Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 | 3:32 a.m.
- Cada cherishes the moment
- Cada becomes poker’s youngest ever world champion
- Q and A with Jeff Shulman
- Cada and Moon emerge as Main Event’s final two
- Live Main Event blog: Cada and Moon set to square off heads-up
- Phil Hellmuth breaks down Main Event final table
- Players at poker’s Main Event final table bring diversity to big stage
- The biggest stories in World Series of Poker
Darvin Moon’s immediate plans after finishing second in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event involved kicking back in his hotel room at the Rio.
It won’t be long, however, until the self-employed logger and new millionaire is back in the woods of western Maryland.
“I’ve got to be back to work Friday,” Moon said. “I’ve got a piece of timber I’ve got to buy.”
As Moon has said all along, he will not change his lifestyle now that he has won $5.1 million. In fact, he’s not even going to make any purchases.
He said the money would immediately go into the bank. And that’s where it will stay.
“My wife just lost her lawnmower, so that’s what she’s hoping for,” Moon said. “We had a deal, first place, she gets a lawnmower. Otherwise, it doesn’t fit in the budget.”
Moon was not joking. As much as he enjoyed his run through the Main Event and learning about life outside of Oakland, Md., he said all of the attention has made him “uncomfortable as hell.”
The attention was certainly surrounding him into the early Tuesday morning hours at the Rio as he fell heads-up to Joe Cada for the championship. But Moon didn’t go down without a fight.
He held the chip lead for a large portion of the night. Cada said he was surprised by how well Moon, an inexperienced player who had only played heads-up once before, performed.
“Darvin played really well,” Cada said. “He mixed it up really well and put me in some tough spots.”
The toughest spot Moon put Cada in was when he pushed all in with a big chip lead. After Cada called, Moon showed only seven, eight — he needed the last card on the board to be a jack or six to make a straight. Cada had a pair of nines.
Cada’s lead held up after the river card.
“You can’t play 100 hands perfect,” Moon said, “so there it is.”
Shortly after, Cada put Moon all in. Moon’s suited queen-jack fell to Cada’s pocket nine to give Cada the bracelet.
“I knew where I was at,” Moon said. “That was my shot to take a tremendous chip lead and I didn’t get it.”
Still, it’s been an incredible journey for Moon. He won his spot into the Main Event by winning a satellite at a casino in Wheeling, W.Va.
The World Series of Poker was the first time Moon had traveled to Las Vegas. It was also his first time on an airplane.
Heading into the final table, he was the leader with more than 30 percent of the chips in play. On the final table, he knocked out the greatest player in the world, Phil Ivey.
But Moon is ready for things to get back to normal Friday. That means a day spent logging and a night playing poker in a local tournament — one with a $30 buy-in instead of a $10,000 buy-in like the Main Event.
Right now, the local tournament sounds better than a lawnmower.
“I can afford that,” Moon said.
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.