Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
For the second year in a row, history could be made at the World Series of Poker Main Event final table.
Last year, 22-year old Peter Eastgate became the youngest champion of all-time. This year, 21-year old Joe Cada has a shot to break that record.
“I think about getting the bracelet more than the record,” Cada said. “The age is a bonus, but the bracelet is the main thing.”
Cada, a poker professional from Michigan, enters the final table fifth in chips. Of course, this is his first Main Event because it is the first year he’s eligible to participate.
“I’m pretty fortunate to make it this far on the first time,” Cada said.
Cada said he learned to play poker as a child and always enjoyed it. Like many players in his age group, however, Cada started playing more frequently in 2003 after Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event.
He played in games with friends multiple times per week and usually dominated. Before long, Cada was entering high-stakes cash games despite his age.
“It was the thing to do,” Cada said. “Everyone was playing poker at the time. It just transitioned from there.”
Cada has fared well in a number of online tournaments. The Main Event will be his finest showing in a live tournament.
He has amazed many in the poker community with his mastery of the game at such a young age. One thing Cada hasn’t figured out, however, is what he would do if he won the $8.5 million in prize money.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Cada said. “I guess it’s pretty high-stakes.”
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.