After a grueling 17 and a half hour session inside the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas, Darvin Moon and Joe Cada emerged victorious and will play heads-up on Monday night in the finale of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event with an $8.5 million first place prize on the line.

The final two eliminations of the event took place during the 5:00am hour PT, when many on the East Coast were waking up to begin their days. Frenchman Antoine Saout, armed with a cavalcade of supporters dressed in light blue t-shirts, doubled up with A-K against Eric Buchman’s A-Q in one of the largest pots of the 2009 WSOP Main Event final table. The flop came king-high, preserving Saout’s lead in the hand, and the turn added one more queen.

The hand dropped Buchman to less than 10 million in chips and he was promptly sent packing in fourth place for $2.5 million. In Buchman’s final hand, his A-5 could not withstand Moon’s K-J after the turn came a king. Buchman earned $2.5 million for his efforts; he was the selection of many media members inside the Penn and Teller Theater to win it all.

It was then young Cada’s turn to shine. Cada was at risk pre-flop holding pocket twos against Saout’s pocket queens. A 4:1 underdog, Cada watched as the flop came 7-2-9, creating a rowdy celebration from the Cada supporters camped out to the left of media row at the Penn and Teller Theater. The board filled out 3-6, giving Cada the chip lead. He could become the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history, breaking Peter Eastgate’s mark set just one year ago.

In Saout’s final hand, the Frenchman held pocket eights against Cada’s A-K. The two were off to the races and, as had been the case throughout much of the afternoon, the hand was decided on the river when a king hit. Saout earned $3.5 million and coverage described the final moments early Sunday morning: “Cada is mobbed by a throng of yellow-shirted fans after taking the pot with his pair of kings. Saout’s side of the room falls absolutely silent as their man can only shake his head and shake the hands of the two left standing before walking off the stage.”

Media will greet Cada and Moon at 1:00pm PT on Monday at the Rio, a gathering that was postponed 24 hours due to the final table overrun. A meatball eating contest featuring Ultimate Bet pro Phil Hellmuth is still scheduled to take place today at Noon at Martorano’s (the Rio’s Italian restaurant) and will also see Joey Chestnut compete. The action between Moon and Cada will resume at 10:00pm PT on Monday night. It will air on cable station ESPN 24 hours later.

Here are the final chip counts:
Darvin Moon – 58,850,000
Joe Cada – 135,950,000

Those eliminated on Saturday in the 2009 WSOP Main Event were:
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

Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest from the 2009 WSOP Main Event final table.

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