Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Darvin finishes in second

You all have known for days that Darvin Moon made the final two at the World Series of Poker Main Event, and you woke up this morning to the news that he had lost heads-up to 21-year-old Joe Cada. I, however, was clueless, having pledged this year to go into a self-imposed poker-media blackout so I could watch ESPN's coverage of the final table having no idea what the outcome was. I'm glad I did. All those suckouts were even more amazing, considering I didn't know they were coming.

Darvin stuck to his word and didn't take any sponsorship money. He was wearing the usual: Saints hat and Wheeling Island Casino polo. What he did do was play like a maniac. Sometime between when the 10th-place finisher was eliminated and when the November Nine reconvened to play for the title, Darvin decided that, no matter what his cards, he was going to follow that old poker mantra: If your opponent checks, you bet. If your opponent bets, you raise. If your opponent raises, you reraise. Despite the questionable change in strategy, Moon's good fortune carried on. He sucked out on both Ivey and that douchebag Begleiter in big hands. (Obviously, I didn't mind the second one.) But Moon's luck finally ran out when he called a shove by Cada with Q-J suited and couldn't catch an over to Cada's pocket nines.

I don't think Moon came across very well at all in ESPN's final-table telecast. There was that weird bit where, after badly misplaying king-queen, Moon walked over to his wife and fans and flat-out lied about his hand, saying he had pocket queens. (What purpose could it possibly serve to lie to your wife when the hand's likely to be shown on TV three days later? They do have cable where Darvin lives, right?) ESPN microphones also caught Darvin telling Antoine Saout, "It should be me and you," after Cada came from behind in a hand to eliminate Saout in third place. Darvin was likely just being nice, trying to make Saout feel better, but, on TV, it came across as tacky and needlessly dismissive of Cada.

So, anyway, Darvin Moon will not be the first Wheeling Island qualifier to win the most prestigious event in poker. Which means somebody else can take a shot at that honor. Hey, I'll be playing in one or two of Wheeling's Main Event satellites next spring. Why not me?

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