World Series of Poker: No. 2, yahoo!

Maryland logger Darvin Moon takes second place at World Series of Poker

Darvin Moon, a logger from western Maryland, is back in the spotlight as one of the two finalists in this year's World Series of Poker No Limit Texas Hold 'em main event.
By J. Freedom du Lac
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LAS VEGAS -- As the sun began to open its eyes over the City of Lost Wages on Tuesday, Darvin Moon was parked at his favorite table game, Texas Hold 'em Bonus, losing some newly earned cash of his own. Into his front jeans pocket he reached to pull bills from an enormous wad of C-notes. And into the Rio Hotel & Casino's coffers the money kept going, $100, then $200 and more.

"I just can't win," Moon declared dramatically. "I'm depressed as hell." He leaned back and laughed, then lost again.

Apparently, luck just wasn't on Moon's side Tuesday: Several hours earlier, the lumberjack from Oakland, Md., failed to come up with the perfectly happy ending to his storybook run at the World Series of Poker Main Event, where he came thisclose to becoming world champion.

Moon finished second at poker's marquee event, losing a seesaw battle to Joe Cada, a wunderkind from Shelby Township, Mich. At 21, Cada is now the youngest champ in the 40-year history of the World Series.

"I'm old enough to be his father," said the 46-year-old Moon. "The kid made some phenomenal plays."

Cada's prize: $8.55 million and a place in poker history.

Moon's: $5.18 million.

Not bad for a self-taught amateur who won his $10,000 World Series seat at a $130 buy-in tournament at West Virginia's Wheeling Island Casino.

ESPN poker expert Bernard Lee told Moon that he "played like a pro" Monday night.

Phil Hellmuth, one of the game's more famous stars, told Moon that his play was superlative. "I'm proud of you, Darvin," Hellmuth told Moon immediately after the match.

Moon began the session trailing Cada in chips, but as the game stretched into Tuesday morning, Moon took a three-to-one advantage and appeared to be pushing Cada around. Cada crawled back, though, and on the night's 80th hand, with his tournament on the line, he made a gutsy all-in call and caught Moon running a semi-bluff to reclaim the chip lead.

Eight hands later, Moon gambled by putting all of his chips into the pot with the queen of diamonds and jack of diamonds against Cada's pair of nines. The community cards didn't improve Moon's hand and he was out of the tournament.

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