WSOP Main Event: Heads up to a champion, Joe Cada

wsop2009_thn.gif
This hour began shortly after a 20-minute break, and Darvin Moon seemed by far the more refreshed. He was the aggressor in all of the early pots and took most of them down, regularly making reraises of about five million, which was consistently too rich for Cada.

The Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein, watching from the wings, was impressed by Moon's attitude in the early stages, and told our video blog team how he saw the opening salvos, a video that sets the tone for the action to follow. Here's Greenstein, interviewed during the break.


Watch WSOP 2009 November Nine - Barry Greenstein On Playing Heads Up on PokerStars.tv

The action that followed, though, showed that Cada is made of stern stuff. One key pots hauled him right back in it. The next one won the title. Check out the action:

  • Cada raises to three million pre-flop and Moon folds.
  • Moon this time raises to the preferred three million, but Cada bucks a trend by calling. It comes 5♣7♥2♥ and after Cada checks, Moon bets five million, which is too rich for Cada. Moon takes that one down to add to his chip lead.
  • Cada with the three million pre-flop opener this time, called by Cada. This flop is similarly low: 4♦8♣4♣ and there are two checks. The 6♥ is also checked before the crowd murmurs conspiratorially at the 4♥ river. Neither one is up for a bet though and they both show an ace for a chopped pot.
  • Moon raises this time. Three million, of course, and it's good.
  • Cada gets the first raise in, three million as if we needed to be told. The flop is 3♥5♦A♣ and Moon likes it, betting five million. Cada likes that even more, though, and moves 13 million in, a re-raise of eight million. Moon is completely unperturbed, raising another 17 million. Cada is caught at it and folds, to grand whooping from his, er, whooping section. Cada's fans respond with some "Let's go Cada!"s of their own, but their man is now solidly in second place. Moon has 145,200,000 and Cada has 49,600,000.
  • Three million from Moon; call from Cada, easy alliteration for the writers. The flop is 6♦4♥K♥, check check. The turn is Q♦ and they check, as they do the J♣ river. Cada's ace high wins this one.
  • Cada with the three million, which persuades Moon to fold.
  • Moon takes the blind money back immediately, making it three million and Cada folding.
  • Here's something for the purists, a re-raise pre-flop. Cada slides out the three million, Moon adds another five million, Cada folds. This is one way traffic at the moment.
  • Cada is back with the three million (I think I missed out a hand somewhere close to here, but don't tell anyone). Moon calls and they see a flop. It's 8♦[10c][10s]. Cada bets three million and they both check the 9♣ on the turn. Cada likes the river and bets seven million on the 7♠. Moon called and was shown a six for the ten-high straight. Moon's two pair, which he shows, are second best.
  • Moon three million. Cada folds. Enough.
  • Here's some more pre-flop shenanigans, with Cada raising to three million, Moon reraising to eight million, and Cada moving into the tank. He emerges with an all in shove, which is the first time during the heads up battle, I think, that Cada has announced the intention to gamble for all his chips. It's about 50 million for Moon to ponder, but ponder he does. And he ponders. He clearly doesn't want to fold, but eventually he does and Cada's cheering section goes wild.
  • Back to normality, at least at the start. Moon raises to three million and Cada calls. So far so typical. They see a flop of [10c]9♣8♦ and Moon bets five million at it, which Cada calls. We're getting deep. The turn is K♦ and Moon finds 15 million to fire at this one. This time it's Cada who is forced to let it down, giving back the good work from the previous hand. 136 to 58. Million that is, Moon over Cada.
  • Cada raises pre-flop and for once, that is good.
  • What? What? Moon folds and gives Cada a walk. What on earth kind of poker is that?
  • Ah, that's better. Cada makes it three million, Moon calls, and the flop comes 8♣[10d]4♥. Moon fires five million at that and Cada lets it go.
  • Another walk for Cada.
  • Here's a big hand right here. Here it is, read it!
    Cada raises to three million and Moon calls for a flop of [10c]5♦9♥. Check, check. The turn is [10d] and Cada bets three million, which brings out the patented Darvin Moon overbet. It really is an overbet too, he announces that he's all in, which of course covers Cada's stack. Cada goes into the tank and is told that it'll cost his entire stack of 48,150,000 to call. But call he does, and he's ahead. Cada has J♥9♦ and he's going to have to fade seven outs as Moon shows 7♠8♠. The river is neither a six nor a jack and Cada's fans go wild. He now has 108 million and has regained the chip lead.
  • They get all the way to a river on a scary-looking board. It's A♠J♥K♦J♣A♥ when Moon bets 11 million and Cada gives up all interest he might have in this one.

    2009 WSOP Main Event Heads Up__IDS4874-IMPDI_web.jpg

    Joe Cada

  • Two hands on the spin are taken by Moon with bets on the flop, but the next hand gets to the river. Cada check calls the flop and the turn on the board of [10d]K♠7♦, when Moon bets 10 million. The river is 9♦ and Cada checks. Moon checks behind and Cada's [10c]9♣. Cada has hauled this one all the way back: he now has 120,100,000 to Moon's 74,700.
  • Wow, wow, wow. Joe Cada is the new World Series Main Event champion. Here's the winning hand:
    Cada raised pre-flop to three million. So far so normal. Moon made it eight million. So far so normal. Cada now shoved all in. So far, not so normal. Moon called. Wow, wow, wow. This pot would almost certainly decide where the bracelet went.

    Cada showed 9♦9♣. Moon showed J♦Q♦.

    They were flipping for it, and after much delay, the board came: 8♣2♣7♠ ... K♥ ... 7♣.

    The stage became a mass of bouncing canaries as Cada's supporters mobbed the youngest winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

    Full wrap up and quotes to follow. Phew.

    2009 WSOP Main Event Heads Up_IE2_3096-IMPDI_web.jpg

    Howard Swains
    @howardswains in World Series of Poker