These are some of my comments about the WSOP final table. The heads up part won’t be played until tomorrow night, and then it will be on ESPN on Tuesday. If you don’t want to know anything until you see it on TV, read no further.
The four month break gave everyone a chance to take some poker lessons. More than that, it gave them a chance to round up a posse. Several of the November Nine had large, very vocal cheering sections. Fights were even breaking out, and spectators were being ejected. I’m not making this up! But the rest of the audience – I mean everybody – was for Phil Ivey. Even when Ivey just took down the blinds, the crowd would roar with approval. But it wasn’t meant to be…
At one point Ivey lost a key coin flip to Joe Cada (who went on to make the final two). Then, there was a short break around 8PM, and upon the resumption of the game, Ivey went out on (I believe it was) the first hand. It was the dreaded AQ, but this time Ivey didn’t have it, he had AK. Darvin Moon had AQ. The crowd went wild, everybody was going absolutely crazy. Then, a queen came on the flop, and with no help on the turn or river…it was over. A lot of the crowd started to leave shortly after that. Phil Ivey takes home a lousy $1.4 million. J
It’s one thing to talk about the stamina needed to win a major tournament. But the human body just isn’t meant to sit in a chair for 17 hours, with the cameras and lights and the knowledge that any misstep could cost you millions in real money. Playing until 5AM just gives a huge advantage to the younger players, or the players who just happen to be night owls. (Hey, I’m one of them, so I’m not complaining for my sake). Anyway, the winner should be determined by skill, not who can pop more no-doze. I suspect we might see a change next year, perhaps we’ll play down to 6, then to 2 the next day, and then play the heads up the following day. Either that, or just have a time limit – after 10 hours we call it a day and pick it up the next morning.
So what are we left with?
Joe Cada came from nearly being out, to doubling up time after time and now going into heads up play with $135 million chips. Darvin Moon started the day as the chip leader, and finished the day with almost exactly the same number of chips, roughly $60 million. He had some very strange plays along the way, and I can’t wait to see if they show these hands on ESPN to see what the heck he was holding. By the way, Cada is only 21 years old. If he wins he’ll claim the title of youngest World Champion ever (Peter Eastgate was 22).