WSOP Main Event Update: It's Cada versus Moon for the Title!

Posted at 14:12 2009-11-09
After a three month hiatus, the most eagerly anticipated poker event of the year finally resumed as the much-hyped November Nine returned to the felt at The Rio for the resumption of the 2009 WSOP Main Event. After a long day of intense and exciting action, we’ve now reached our final two players as young online gun Joe Cada and inexperienced Darvin Moon survived the marathon battle to reach heads-up play.  The two will battle for the title of poker’s newest World Champion when play recommences at 10:00 p.m. Monday night local time, with Cada holding a significant chip advantage.
The day began in incredible scenes as a mass of people queued up outside the Penn & Teller Theatre, undoubtedly attracted like a moth to a flame by the best poker player in the world, Phil Ivey, and his quest to create poker history.  After a series of introductions, Peter Eastgate joined the Godfather of Poker, Doyle Brunson, to do the honors of starting the final table by uttering “Shuffle up and Deal”.
Play was very slow and steady in the early goings with players feeling each other out for the first few hours of play. The crowd waited with bated breath for the first big elimination hand or the first big double-up. It was James Akenhead who created the first buzz in a flurry of action. After surviving his first all-in confrontation, hitting a miracle queen on the river with his king-queen vs Eric Buchman's ace-king, Akenhead could not ride his momentum, as he was on the wrong end of a cooler with his pocket kings falling to the pocket aces of Kevin Schaffel. He hit the rail shortly after in 9th place when he moved the remainder of his chips in with pocket threes only to run into Jeff Shulman's pocket nines.
Next to hit the rail was PokerStars-sponsored Kevin Schaffel. After collecting most of Akenhead’s chips with pocket aces, Schaffel couldn’t believe that he found himself in the same situation, again with pocket aces against the pocket kings of PokerStars-sponsored Buchman. The flop landed {qs}{Jh}{Ks} and Schaffel’s fate was sealed on the {Kd} turn as Buchman made quads to eliminate Schaffel in 8th place as Buchman claimed the chip lead.
Play slowed after Schaffel's elimination, as all eyes were on Phil Ivey as he attempted to find a double up with his short stack. The crowd were clearly behind him with several “Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!” chants and you can imagine the roar when Ivey found his last chips in the middle with {Ac}{Ks} to be in a dominant position against Darvin Moon who called with {Ad}{Qs}. However the roars turned to shock and disappointment as a queen spiked on the flop which was enough to end the run of Ivey in 7th place.
After giving up much of his chip lead early in the proceedings, the elimination of Ivey gave Moon a fresh burst of momentum as he decided to take on Steve Begleiter just minutes later. After a preflop raise from Begleiter from under the gun, Moon quickly waved his hands signaling he was all-in. Begleiter instantly called with pocket queens and was well ahead of Moon's {Ac}{Qh}. The flop was safe for “Begs” with the {7s}{4d}{8s} landing on the felt. The {3d} was also safe, but it was the {Ad} on the river that sent the crowd back into a frenzy and another wave of chips over to Moon as Begleiter departed in 6th place.
The fatigue started to set in as the players had been at it for well over 12 hours as play slowed considerably.  By this time Jeff Shulman was on the short stack as he couldn’t seem to accumulate chips throughout the day. He finally made a stand with pocket sevens to be up against Frenchman Antoine Saout’s {Ac}{9s}. The board fell in favour of Saout as it ran out {Ts}{9d}{6s}{Qc}{4s}. Saout's pair of nines were good enough for him to take the pot and eliminate Shulman in 5th place.
With the final table reaching four-handed play in the wee hours of the Las Vegas morning, Moon, who had relinquished his chip lead with a few ill-timed bluffs, began to turn up the heat. Even though there was no need to move all-in with the chip stacks all hovering in the 60 big-blind range, Moon seemed uninterested in doing anything but moving all-in. His strategy worked as none of the other players wanted to risk their entire stack, which allowed Moon to climb back into the lead.
Eric Buchman was eliminated next when his {Ad}{5s} couldn’t hold up against Moon's {Kd}{Jd} as Moon hit a king on the turn to knock out the PokerStars-sponsored Buchman in 3rd place and bringing everyone a step closer to ending the day.
After a short break, the action picked up and the remaining three players seemed exhausted and willing to get their chips in with any playable hand. Cada miraculously doubled up when he hit a deuce on the flop with his pocket deuces while allin against Saout's pocket queens. Just minutes later, the two battled again, this time with Saout holding pocket eights against Cada's {Ad}{Ks}. The {5h}{4s}{5c} flop was good for Saout and so was the {td} on the turn. The river, however, sealed the Frenchman's fate as the {Kc} shook the felt and caused the small crowd to roar one final time for Cada who will enter heads-up play on Monday with 136,925,000. Cada will face off against Moon who is sitting at 58,875,000.
PokerNews will be there starting at 10:00 p.m. PST on Monday night and you can follow all the action on the live reporting pages.

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It's Darvin Moon versus Joe Cada for the WSOP Main Event bracelet! It's Darvin Moon versus Joe Cada for the WSOP Main Event bracelet!

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