WSOP Final Table Broadcast Airs on ESPN
On Tuesday night, two and a half hours of coverage on ESPN saw the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table play out. What took place over three days in real-time saw Joe Cada become the youngest Main Event winner ever and earn $8.5 million.
The opening sequence focused on Phil Ivey, with announcer Lon McEachern inquiring, “Is he the one?” Comments from poker pros Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Doyle Brunson aired before McEachern and Norman Chad recapped the chip counts. Cada started with just 7% of the chips in play, setting up an unlikely title run.
In one of the first hands shown, Jeff Shulman raised to 1.25 million with pocket fives with his coach, Phil Hellmuth, looking on and Ivey shoved for 8.7 million with pocket kings. Cada folded pocket tens and Shulman got out of the way as well, giving Ivey the pot. The media on-hand at the Penn and Teller Theater in Las Vegas thought Cada had queens and Ivey guessed the youngster had jacks.
After tripling up with K-Q against Eric Buchman, Brit James Akenhead was eliminated in ninth place after running pocket threes into Kevin Schaffel’s pocket nines. Schaffel rivered a boat before falling in eighth place with aces against Buchman’s kings. Buchman turned quads in the hand and ousted Schaffel from the Main Event. In real-time, players headed to dinner break when play was seven-handed and Mike Sexton became the newest inductee of the Poker Hall of Fame.
In a hand that had the crowd abuzz at the Rio, logger Darvin Moon raised to 1.3 million with K-Q and Steven Begleiter made it 3.9 million with A-Q of spades. The flop came 3-4-2 with two spades, giving Begleiter flush and straight draws and a 93% edge. Begleiter led out for 5.35 million, Moon raised to 15 million, and Begleiter shoved for his last six million. Despite getting over 7:1 on a call, Moon folded and falsely told his wife that he had queens and put Begleiter on A-K suited. At the time, Poker News Daily correctly reported that Moon held K-Q for what Chad dubbed “nuclear squadoosh.”
Cada doubled up Shulman to send his chip stack plummeting to just five big blinds. Frenchman Antoine Saout then blazed a trail of his own, doubling through Begleiter after turning a flush. The hand gave Saout the chip lead and then the assembled crowd in Las Vegas watched Ivey fall by the wayside in seventh after Moon’s A-Q bested the Full Tilt pro’s A-K. Chad, who perennially picks Ivey to win the Main Event, joked, “We’re going to need a medic to the broadcast booth.” Moon then sent Begleiter packing once again with A-Q, this time against pocket queens.
Cada spiked a set to double through Shulman before the latter fell at the hands of Saout after losing a race with pocket sevens against A-9. However, Saout would give a chunk of his stack to Buchman, who held pocket aces on a board of 2-10-3 when Saout flopped top pair with Q-10. Moon sent Buchman to the rails after drawing out with K-J of diamonds against Buchman’s A-5.
Cada flopped another set with a small pair against Saout when his pocket twos overcame Saout’s pocket queens to send his stack to 80 million. Then, Saout dropped in third place after his pocket eights fell on the river to Cada’s A-K. In an improbable run, Cada went from holding five big blinds to boasting 136 million chips heads-up against Moon. McEachern exclaimed, “That did not just happen.”
Motley Crue front man Vince Neil gave the “Shuffle Up and Deal” command to begin heads-up play and Moon quickly regained the chip lead. However, the youngster doubled up after calling for his tournament life with J-9 on a board of 10-5-9-10. Moon showed 8-7 for an open-ended straight draw, which missed when a three hit on the river. In the final hand of the 2009 WSOP Main Event, Cada’s pocket nines withstood Moon’s Q-J, giving the heads-up online poker specialist a monumental win and the tag of youngest Main Event winner ever, breaking Peter Eastgate’s one year reign.
Here were the paydays from the 2009 WSOP Main Event:
1. Joe Cada – $8,546,435
2. Darvin Moon – $5,182,601
3. Antoine Saout – $3,479,485
4. Eric Buchman – $2,502,787
5. Jeff Shulman – $1,953,395
6. Steven Begleiter – $1,587,133
7. Phil Ivey – $1,404,002
8. Kevin Schaffel – $1,300,228
9. James Akenhead – $1,263,602
Those who did not set their DVRs or Tivos to record more than two hours, the scheduled time that ESPN allotted for the WSOP Main Event, did not catch heads-up play. This irritated many viewers, one of whom posted on Poker News Daily, “With the [DVR] set to record the final table coverage I returned to enjoy a thrilling night of poker. The game was still playing at the two hour mark when the recording stopped. Another WSOP on ESPN disappointment. Again I know who won without seeing the coverage on TV.” ESPN’s “SportsCenter” aired at 11:30pm ET.
On the extra 30 minutes of coverage, an ESPN representative told Poker News Daily, “We went late to serve the sports fans tuned into the much-anticipated event that has been on their calendars for a long time. We regret that those Tivo’ing it were unable to see the ending, but we’ll be replaying it in the weeks to come.”
Check your local listings for details.
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