World Series Of Poker Main Event Down To Two
November 9, 2021

Spoiler Alert:  For those looking forward to being completely surprised this Tuesday, when ESPN shows the nation the final push towards the crowning of this year's World Series of Poker Main Event champion, stop reading now (and what were you thinking even clicking on this headline in the first place).  

Sometimes when a bunch of odd things happen, folks say it must be a full moon tonight, well perhaps after this Tuesday's airing of the 2009 WSOP final table, it will be assumed those people are talking about Darvin after a healthy lunch; that is Darvin Moon, the man who after a long crazy night now finds himself sharing the spotlight with Joe Cada, as the last two standing of the 2009 Main Event.

With a slightly short stacked Phil Ivey, arguably the poker pro most commonly called the best living player in the game, sitting at this year's WSOP final table, many in the media were hoping for an exhibition of unparalleled skill this weekend that would truly show the world the type of abilities it takes to reach poker's highest pinnacle of poker success, and although during the amazing 14-plus hours of play to follow, there clearly where many moments where a high level of skill was displayed, there were also enough cringe worthy bad beats and unlucky situations, that if they happened online, it would take Barry Greenstein years of forum debating to prove that the sites involved weren't rigged.

The first notable example of this came early in the match, when the short stacked James Akenhead created the first major confrontation of the night by getting it all in bad with King-Queen vs. Eric Buchman's Ace-King and then remarkably hit his needed Queen on the river.  Akenhead basically tripled-up on the hand and was suddenly looking like he may last awhile but unfortunately soon ran into some unlucky situations of his own, first losing most of his stack by finding pockets kings when Kevin Schaffel held pocket aces, and then losing the rest as he was forced to make a move with pocket threes only to run into a bigger stack that held a bigger pair. 

It was not a fortuitous end for Akenhead after months of waiting to once again compete with the final nine, and it wouldn't be the last ugly ending of the night, as he was soon followed by his nemesis Schaffel, who despite getting the majority of Akenhead's chips earlier, was unable to survive an all-in confrontation of his own. 

Amazingly, Schaffel in short succession again found himself in a huge pot with pocket Aces vs. a dominated pair of Kings- this time against Eric Buchman- but in this case things went horribly wrong, first finding himself drawing thin when Buchman flopped a set and then drawing completely dead, when Buchman turned quads.

Schaffel's cruel beat was followed by Phil's, who despite waiting patiently and picking up small pots when he could, finally found his perfect opportunity to double up foiled by Darvin Moon, when his all-in Ace-King lost to Darvin's Ace-Queen, as that mischievous Queen once again appeared on the board.

Next to go was Steven Begleiter, with Queens vs. Moon's Ace-Queen- Ace on the river- and then Jeff Shulman, who only lost due to a coin flip (Sevens vs. Ace-Nine), but was still seen as awfully unlucky, having lost much of his stack earlier when his pocket Jacks got out flopped by Joe Cada's pocket Threes.

With Shulman's elimination the field was down to four and it would be Eric Buchman's bust out that would bring it to three.  Buchman having lost most of his chips to Antoine Saout when his Ace-Queen- normally pretty good four-handed- ran into Saout's Ace-King, found himself forced to make some moves and one of them spelled his doom, when his Ace-Five was not able to hold up against Moon's King-Jack.

The three players remaining, Joe Cada, Antoine Saout and Darvin Moon- as the sun slowly rose in Vegas- now found themselves only one elimination away from heads-up play and glorious sleep, and it appeared that next elimination would be Joseph Cada's as he was all-in with lowly deuces again Saout's massive Queens, however, if the night had proven anything it had proven unusual things happen- particularly with the ladies- and instead Cada doubled up with a set and soon eliminated Saout, in an Ace-King vs. Eights situation where Cada hit a King on the river, providing one more absurdly dramatic moment for the ESPN crew to capture before they finally had a chance to turn off the cameras and begin editing the day's footage.

The final table pay outs thus far for the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event were as follows:

1st.  TBD- $8,546,435

2nd.  TBD- $5,182,601

3rd.  Antoine Saout- $3,479,485

4th.  Eric Buchman- $2,502,787

5th.  Jeff Shulman- $1,953,395

6th.  Steven Begleiter- $1,587,133

7th.  Phil Ivey- $1,404,002

8th.  Kevin Schaffel- $1,300,228

9th.  James Akenhead- $1,263,602

The final heads-up portion of the 2009 WSOP Main Event is set to begin tonight (11/9) at 10 PM, Vegas time.

Story by Mark Anderson

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