Poker News

Like many young aspiring poker pros, Joe Cada realized that college wasn’t for him. The Shelby Township, MI native took the leap toward becoming a professional poker player shortly after beginning classes at Macomb Community College. And while most dropouts find the transition difficult, Cada’s decision to leave school turned out to be the most lucrative of his young life: a short time later he became a member of the 2009 World Series of Poker November Nine.

On July 15, Joe Cada earned a spot at the final table of the WSOP Main Event, which resumed on November 7, as he outlasted a field of 6,494 players to guarantee himself a payday of at least $1,263,602. He had his eyes set on the first-place prize of $8,546,435 and a gold bracelet when the tournament wrapped up on Monday, November 10th.

Although he spends most of his time on the felts playing cash games, Cada took a stab at his first ever World Series of Poker in 2009 after turning 21 last year. He cashed twice before the Main Event, taking 64th in Event #13 ($2,500 No Limit Hold’em) for $6,681, and then 17th in Event #34 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em) for $21,533. Once among the chip leaders of Event #34, Joe Cada was eliminated by PokerStars Team Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier when Grospellier hit a two-outer on the river against him.

2009 WSOP Main Event

Cada didn’t soon forget about what could have been in his big hand against ElkY. After finishing Day 1C of the Main Event as the overall chip leader, Cada told friend and fellow pro Justin “looshle” Pechie, “I’m finally getting my run-good after that ElkY hand.” He knew he could go above and beyond what even the great Grospellier has accomplished by winning the Main Event.

Cada entered the final table fifth in chips with 13,215,000. He made a big move on Day 8, doubling his stack despite having his pocket aces cracked by the pocket tens of Jamie Robbins after all of the chips went in preflop. That 3.5 million chip pot would have given Joe more ammunition to fire at his tablemates, but it certainly didn’t prevent him from attacking any more. Joe Cada was the most active player at his table and even played back at Phil Ivey several times as the final table approached.

He came armed to the final table at the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio armed with a throng of yellow-shirted supporters and was railed by Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy, who met Cada in June during the 2009 WSOP.

Heads-Up Play

Cada knocked out Frenchman Antoine Saout in third place after a 17 and a half hour marathon final table to set up heads-up play against Darvin Moon.  Cada crippled Saout by drawing out with pocket deuces against pocket queens after spiking a two on the flop before sending Saout home in third. In Saout’s final hand, Cada rivered a king holding A-K, trumping the France icon’s pocket eights.

Cada entered heads-up play against Moon leading with 135 million chips to 58 million. After an 88 hand battle, Cada took down Darvin Moon to become the youngest main event champion in WSOP history besting Peter Eastgate’s mark set only one year ago.

Click here for Joe Cada’s interview with Poker News Daily.


  1. LXA says:

    This guy is the man. Represent the D brotha!

  2. Anessa says:

    I predicted you would take it down… you are amazing.

  3. Eric says:

    Joe Cada is the man!

  4. Joe Cada’s a terrific example of what all the 20-something’s should be.

  5. Congratulations to Joe Cada! Great call on holding J 9. Good for him.

  6. Dean Emerson says:

    Hey Joe,

    I was part of the 2%…thanks for making me some dough!!

  7. Josh says:

    I went to high school with this guy…this is crazy! Good for him.

  8. shawn barbat says:

    i went to Canada with him a couple of years ago and i lost all my money on the blackjack tables so he paid for my room he is a great guy and deserves all his success

  9. dre says:

    congrats but honestly he luckboxed it pretty much all the way! overall i am very disappointed with the how the final table went bad beat after bad beat but i guess that’s what people want to see in poker like they want to see crashes in racing.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Joe Cada. A TRUE aspiration to young poker player’s and to all poker player’s…. i may break your record next…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cada FTW

  12. Jeff says:

    Although he is certainly a solid player. I believe that it was luck and not skill that sailed him to number one. Shoving pocket 3’s against jj was a bad move, and certainly calling an all in with 22 was equally as bad. Luck prevailed, however making moves like that I do not believe will get one back to the final table. Personally I thought those particular moves were of the “donkey” variety. IMO

  13. brandon says:

    phil ivey is still the best he got sucked out on

  14. Dania says:

    amaizing!!! congratulation!!!!!!!!!

