The year 2020 got a bit worse on Saturday evening. After a surgical procedure, former World Series of Poker final tablist Darvin Moon passed away due to complications from that surgery. He was only 56 years old.
Brightest Light Shines Twice As Bright
The New Orleans Saints-capped Moon is known as the lumberjack from the East Coast (who had never flown on a plane) who stormed through the field in the 2009 World Series of Poker Championship Event. That 6494-player field battled it out for two weeks, with Jeff Shulman (son of CardPlayer Magazine owner Barry Shulman) and Phil Ivey being the “names” that would eventually make it to the final table. But the chip leader was Moon, who was in control of the event from the start and held a dominant lead going into the “November Nine” that year.
Instead of going on the tournament circuit (all the players received ninth place money at that time), Moon reportedly headed back to his farm in Maryland. He would report back in November and play for another couple of days before succumbing to Joe Cada in heads up play. The second-place prize of slightly more than $5.1 million was more than enough for Moon, who never sought out poker success.
Over the life of his tournament poker career, Moon earned $5,210,576. He was happier to be playing in his local casino in West Virginia than in hitting the tournament trail, but he did show up when he wanted to for play. His Hendon Mob resume is dotted with trips to New Orleans, Florida, Las Vegas and New York. His final recorded tournament cash was in 2016 at a Rio Daily Deepstack event.
Poker World Remembers Moon
Moon became a huge friend of Todd Anderson, who was one of the founders of the Heartland Poker Tour and who passed along the information regarding the passing of Moon. Over Twitter, Anderson paid tribute to his friend, saying “The best person I ever met through poker is Darvin Moon. A man of integrity and honor. And quite possibly the most interesting person I’ve ever known. Truly.”
The WSOP Twitter feed even took a moment to eulogize Moon on its feed. “Thanks for the memories Darvin moon (sic). You inspired so many people and starred in one of the most memorable final tables in WSOP history. We will never forget. Rest In Peace.”
Former WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla also chimed in on the passing of Moon, including many of his interactions with the man. “With Darvin, the more you got to know him, the more you wanted to know,” Dalla reflected in a special essay he wrote on Moon’s passing. “He spoke a simple language but with profound depth. I don’t think Darvin was capable of telling a lie, which makes me wonder if he ever successfully bluffed anyone in poker.”
“As for poker, Darvin never pretended to be anything other than Darvin, and that was fine,” Dalla continued. “He could easily afford to play in big cash games with his millions and could have played in far more tournaments. But Darvin never wanted that lifestyle. It would have kept him out of the hills, away from his trees, and required too much flying on great big planes.”
No announcements have been made as to visitations or services for Moon at this time. Poker News Daily passes along their condolences to Moon’s wife, Wendy, and the Moon family at this time of sadness.