World Series of Poker® Main Event Reaches Final Two Players Ultimate Everyman and Youngest-Ever Potential Champion to Resume Play Monday at 10pm Pacific Time


LAS VEGAS (Nov.8, 2009) – A self-employed logger from Western Maryland and a 21-year old poker pro will compete Monday night for poker’s most prestigious prize and a payday of more than $8.5 million.

Darvin Moon, 46, is a woodsman playing in his first-ever World Series of Poker event. Joseph Cada is a 21-year-old poker phenom hoping to become the youngest-ever Main Event champion.

The two survived the longest U.S.-based Main Event Final Table in World Series of Poker history for the chance to capture the game’s most coveted trophy – the champion’s bracelet – and a top prize of $8,547,042. The runner-up will win $5,182,928.

Only the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event was longer than the 14-hour-plus marathon session that concluded today at roughly 6 a.m. Pacific. ESPN will air its coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern.

“This has been the most exciting Main Event Final Table I’ve ever witnessed,” said World Series of Poker President and Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “To see Joe Cada go from about two million in chips to nearly 136 million in chips – and to watch Darvin Moon go from chip leader to short stack and back again – was truly astonishing. The heads-up competition is going to be outstanding.”

When play resumes, Cada will be the chip leader with 135,950,000; Moon will begin the competition with 58,850,000.

The two sealed their place in the heads-up competition when Cada eliminated third-place finisher Antoine Saout, 25, of Saint Martin des Champs, France. Saout, a former engineering student, began final table play eighth in chips. He rose to chip leader before busting in third place to collect $3,479,670.

Poker pro Eric Buchman, 30, of Valley Stream, NY, finished in fourth place. Buchman entered the final table second in chips and collected $2,502,890, making this the most lucrative of his 10 in-the-money finishes at the World Series of Poker.

Jeff Shulman, 34, who splits time between Las Vegas and Seattle, busted in fifth place, winning $1,953,452. Shulman is the only member of the November Nine to have previously made a Main Event Final Table, finishing seventh in 2000.

Wall Street financier Steven Begleiter of Chappaqua, NY, was eliminated in sixth place. The 47-year-old former Bear Stearns Cos. executive won $1,587,160. Phil Ivey, widely considered the best poker player in the world, finished in seventh place. The 32-year-old poker pro, who owns seven World Series of Poker gold bracelets, collected $1,404,014 for his first Main Event Final Table appearance.

The eighth place finisher was Kevin Schaffel of Coral Springs, Fla. The oldest player at 52, Schaffel won $1,300,231. Going out in ninth place was James Akenhead of London. The 26-year-old former train conductor received $1,263,602.