  15. ticker66 says:

    I have limited experience of poker but it is my opinion luck plays a percentage of any successful poker player and when the poker gods are with you I would take that with the game. the individual makes the decision to call or pass after that skill plays no part odds affect outcomes but are not guaranteed. Joe cada made decisions which resulted in him winning in another tournement they may not but he will always be 2009 wsop winner well done !!

  16. Don't Hate says:

    Hey Jeff. If you’re so good, why haven’t you won one yet?

  17. bmax says:

    To:Joe Cada
    From: Bmac in Bay City Michigan

    Well Done! Your humble approach after winning and during play is what more player need to be like in this game. Yeah you got lucky but that’s poker! I was really happy to see someone so humble win. Congratulations!

  18. Gus says:

    LUCKBOX! lucked out so many times going in with the worst of it all the time(all in with douces and 3s?,…c’mon)….the frenchman got robbed…however thats poker…cant do nothing about it. good reads luckies man on the planet thats for sure. congrats anyhow.

  19. Ron D says:

    Congrats to Joe Cada. The poker gods were with him. He made what could be considered some reckless bets, but you know what? Sometimes that’s what it takes to win. The kid showed tremendous heart and I applaud his win.

  20. Ben Smith says:

    Hey Joe Cada,,

    Nice job sucking out over and over and winning races over and over..You should have bought a powerball ticket with the luck you had and won 100 million instead of 8 million…Honestly what were you thinking going all in with pocket 2s and pocket 3s with all those chips?? Congrats luckbox

  21. Cyrus says:

    They were three handed when they shoved deuces. I understand his thinking, you either take down the pot pre-flop with your shove or — in a 3 handed situation — you are usually racing when called. It just happened that he ran into QQ and got lucky. But the play wasn’t as bad as people are saying. Remember, he raised 22, he didn’t call an all-in. Those are very different actions strategically.

  22. tim says:

    2’s and 3’s ..lmao u gave every donkey in the world hope …nice lotto win best i can say …

  23. Ben Smith says:

    with the amount of chips he had he should not be re raising all in with 2s and 3s thats a joke…anyone who knows the game should realize Sauot was by far the superior player out of the final 3 and played the best

  24. Cyrus says:

    You’re all a bunch of nits. Aggression shorthanded is what separates winning from losing players. Cada took some risks while the rest of the table was folding away shorthanded where hand values are increased. We didn’t see all the pots played at the final table, due to editing, but I’m pretty sure Cada stole some significant pots along the way with his risk taking.

    Speaking of nitty play, I’m shocked that Ivey folded his jacks with a such a relatively small stack. There comes a point in a tournament, particularly short handed, where you simply have to take your rare hands and stick your chips in. Had he got those jacks in, i think he would have finished huge. Its unfortunate.

  25. David Spowart says:

    Great watch enjoyed the play and some great play and well done Joe

  26. David Spowart says:

    I ve read most of the comments and all i can say remember people all we see on screen is a short clip of the days play and a very draining day poker is always based on three things esspecialy Holdem its 50% skill and knowledge and 30% Luck and most of all not in value 20% balls to go with it and joe for a young lad he had all 3 so as i said earlier well done Joe

  27. donkey watcher says:

    When a player has no skill it all comes down to pre-flop. So then its shove, shove, shove, and what you end up with is the 2009 final table at the wsop.

  28. Joe Cada says:

    Joe Cada proved to be a good player. Even though we can’t underestimate his opponents, he had a terrible luck when going all-in with 2-2 and 3-3 but this is poker!

  29. bubba says:

    props to cada…
    although, i think saout should have won, he made the best plays, right moves at right time…
    luck is poker and poker is luck, nice to be 21 and win such an event, nice achievement!!!

  30. VENITA says:

    HE SUCKS, 2S AND 3S COME ON……………….

  31. Justin D says:

    u guy’s are all idiots! Have u ever heard the saying “agressive players win tournaments” u can’t set around and wait for the nutz or you’ll end up on the rail with everyone else. Shoving with these hands isn’t really that crazy but since u guy’s can see all the whole card it’s a bad move!lol wow! typical donks watching it on tv makes it seem so much easier, I mean I watched most of the coverage and he laid down 10’s pre-flop when most of you would have went broke on them!

