Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
Darvin Moon sported a New Orleans Saints hat every day of the World Series of Poker Main Event this summer.
Why would a logger from western Maryland possibly root for a team from New Orleans? No reason, really.
“It is mostly Steeler fans where I live,” Moon said in July. “And I wear this hat to mess with them.”
The Saints hat fits well with Moon’s run through the Main Event. A lot just doesn’t add up.
Moon says out of the nearly 6,500 players in the event, he is better than maybe 100 of them. But entering the final table, he has a large lead with nearly 59 million chips.
“It’s easy to play when you get hands like I was getting,” Moon said. “It’s just unbelievable. It’s like a dream.”
Moon’s path to poker stardom certainly reads like a fairy tale. He won his seat in the Main Event after winning a satellite in a tournament in Wheeling, W.Va.
Traveling to the Main Event was the first time he had ever flown on a large passenger plane. It was also his first time to ever come to Las Vegas. “I never expected this,” Moon said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Possessing 30 percent of the chips in play, it would likely take a monumental collapse for Moon not to finish at least in the top four. Moon says that won’t happen.
He has no plans to change the way he plays poker and won’t push around players with smaller stacks.
And who knows? Maybe Moon will become the most improbable champion in the history of the Main Event.
“If he walked out of the woods of western Maryland — where he’s got no credit card, no cable, no online, no e-mail, no nothing — and gets eight-and-a-half million dollars, it’s another microcosm of what the Main Event is,” ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad said. “It’s another unbelievable, improbable story where you shake your head and say ‘Darvin Moon?’”
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.