Monday, May 24, 2010

Player Spotlight: Joe Cada

The WSOP has seen many champions, but none have been quite so surprising as Joe Cada. Cada brought home the 2009 main event championship bracelet, a massive prize pool, and the title of the youngest player ever to do so. No player has had quite so many eyes on him in recent years, but this championship was certainly not the beginning of his journey.

Though he attended college briefly, Cada dropped out to pursue the professional poker circuit. In retrospect, it was probably a wise choice for Cada. He had experience playing online, and online was his major circuit for a long time. He was a ruthless and successful table player. He played on several tables at once and moved his way from the low buy ins to high big blinds. He decided to have a go at live poker more recently, and the first live professional event in which Joe Cada placed was at the 2009 World Series of Poker, where he entered into numerous events with high hopes.

He wasn't able to enter any previous major events due to a simple problem: his age. With 21 being the minimum age for the WSOP events (except in the UK), Cada literally took the first big chance he could get. He did well in many events, finishing in sixty-fourth place in the $2,500 NLH event, more than doubling his buy-in. He would multiply his buy in for the $1,500 NLH event by ten, finishing in seventeenth place. However, it was the main event that made him a legend. After finishing at the top of the chip count for day one, he moved on, gradually progressing toward the final table.

The final table wasn't kind to Cada at first, but in a series of unlikely wins, Cada made his way to ultimate victory, an accomplishment so unlikely that he described it as "destiny."