blinds and antes were 500,000-1,000,000 (150,000).

Hand one
Wow. That could easily have got even more nasty than it did. On the very first hand, Darvin Moon called Joe Cada's big blind, but the youngster took his option to raise, making it 2,500,000 more. Moon called. The flop came 3♠K♠2♦ and Cada bet 3.5m. Moon bumped it up to 10m and Cada called. The turn was A♦ and Cada this time check-called Moon's 10m bet. The river was the K♣ and now both players slowed down, each checking. Moon flipped pocket queens and Cada showed pocket nines: two premium heads up starting hands that sends the first notable pot in Moon's direction.

Hand four
Cada won a small pot back from Moon, when he raised pre-flop to 2.5m and Moon called. The flop came Q♠2♥Q♦ and when Cada led out, Moon let it go.

Hand seven
Cada made it 2.5m pre-flop, as he has done more than once. Moon called for a flop of 8♠6♣4♥, which both of them checked. The turn was A♣ and after Moon checked, Cada bet 3.5m. Moon made it 5m more, which Cada called, but he was forced to let it go when Moon fired 7.5m on the river. Two big pots for Moon at the start of heads up play drew the chip stacks close to even.

Hand 11
Joe Cada flopped the nuts. He had K♦9♦ and managed to extract about 5m out of Moon on an ace-high, all diamond board. He checked the flop and bet small on turn and river. Moon called and mucked.

Hand 12
This hasn't been the case for a while, but Darvin Moon is the chip leader of the World Series Main Event. They got to a flop of 6♠5♦J♣ and after Cada bet 3.5m, Moon raised another 5m on top. Cada called. The turn came Q♦, which both players checked, but Cada called Moon's 7.25m bet on the 2♥ river. Moon showed Q♥8♠ and Cada mucked. With that, Moon moved to more than 100,000,000 and Cada just shy of that.

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The contenders

Hand 15
Darvin Moon makes it 3m to play, to which Cada is amenable. The flop comes Q♣J♠7♦ and they both check. The turn is [10h], checked again. The river comes 5♥. Cada bets 1,750,000, Moon calls, but Cada's pocket tens are better than Moon's eights. A small chunk back to Cada.

Hand 17
There's the massive hand we've been leading up to, and it goes in the favour of Joe Cada. Moon made it 3m pre-flop and Cada called. The flop came J♣4♥2♦ and Moon bets 4m at it, which Cada calls. It all gets nasty on the Q♥ turn. Cada checks, Moon bets 6m and Cada now comes to life, making it another 10m or so. Moon calls that one and they see a 5♣ on the river. Cada says no more checking, and leads out 35m. Moon slumps back in his chair, then folds. Cada regains the chip lead.

Hand 27
Darvin Moon showed down a couple of strange bluffs during Saturday's play and Joe Cada has just caught him at another one. Moon raised pre-flop to 2.5m and Cada called. They then checked it all the way down to the river: [10d]A♥3♥6♣4♠. Cada bet 3m but Moon now raised 10m more. Cada seemed perplexed but made the call and trapped Moon's hands in the cookie jar. Moon showed J♥5♥ for jack high, while Cada had J♠[10h] for a pair of tens.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in World Series of Poker