Here's something every mother would hate hearing from her son as he reaches adulthood, "Mom, I'm gonna quit my job and become a professional poker player." But in the case of Joe Cada from Chesterfield Township, MI, that gamble paid off.
Cada, 21, is now the youngest player ever to win the World Series of Poker, and took home a pot of $8.55 million.
Cada made what has come to be known at the WSOP as the "November Nine," the final group of players from a beginning roster of 6,494. After skillful play and a pretty big helping of luck, Cada found himself going head-to-head against amateur Darvin Moon, 46, a logger from Maryland at the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio in Las Vegas. I'm no expert, but Cada appeared to be the much more seasoned player in the one-on-one competition than the predictable Moon. Cada, who prepared by frequently playing 12 hands at one time in online tournaments, brought in much more head-to-head experience to the table.
Cada came into the final hand with a pocket pair and the stronger hand. He made the play to put Moon All-In. Right up to the river, Cada was in jeopardy of diminishing his pot to almost nothing. When the final card was turned Cada wasn't even watching. He stood in the middle of a large group of supporters and waited. When the place erupted he knew he that he was now the youngest winner of the World Series of Poker and was presented with the WSOP bracelet. Oh yeah, and more than eight million dollars.
Almost all of the players are sponsored by the online poker sites, wearing their hats and other clothing items. I think this is a pretty good form of advertising. I'm going to go and reactivate my PokerStars account. Perhaps I'll be the big winner next year.
Cada is not expected to return to his restaurant job.