PokerNetwork looks set to keep the WSOP fever alive all the way into November with a series of profiles that take you up close and personal with all of the November Nine.
First on the slate is chip leader Darvin Moon who will take is seat at the WSOP Main Event final table in seat one.
While a dodgy array of dog owners, degenerates, and a mixed bag of society’s outcasts milled around outside, a lumberjack from Maryland was about to begin a life-changing journey. Darvin Moon had just won his seat to the World Series of Poker at the Wheeling Island Casino and Dog Track. He had a big decision to make in front of him.
It is the type of story they write movies about. A logger from sleepy Oakland, Maryland, Moon has only been playing Texas Hold‘em for about three years. Yet he sits in the position almost every poker player dreams of – chip leader on the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Despite describing himself as a life-long poker player, Moon is a bolt from the blue. He grew up playing Seven Card Stud and only participated in his first No Limit Hold‘em tournament in 2006.
Other than playing in local charity tournaments whenever he can, Moon does not play online and does not have a major live tournament cash to his name. What he does have is almost a third of the chips in play on the final table and lady luck on his side, so far.
“The first hand I sat down I had pocket kings and rivered trips. Three hands later I had pocket aces and flopped trips. How hard is it?” said Moon.
“With the cards I'm getting it's easy. I told them as soon as I go card dead you guys will eat me alive. I'm humble. I know where I stand among the class of people I'm against. I'm outclassed by so far,” he added.
Modesty is something that seems to come naturally to the soft spoken 45 year old. He has no outrageous plans to go professional or change his life immensely despite the fact that he is guaranteed at least US$1 million in prize money, and a deal with a major online room should he choose to pursue one.
In an interview during the World Series of Poker, he detailed that the only splurge he has planned is a trip to explore the natural beauty of Alaska.
However Moon’s run to the final table almost never happened. After winning his seat via a $130 satellite in Wheeling, West Virginia, he was offered the choice of taking the seat or US$10,000 cash.
It’s difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the choice that confronted him. As an amateur without any runs on the board, he opted to make the bold decision to set out on the trip of a lifetime, his first ever visit to Las Vegas. He had no inkling at the time that he would be returning in November to fight it out on the final table for up to US$8.6 million.
For now Moon’s life returns to some semblance of normality. For the next few months he’ll be cutting down trees, instead of pro poker players.
“As soon as I go home, I go back into the woods," Moon said. "When it's time to come out — I'll come out,” he said.
He returns to the solitude of logging in the Western Maryland woods, something the camera shy amateur much prefers to the interviews and spotlight of being chip leader at the final table.
As for where he hopes to finish come November?
“I got my goals set. It’s not first. But it’s not ninth, either. I’ll be happy. I don’t care if I go out on the first hand. I’ve had fun. It’s been worth every minute of it. I just like to play, and it’s unreal. It’s something I can’t even dream of doing, and here I am!”
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