  32. Sly says:

    I’m a rookie at poker. Playing it every day for about 4-5 months. Judgin from what i know(its more than my playin time indicates) Cada was just lucky. I dont associate Cada with skill at all. He wont the thing with two 9s. Then we have the whole 3s and 2s ordeal. Cada must’ve played good to come that far. No doubt about it. But just based on the final table he lucked out too many times for me to respect his game or him as a poker player. Once Cada finishes in the top 100 for 2-3yrs wins maybe a couple of bracelets i’ll never recgonize him. I wish we could speak to some poker pro’s. Bet they’ll tell u the same thing.

  33. UvBnBeat says:

    Well Done Joe Cada

    How many of these guys who are downing you! have actually tried to be agressive with pocket 2’s 3’s they dont have the guts. You done well kid and you got the cash to prove it.

  34. Cody says:

    i think that phil ivey should have won this thing!! Cada is GARBAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

  35. Maj says:

    I smell jealousy cada well done,
    u proved that anyone can win this, now just be consistent to prove all the haters wrong! Get em boy

  36. wendy says:

    Obviously joe cada is da shit!! For the hater comments about him having no skills, that’s bs, he made really bold moves and I give him probs for that!! And he really is one lukcy guy which is amazing as well!!! Poker is all about luck anyways, skills or not!!!

  37. Zman says:

    Nice job Joe! Glad you won you deserve it. You are a well matured young man. Hope that you save some of the $$. As for the haters in the blog, go join a Phil Hellmuth fan club or something! Did you even watch the world series? Ivey’s play was weak during the tv coverage. I like Ivey, but watching him loose his cool several times showed me that even the big dogs get nervous.

  38. T BRUNSON says:

    HEY JOE….YOU up for heads up for 1 million cash joe cada?? any time… any place… televised or not…. your choice WANT SOME?? COME AND GET IT DONK

  39. J Dub says:

    Joe Cada is no different than Jamie Gold. He luckbox donked his way to victory. And everyone kissing his butt doesn’t change a thing.

    For being a heads up “master” Cada got destroyed by Moon, and made that last donk call only because he was cracking under the pressure.

    Cada’s success was pure luck saving him time and time again that he made a bad play. He’s a joke. Its not that he showed that with skill anyone could win, he showed that you can be totally outclassed and still donk your way to first.

    He will end up being another winner who contributes to the further dumbing down of the game by pulling in more idiot wannabes who play bingo poker rather than finesse/skill poker.

    Pokerstars just looks lame for signing him.

  40. Ravagek says:

    Year by year a worthless champion……….

  41. Greg says:

    Only champ worst than cada is yang.

  42. LA beach says:

    Great job joe

  43. Northy 7 says:

    He sucked out so many times to win it!!
    Worst champion for years and thats why you havnt seen him since!!

  44. Mike Aimers says:

    SAD SAD SAD The worst final Ihave ever seen………….It show the direction poker is heading more luck than skill,

  45. brian says:

    he knows more about poker than you all posting on this thread. Don’t you see that with HIS stack and the blinds and antes his “M” was in the range of like 3.5-5 that’s shove mode. You don’t call to see flops, limp in, you take advantage of others weakness and shove it in! it’s all about stack sizes. gimme a break, the 22, and 33. Sure he got lucky with the cards…but think of it this way. It’s lucky to be dealt QQ right? playing shorthanded nonetheless. also think the average hand dealt is J7. with any pair in your hand…think of the % of the time your opponent is folding when he DOESN’T pick up QQ. It happened how it happened, and that’s how poker happens. don’t be jealous because joe cada reached the pinnacle of success extremely early..he’s gracious and humble. You cannot ask for more. I wish others would quit bashing people’s game and plays just to boost their own ego, if you get sucked out on, take a deep breath, say nice hand and move on. try and be indifferent if you win, or lose a big pot..just ask yourself if you played the hand to the best of it’s ability and got max value. GL everyone i soon hope to reach my goals in poker!

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