WSOP Main Event: Joe Cada's 25-hand rollercoaster

wsop2009_thn.gifRight now, the WSOP final table is getting in about 25 hands per hour. In an effort to stave off the post-dinner sleepies, we decided to pay as close attention as we possibly could and record every detail in one hour of play.

This proved to be a story about Joe Cada who managed to get crippled, nearly die, and then come back like tonight's version of Lazarus (or, at the very least, Jason Vorhees).

Here's everything (no, really, EVERYTHING) that happened in the last hour.

* * *

Hand #1: Moon raised to 1.5 million and got the blinds and antes.

Hand #2: Cada raised 1,250,000. Play folded to Begleiter in big blind. He moved all-in, enough to cover. Cada folded and the man known as "Begs" got Cada's money.

Hand #3: Moon raised and made it 2 million to play. Nobody found a call and Moon won the blinds and antes again.

Hand #4: The players gave Cada a walk in the big blind.

Hand #5: Phil Ivey raised to 1,250,000 and everybody folded.

Analysis of hands 1-5: Post-dinner break, players are still digesting. No Dinner Break Bustout curse evidenced yet. We'll call it a draw.

* * *

Hand #6: The players gave Jeff Shulman a walk. Two walks in six hands?

Hand #7: Begleiter raised to 1,250,000. Buchman re-raised to 4,550,000 in total. Play folded back around to Begleiter who sat with his fingers woven together and hands against his mouth. Beglieter re-raised to 9,750,000. Now it was Buchman's turn to think. With 6,450,000 to call, Buchman looked at Begleiter several times before folding.

Hand #8: Begleiter raised to 1,250,000, good enough to win the blinds and antes and elicit yet another cheer of "Begs, Begs, Begs!" from his fans.

Hand #9: Moon raised to 1,750,000. Phil Ivey immediately reached for his chips and announced all-in. Moon barely thought before folding.

Hand #10: Cada raised to 1,250,000. Shulman immedately moved all-in. Play folded back to Cada who looked uncomfortable with Shulman's 5,775,000 bet. Cada announced call.

Cada: A♦J♦
Shulman: A♠K♥

The board ran out 3♥T♠9♣Q♦4♦ and Shulman doubled to around 15 million. Cada meanwhile was crippled and below three million.


Estimated chip counts after that hand:

Moon 40m
Ivey 16 m
Begleiter 49m
Buchman 48m
Cada 2.2 m
Saout 27m
Shulman 15m

Analysis of hands 6-10: Score that round to Jeff Shulman who may have let himself get short, but got it in good.


Hand #11: Buchman put the crippled Cada all-in in a battle of the blinds.

Buchman 5♣4♣
Cada J♣4♦

The board kept Cada alive, running out 6♥9♦4♥T♠7♦ and moved him up to a still crippled 5 million.

Hand #12: Buchman raised and picked up the blinds and antes.

Hand #13: Shulman limped in the small blind. Moon checked his option and they saw a flop of 7♦K♠5♠. Shulman bet 500,000 and Moon folded.

Hand #14: Moon limped in from small blind and Ivey checked his option.The flop came 9♦9♥9♣. Ivey bet 500,000 and Moon called. The turn was the K♦ and both players checked. The river was the 6♠. Both players checked. Moon had eight-high to Ivey's ten-high. Yep, ten-high took it.

Hand #15: Saout raised to 1,300,000 and got the blinds and antes.

Analysis of hands 11-15: We'll give that round to Cada who stayed alive despite being crippled.


Hand #16: Cada pushed all-in pre-flop and got no callers.

Hand #17: Ivey came in for a raise and Begleiter re-raised him 2,350,000 more. Ivey folded in fairly quick fashion.

Hand #18: Ivey raised to 1,250,000 and Cada re-raised all-in for 4.3 million more. Ivey put some serious thought into it and made the call.

Ivey: A♠8♣
Cada: 4♥4♦

The board ran out: 2♦T♠3♥9♣7♥ and Cada once again stayed alive. After being crippled just a few hands earlier, Cada was back up to more than 12 million.

Here's how the chips stood at that moment.

Moon: 38m
Ivey: 10m
Begleiter: 46m
Buchman: 46m
Cada: 12m
Saout: 26m
Shulman: 15m

Hand #19: Buchman raised and got the blinds and antes.

Hand #20: Begleiter came in for a raise to 1,250,000 and picked it up uncontested.

Analysis of hands 16-20: Once again, score it for Cada. This kid has moxy. From crippled to not-the-shortest-stack in just a few hands.



Hand #21: Saout, who had been quiet up this point raised to 1,325,000 and picked up the pot.

Hand #22: Begleiter got a walk from none other than Phil Ivey.

Hand #23: Saout got back in action and once again raised to 1,325,000. This time, though, he got a call from Jeff Shulman. They saw a flop of J♥2♦A♥. Both players checked to the 9♦ turn. Saout bet out 1,850,000 and Shulman called. The river card was the 6♠. Saout bet 3,500,000 and Shulman called. Both players showed ace-queen for the chop.

Hand #24: Ivey picked up the blinds and antes with a 1,250,000 raise.

Hand #25: Shulman raised to 1,750,000 and won the pot.

Analysis on hands 21-25: We'll just pretend those hands didn't happen, because they might as well not have.

* * *

So, overall, we'll score the whole hour in favor of Joe Cada. He may not have the most chips at the table, but he's got heart.

Here's an interview we did with him before the start of play.

Watch WSOP 2009: Joe Cada on
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker