Tuesday will mark a busy day in the life of 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Joe Cada. The youngest winner of the $10,000 buy-in tournament ever, Cada will travel to Capitol Hill flanked by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA).
The PPA has seen its own string of victories as of late, including achieving a six-month delay of the regulations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Now, the 1.2 million member strong lobbying organization will bring the current face of the game to Capitol Hill. Cada told Poker News Daily in an exclusive interview, “I’m meeting with Congressmen for the PPA. I’m still trying to get used to all of this.” PPA officials will accompany Cada around Capitol Hill and the youngster, who is now 22 years-old, will join the Sports Junkies radio show at 10:15am ET on WJFK.
Cada will visit with several lawmakers in pre-planned meetings, including Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA), who, according to the PPA, plays poker herself and is a friend of UB.com pro Annie Duke. Cada will also spend time with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who hails from the Main Event winner’s home state. He’ll be brought to the members’ dining room on Capitol Hill for lunch, where Cada will be introduced to those in attendance.
After lunch, Cada will meet with Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI), who represents Michigan’s 10th Congressional District. According to Cada’s agent, Miller will introduce him to entire House of Representatives on the chamber’s floor in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He’ll then head to the offices of another Republican, Joe Barton (R-TX), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and a poker player. Finally, Cada will meet with members of the Nevada delegation in Washington, D.C. and the PPA will escort the $8.5 million winner around town before he heads for the airport.
On Cada’s itinerary, PPA Executive Director John Pappas told Poker News Daily, “We know that these members are interested in poker. They’re poker players themselves. This is to tell the story of the World Champion, the youngest winner in Main Event history.” Cada warmed up for the whirlwind of meetings by playing in Pappas’ home game on Monday night, a $40 rebuy tournament that saw him fade J-Q multiple times. About 10 players could be found at the game last night.
Local media and press on Capitol Hill were expected to join Cada during the day. He recently flew cross-country from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. after filming the “PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge.” Cada was one of the poker pros scheduled to appear on the show, but did not play against a PokerStars qualifier. Cada told Poker News Daily, “It was good, but I didn’t get to play at all because the qualifiers couldn’t get past the celebrities. I was supposed to play after that. I got to meet a few celebrities like Joanna Krupa and a lot more.”
The PPA saw several members of the WSOP Main Event final table don patches for the tournament’s conclusion, which aired on ESPN in mid-November. On the organization’s fight for the rights of poker players in both the online and offline versions of the game, Cada explained, “I’m all for what they’re doing. I haven’t had too much contact with them, but hopefully that can change very soon. It would be good to meet a bunch of Congressmen and speak with the PPA a lot more. It’s something I hope I can help with.”
In addition to his forthcoming appearances on Capitol Hill, Cada has made waves throughout mainstream media, including guest spots on the “Late Show with David Letterman” and the ESPN news franchise “SportsCenter.” He’s also become a hometown hero of sorts in Michigan, covered by nearly every local news outlet.